JOHN HARTSON has claimed he was very surprised at seeing both Neil Lennon and Chris Sutton locked out of Ibrox on Thursday.

His former teammates were booked to talk Celtic for their away game against Real Betis in Spain. BT Sport emanate from a studio in either Ibrox or Celtic Park – depending on who is playing at home that week.

Hartson said he’s been to Ibrox as a pundit and never had any issues. The Welshman admits he gets a bit of stick at times from the home crowd but that’s par for the course.

“I was surprised by what happened. I’ve been working at Ibrox for years and never had any issues.” Hartson told RecordSport.

“You get a bit of stick of course, but that’s how it goes.

“I don’t think it should have happened, not letting two pundits in to the ground to do their work as professionals.

“I don’t think Celtic would stoop so low to ban people like Ally McCoist or Kris Boyd when they are doing their Sky gigs.

“I’ve worked with them at Celtic Park, they might get the odd boos and stuff but that’s life.

“That’s what you sign up to when you play for the Old Firm. I can be putting petrol in my car and get called a legend one minute, but the next time I stop I get called something else entirely.

“You live with it. But I just can’t get my head around this at Ibrox.

“I was just so unnecessary and the explanation was a strange one talking about security issues.”

BT Sports we’re unhappy by the decision not to allow their chosen pundits into the stadium. It’s embarrassing and looks horrible from the outside looking into Scottish football.

A lot of the media themselves in Scotland haven’t even batted an eyelid when it comes to the ban – they’re either too worried to get a ban themselves or are used to this kind of petty nonsense; both depressing reasons.

It will be interesting to see what BT Sport do next; they can’t be seen to allow this sort of behaviour to slide by any club under the UEFA banner – they’re paying a lot of money for the rights and production.

Had any member of the media spread lies or disinformation about the club – they might have grounds for a ban. But to not allow them in because they’re two ex-Celtic players and you’re not a fan of their opinion coupled with you think your fans can’t behave, it’s not a good look.


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