Sir Rod Stewart ‘heartbroken and disgusted’ by Celtic fan protests as Rangers legend Ally McCoist slams ‘absolutely embarrassing’ Parkhead mob
Sir Rod Stewart has told talkSPORT he was left ‘heartbroken and disgusted’ by the group of Celtic fans who hurled insults and missiles at their own players, after the Hoops’ long run of successive domestic trophies came to an undignified end.
And the legendary rocker has also called for under-fire manager Neil Lennon to stay for at least the rest of the season, claiming no other manager would ‘touch the job with a barge pole’ at the moment.
Celtic’s nightmare season continued as they crashed out of the Scottish League Cup at home to Ross County on Sunday.
The shock result came after back-to-back 4-1 defeats in the Europa League to Sparta Prague, and heaped further pressure on manager Lennon, who is facing calls to resign.
And a mob of hundreds of angry fans turned on their team outside Celtic Park after the match, waiting outside the ground for the players and coach to arrive before jeering, throwing missiles and trying to break down fences to get to them.
Police officers were injured in the affray and Celtic released a strongly-worded statement condemning their behaviour.
Disturbing footage of the scenes soon appeared online, showing supporters clashing with the Scottish authorities.
And lifelong Celts fan Stewart said the scenes ‘brought terrible shame’ on their club.
“I’m absolutely heartbroken, not only with the result yesterday but just all-round,” the rock and roll legend told talkSPORT host Jim White.
“I’m heartbroken and disgusted. In all my years as a Celtic supporter I’ve never seen anything like that.
“Missiles being thrown at the players, it’s shameful; it makes the club look so irresponsible and it’s a proud old club.
“I think it’s small minority of the Green Brigade, but it’s unacceptable. They’ve brought terrible shame on the club.
“They do quite a lot when we’ve gone away. We’ve been fined over half a million pounds for the Green Brigade’s activities with fireworks and things – we could have bought another player for that!
“It’s not all of them, it’s small minority. The Green Brigade have brought a lot of colour and atmosphere to Celtic Park, but they’ve got to behave themselves.
“There’s a small crowd that want trouble; that’s what happened last night and it’s shameful, it really is.”
Rangers legend Ally McCoist also weighed in, and said the majority of ‘great and good Celtic fans’ would have been cringing at the scenes.
“They weren’t supporters, they were an absolute embarrassment to Celtic Football Club and the thousands of great and good Celtic supporters across the world,” the former striker said on Monday’s talkSPORT Breakfast.
“They must have been looking and absolutely cringing.
“I cant believe the arrogance – who do they think they are?!
“Celtic went on a domestic run where they won ten or 11 trophies in a row, but they get knocked out of one cup and they react like that?!
“It’s absolutely embarrassing!”
While it appears calls for Lennon to depart Celtic Park are gathering pace, Stewart believes the club would be better off sticking with the boss.
Angry fans have urged the club to sack Lennon and bring in a replacement to rescue their hopes of winning ten titles in a row, with Rangers currently 11 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
But, despite links with the likes of ex-Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe – and even Paulo Di Canio – Sir Rod claims few top coaches would be interested in the job.
“Unless they have someone lined up to take Lennon’s place, I don’t think anyone would touch it would a bargepole,” he added.
“To take over Celtic halfway through the season, 11 points behind Rangers, it’s got to be a tough man to do it. So I would let Lenny finish the season.
“I think we owe it to him, I think he still can turn it around, more players have got to come in.
“I’m just shocked. Shocked, shocked, shocked.
“I don’t think there’s anybody who can take his place. I don’t think Eddie Howe would touch it, I really don’t.
“I think if anybody wanted the job they’d be desperate for work. I don’t think we should have a foreign manager. I think we’ve got to have a Scot or a Brit, someone who understands what this ten in a row means to Celtic and Celtic supporters.
“I’m afraid there are a few players who don’t want to be there and don’t really understand what this ten in a row means, and they’re not giving 100 per cent.”