Date: 22nd March 2012 at 7:37am
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Those who spend their lives obsessed by Neil Lennon have been getting themselves worked up by the Celtic manager’s comments after Sunday’s defeat from Kilmarnock.

Getting Lennon charged by the SFA and hopefully banned seems to be occupying the thoughts of many supporters.

The criteria used by the SFA to charge managers is unclear but much stronger comments than Lennon’s have gone unpunished by the authorities.

Terry Butcher and Ally McCoist have both made very direct criticisms of SFA officials and gone unpunished.

After losing to Celtic in November Butcher said: “Referees had a strike last season, they weren’t happy well I’m bloody not happy with the way that things are going for my club.

“I feel like saying, yeah, ok SPL you go and sort the referees out and get a bit of consistency here.

“The people are saying it is a fast-track system, well it is a fast-track to nowhere as far as I am concerned.

“There is no justice in the appeal, it is a kangaroo court as far as I’m concerned.

“I thought we had a great chance with the Chris Hogg appeal the last time. I went down to Glasgow to face the Compliance Officer who said it was a red card.

“The referee didn’t change his mind and said it was a red card. I was faced with three men on the SFA panel, so I was faced with odds of five to one against. Not great.”

A month later McCoist was even more direct in his criticism of Jim McCluskey and Vincent Lunney after Sone Aluko was suspended for simulation after winning a penalty against Dunfermline.

McCoist said: “The meeting was chaired by a former referee and I have to say his decision making hasn’t improved any since he stopped refereeing.

The three gentlemen on the panel have effectively called my player a cheat and a liar, neither of which he is.

What they’ve effectively done is they have said the player has cheated to get the penalty.

It’s an absolutely incredible decision given that the referee is literally five yards from the incident.

He has a better view than anybody in the stadium and they have gone not only against the referee but the player as well.

The thing that stuns me is that the panel agreed there was contact so for them to uphold the decision and go against their own referee, who had a particularly good game, is ridiculous.

“The other thing I would like to point out is the compliance officer is a thoroughly nice man but he is a lawyer, he comes from a legal background not a football one.

So effectively we’ve got someone who hasn’t played professional football telling me my player is a cheat.

It’s staggering, absolutely staggering and to say I’m angry would be a massive understatement.”

It seems that in light of those comments it is highly unlikely that the SFA can charge Lennon for his comments about the decision not to award Celtic a penalty and to book Anthony Stokes.

“It is a criminal decision and it has cost us the treble,” Lennon said straight after the match. “It’s a stonewall penalty. It’s a shocking decision, absolutely shocking.

“He’s clean through, he’s holding the boy off, the player lunges at him and takes his leg away and doesn’t get anywhere near the ball.

“So it’s a penalty and a red card, in the final minute of the game where we have banged away at the door.

“And to rub salt in the wounds he books Anthony for diving which is awful refereeing. There’s no way Anthony Stokes would go down clean through on goal.

“Nelson’s reaction; he knows he has given a penalty away and he is hugely relieved. I couldn’t believe the decision myself.

“I shook Willie’s hand at the end of the game because I wanted to act in a dignified manner and I thought overall he had a decent game but that is a big call in a cup final and for me he’s got it horribly wrong.”

CLICK HERE for David Murray accuses HMRC of looking for high profile case

CLICK HERE for are the SFA walking away from regulating

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