Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Aiden McGeady statue suggestions give Neil Lennon a laugh

Joking: Neil Lennon faced an unusual line of questioning

Neil Lennon was involved in what he described as a “bizarre” press conference ahead of Celtic's Champions League clash with Spartak Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium.

A local journalist engaged the bemused Parkhead boss in discussion about topics including Rangers, Sir Sean Connery and former Celtic midfielder Aiden McGeady, who now plies his trade for the Russian outfit, before a Uefa official stepped.

The former Northern Ireland captain posted on his Twitter account afterwards: “Well that was one of the more bizarre press conferences I've had to do.”

Lennon was asked if he would help Old Firm rivals Rangers, who dropped into the Scottish Third Division after descending into administration, if he had €100m to spend.

Lennon responded: “Would I help Rangers? If I had that money you wouldn't see me again.”

Lennon was also asked if he would approach Sir Sean Connery if Celtic had any financial problems.

Almost incredulous at the random link between the Scottish actor and the Parkhead club, he replied: “You've done your homework, haven't you?

“We run the club as a business, we have a budget and a strategy set and we work within that, but if you have Sean Connery's number I will take it off you.”

Lennon — who at one point asked the Uefa interpreter of his Russian inquisitor, “is he a real journalist?” — was asked if a monument should be built in honour of McGeady for earning the Parkhead club a reported £9m when he joined Spartak in 2010.

“A statue?” said the Celtic boss.

“You need to do a bit more at a club like ours to get a statue. Only people like Jock Stein and the great Jimmy Johnstone are worthy of that so far.”

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