Lennon's Euro frustration

Neil Lennon says he is "baffled" by the fact his Celtic side have to play in a Champions League qualifier despite reaching the last 16 last season.

Last Updated: 17/07/13 at 20:59 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Feels Celtic should enter the Champions League at a later stage due

Neil Lennon: Feels Celtic should enter the Champions League at a later stage due

The Bhoys are currently in Belfast preparing for a Champions League second qualifying round first leg against Cliftonville on Wednesday evening.

The game comes just 53 days after their final game of last season, the 3-0 Scottish Cup final win over Hibernian, and just two weeks into their pre-season preparations.

Despite lifting their 44th SPL title last May, Lennon's men must begin their European adventure at this stage - one stage earlier than in 2012 - due to Scotland's position in UEFA's country ranking list.

It is all the more galling for the club given their memorable run to the knock-out stages of last season's competition, which included a famous win over Barcelona at Parkhead in November.

Lennon feels their exploits last campaign should be recognised by Europe's governing body with a later entry into this year's competition.

"I'm baffled that after beating Barcelona and reaching the last 16 we have an extra qualifier. It has to be looked at by UEFA," said the 42-year-old in the Daily Record.

"I don't think it's fair considering the season we had and the amount of games we played. We could be out by next week.

"We are champions of our country and reached the last 16 last season. There should be some dispensation for clubs who do well the previous season. It's really harsh we're playing so early."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e doesn't need a caoch. He needs a bus. A bloody big one, that he can park across the goal line. And when he gets one, he can do us a favour and let us know where we can buy one from as well.

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: No defence coach

Y

ou are wrong Per, thats the right way the play. Its everyone elses' fault that it doesnt work.

delboy
Mertesacker urges style change

A

s it's panto season coming soon, let me be the first Oh yes you do

munchie
Rodgers: No defence coach

Footer 365

La Liga: Carlo Ancelotti praises 'professional' Real Madrid after 3-1 Barcelona win

Carlo Ancelotti praised Real Madrid's "unique professionalism" after they came from a goal down to beat Barcelona.

Premier League: Mauricio Pochettino says Alan Pardew deserves more respect

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admits it is tough not to feel sorry for Newcastle counterpart Alan Pardew.

La Liga: Luis Enrique stands by Luis Suarez selection after Barcelona defeat

Luis Enrique defended his decision to start Luis Suarez against Real Madrid after his team slumped to a 3-1 defeat.

Mail Box

'Goals Like That Can Make You Pregnant'

Those being sniffy about Erik Lamela's rabona are given short shrift in the afternoon mailbox, where criticism of Brendan Rodgers is smashed out of the park...

Does David De Gea Need Competition?

It would certainly be a good idea to give Victor Valdes a contract, while we have more mails on Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, the rabona and mailbox gripes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property