Celtic manager Neil Lennon has lamented the numerous fines that the club has had to pay to UEFA due to repeated indiscretions from some supporters.
The Hoops were fined £12,900 by UEFA last week after an “illicit banner” was displayed and offensive chanting was heard from some of the home support at Parkhead against Lazio last month. [via Sky Sports]
Celtic subsequently took the decision to close the rail seating section at their ground for tonight’s Europa League game against Rennes (as per Sky Sports), with chief executive Peter Lawwell claiming that the club have paid roughly €500,000 (£426,125) in fines to UEFA, as reported by the Daily Record.
In light of that revelation, Lennon said: “It’s fair to say we could have bought a player for that amount of money. It’s all going to UEFA.” [via Daily Record]
UEFA have already imposed three fines on Celtic this season: the one against Lazio follows on from an £11,000 punishment for setting off flares and throwing objects in the away win at AIK in August and a £10,400 fine for flares being lit during the 2-0 home win over CFR Cluj in October. [via Sky Sports]
According to the Daily Record, they are also set to be charged by UEFA over the use of pyrotechnics by some Celtic fans during the win at Lazio earlier this month, which would be their 20th charge by European football’s governing body.
The club have already been forced to pay £34,300 to UEFA for the three fines incurred this season – more than the reported £30,000-a-week wage of Scott Sinclair, one of Celtic’s highest-paid players, according to the Daily Record.
Lennon’s claim that the Hoops could have bought another player from the £426,125 claimed by Lawwell to have been paid in UEFA fines over the years is perhaps a stretch given that only five members of his first-team squad have a TransferMarkt valuation of less than that amount and all five are aged 21 or under.
However, in the context of Odsonne Edouard being their record signing at £9m (as per Sky Sports), Lawwell’s stated sum of nearly half a million pounds is not inconsiderable when such an amount could be the difference between Celtic making an improved offer for a player or being forced to pull out of a prospective deal.
While Lennon’s claim that Celtic could have bought another player from the amount paid in fines to UEFA is hypothetical, the frequency with which the club has been hit by charges from the European organisation is alarming.
If these indiscretions continue to occur, UEFA might decide to clamp down by making the Hoops play matches behind closed doors, having imposed such a sentence on some teams around Europe recently (as per UEFA.com).
That would deprive Celtic of income from gate receipts and be a further unnecessary financial burden to shoulder on top of the multitude of fines, so Lennon has every right to be frustrated with the continued acts of misconduct from some spectators.
Celtic fans, what did you make of Lennon’s remarks about the fines imposed on the club? Comment below with your views!
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