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Lennon maintains diplomacy

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has given a guarded response to the outcome of the inquiry which found Rangers guilty of making undisclosed payments to players.

Last Updated: 02/03/13 at 12:20 Post Comment

A three-man Scottish Premier League-appointed body - chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith - handed out a fine of £250,000 to Rangers for not disclosing side-letters to players between 2000-2011.

With Rangers' Oldco in liquidation the penalty will not be paid, but Lennon appeared baffled at claims of vindication from Ibrox after the verdict was passed.

Lennon said. "I only saw some snippets in the paper today. I believe they were found guilty of paying £47m over 11 years in non-disclosed payments. Am I surprised at that, no?

"As regards the competitive advantage they gained or didn't gain, a lot of other people will have a say on that, I have my own views on that but I will keep them to myself for now.

"I don't want to take anything away from what my team and club are doing. The way we behave, the way we do our business has been impeccable and that's the reason why we are in the position we are in now."

Celtic are on course to retain the title and have a Scottish Cup quarter-final against St Mirren on Saturday before travelling to Italy to face Juventus in the Champions League in midweek.

And the Hoops manager was back on the defensive when asked how Scottish football should now be looking to move forward in a positive and trusting manner.

"Listen, we have been nothing but positive, we have talked the game up all year, it is everybody else who has been talking about other things outside of our club," Lennon added.

"We have been a shining example to any other club this season, on and off the field. If people want to take the game forward, I am all for it, then they better get their finger out and do it.

"If you look at what we have done, I think a lot of the shine has been taken off that.

"But we have done nothing wrong, we have tried to promote the game not just domestically but also in Europe and I think we have done that very well so we don't have to do anything else.

"Other people have to stop talking and show more action."

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