Hibs boss Neil Lennon: SFA hearing date is bang out of order
Neil Lennon has revealed he'll ask the SFA to postpone the disciplinary hearing which threatens to leave him sitting in the stand for Hibs' Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen later this month, describing the timing as 'bang out of order'.
The Easter Road boss and his Morton counterpart Jim Duffy were sent packing by referee Nick Walsh following the bust-up at the end of last week’s match between the clubs in which Darren McGregor and the Greenock outfit’s Kudus Oyenuga were red carded.
However, while McGregor won an appeal against that decision only days after the SFA’s compliance officer Tony McGlennan had ruled Oyenuga – banned for two matches for the reckless challenge on Jordon Forster which sparked the mayhem – would face no further action after being accused of feigning injury to have the Hibs defender sent off, Lennon and Duffy will have to wait almost another fortnight before they are dealt with.
They’ve been summoned to Hampden on April 20 to answer charges, brought by McGlennan, of acting aggressively towards each other. But that is just two days before cup holders Hibs are due to face the Dons at the same venue.
Today Lennon, who strongly insists he did nothing wrong, admitted he was bemused by the delay while pointing out a Thursday is an important day in any club’s match preparation let alone a cup semi-final.
He said: “I’m not happy with the date. I don’t understand why it can’t be done now, or on Monday or Tuesday. I will go and defend myself. I will look to get it delayed because if it’s on a Thursday before a semi-final and they deem me guilty of something – whatever that is – then I miss the semi-final.
“I think that’s totally unfair. Bang out of order. Why is it delayed to the 20th? The players have been dealt with so why can’t we be dealt with? What more do they need to look at?”
When it was put to him that Thursday is an important day in any club’s week, Lennon replied: “It would be, yes. You could say that because we are playing a team [Aberdeen] who are in as good form as Celtic at the minute. The semi is very important for this club and, if I’m not allowed to do my job for something I feel unjustifiably punished for, I will not be happy.”
As far as McGregor was concerned, Lennon was adamant the right outcome had eventually been reached with Walsh, it is understood, reviewing the incident and downgrading his offence to a yellow card before his appeal was heard by a three-man panel at Hampden.
He said: “The referee’s report says he’s 15 metres away from the incident, which is 40 yards. So I know who had the better view of it all.
“Darren’s had his red card rescinded and it’s totally justified. But there has to be questions asked about why he was sent off.”