Hibs boss Neil Lennon won’t be able to go anywhere near his team’s dressing room before or during Thursday’s Europa League second qualifying round clash against Brondby as they attempt to over-turn the Danish outfit’s one-goal lead from the first leg.
And Lennon won’t be allowed to communicate in any way with his right hand man Garry Parker or any others in the away dug-out, or attempt to issue any instructions to his players from his seat within the Brondby Stadion during the second leg.
Lennon was sent to the stand as he remonstrated with Spanish assistant referee Miguel Martinez after he ruled out what the Easter Road boss insisted was a “brilliant” equaliser by Jason Cummings.
Martinez deemed Cummings to be offside, but Lennon was adamant the 20-year-old had checked his run before meeting Martin Boyle’s pass. However, his protests cut little ice with referee Juan Martinez Munuera, who sent him packing, a decision Lennon described as “pathetic and a nonsense”.
However, in revealing they had “opened proceedings” against Lennon after his “dismissal from the bench”, UEFA confirmed the ex-Celtic manager would be hit with an automatic one-mach ban – and that could be increased.
Lennon had insisted he would fight any suspension, insisting he’d been sent to the stand for no reason, but UEFA also disclosed that their control, ethics and disciplinary body won’t deal with the case until the day of the second leg in Copenhagen.
Asked for clarification as to Lennon’s position in those circumstances, a UEFA official replied: “The coach is automatically suspended for at least one match following his dismissal. The disciplinary body has the power to take any decision.
“A possibility for appeal exists, but we need to wait for the disciplinary decision first on July 21.”
And the official revealed exactly what the ban entails citing Article 62(1) of the UEFA disciplinary regulations. He said: “This means that Mr Lennon may follow the game from the stands only; he may not enter the dressing room, tunnel or technical area before or during the match; and he may not communicate directly or indirectly with his players and/or technical staff during the game.”
However, while admitting he’d rather have his boss in the dug out, Hibs striker Grant Holt believes his absence won’t hinder his team too much. Holt, who played with Lennon at Nottingham Forest, said: “He’ll never lose that, will he? He can’t help himself.
“He want to win, he’s a winner. I’ve sat on the bench and I know you sit there and get frustrated watching the game and watching the officials. I don’t know what he said, but it’s good to see as a group that we all want to win.
“I think you always want him in the dug-out and he’ll want to be there. But he will set his side out and we all know what to expect. It does not matter if he’s stood in the dug-out or sitting in the stands, we know what he expects as a group. That’s what we work for day-in, day-out and on a Saturday it’s all about us rather than the manager.”