Neil Lennon: Celtic's decision to close part of ground for Rennes 'right decision'

Fans in rows A-M will be affected by the closure after a series of Uefa fines
Fans in rows A-M will be affected by the closure after a series of Uefa fines

Celtic's decision to close part of their stadium for Thursday's Europa League tie with Rennes is "not ideal" but the "right decision", says manager Neil Lennon.

Part of the standing section which houses the Green Brigade ultras will be empty in response to another Uefa fine.

The Scottish champions have been punished three times this season with a further charge pending.

"We feel it's the right decision," Lennon said.

"We'll miss those fans because they bring so much to the stadium and we're hoping that they'll come back pretty soon.

"It's not ideal but we have to think of the safety of supporters. We also have to follow the rules and regulations of Uefa and the competition.

"It's a short-term issue hopefully. We want the fans back in. But they have to understand there are rules and regulations the club have to adhere to."

At the club's AGM on Wednesday, chief executive Peter Lawwell revealed misbehaviour by fans have cost the club more than 500,000 euros in Uefa fines.

They were fined £12,900 on Friday after fans displayed an "illicit banner" and sang obscene chants during their Europa League game against Lazio in Glasgow last month.

The club has also been charged for fans setting off pyrotechnics in the reverse fixture in Rome with a hearing set for 12 December - their 20th since 2007.

"For the vast majority of times over there it is colour, atmosphere, energy and youth," Lawwell said. "It's fantastic but there are times when a small minority let us down.

"The unfortunately concerning thing for us, is that they don't seem to believe they are doing anything wrong.

"You see a banner or hear a song and your heart just sinks. That's not who we are and it does give our enemies the opportunity to class us the same as other clubs and portray us as two side of the one coin which we are not. We are different."

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport