Monday 11 December 2017

Hearts take measures to avoid repeat of Lennon altercation

Lisa Gray

Hearts have taken steps to avoid a repeat of the scenes which saw Celtic manager Neil Lennon allegedly attacked by a fan at Tynecastle.

Former Northern Ireland international Lennon was approached by the supporter while on the touchline during a crunch SPL encounter on May 11.

The Hoops won the match 3-0, but just after Gary Hooper had slotted in his second goal of the night, a man emerged from the Tynecastle stand and appeared to aim a punch at Lennon.

As a result of the incident, Celtic's ticket allocation will be reduced by around 400 for the next match at the ground on October 1 to create two 'clear' zones in the Roseburn Stand.

There will also be an increase in the number of stewards around both dug-out areas. The measures are outlined in a letter which the Edinburgh club has sent to supporters.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Hearts has written to supporters outlining actions which the club will take next season to help eradicate unacceptable behaviour at Tynecastle Stadium.

investigation

"The move comes following Hearts' own investigation into the events which marred the Clydesdale Bank Premier League game with Celtic on May 11.

"Included in the letter to the fans is confirmation of a life-ban for the supporter who allegedly assaulted Neil Lennon and news that the club will reduce the Parkhead outfit's ticket allocation by around 400 for the next match at Tynecastle, scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 1.

"This will create two 'clear' zones at the lower corners of the Roseburn Stand, which will help reduce potential flashpoints.

"The lower Main Stand and Wheatfield Stand Lower G will now only be accessible to season-ticket holders, with no matchday ticket sales available in these areas.

"With the club keen to ensure there is no repeat of the scenes of last month, there will also be increased stewarding around both dugouts."

A Hearts spokesperson said: "These plans will be put in place in advance of the next match versus Celtic at Tynecastle and have the support of both the police and the stewards. We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour of any sort by home or away fans."

CELTIC FIXTURES

July 23: Hibernian (a); August 6: Aberdeen (a); Aug 13: Dundee Utd (h); Aug 21: St Johnstone (h); Aug 28: St Mirren (a); September 10: Motherwell (h); Sept 17: Rangers 9 (a); Sept 24: Inverness CT (h); October 1 Hearts (a); Oct 15: Kilmarnock (a); Oct 22: Aberdeen (h); Oct 29: Hibernian (h). November 5: Motherwell (a); Nov 19: Inverness CT (a); Nov 26: St Mirren (h); December 3: Dundee Utd (a); Dec 10: Hearts (a); Dec 17: St Johnstone (a); Dec 24: Kilmarnock (h); Dec 28: Rangers (h); January 2: Dunfermline (a); Jan 14: Dundee Utd (h); Jan 21: St Mirren (a); Jan 28: Hearts (a); February 11: Inverness CT (h); Feb 18: Hibernian (a); Feb 25: Motherwell (a); March 3: Aberdeen (a); March 17: Dunfermline (h); March 24 Rangers (a); March 31: St Johnstone (h); April 7: Kilmarnock (a).

Irish Independent

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