The Daily Record apologises to Celtic FC for describing Neil Lennon as 'hated'

The Daily Record has apologised to Celtic FC for a headline in Saturday’s paper as part of the build-up to yesterday’s Old Firm match which used the word “hated”.

The 'hated' headline

In a prominent apology at the top of its back-page sports coverage under the heading: ‘We’re sorry’ the Trinity Mirror tabloid points out: “This has caused dismay and anger and it was wrong.

“We apologise for any offence this may have caused Neil Lennon [the Celtic FC manager], his family and also supporters.

“The Daily Record has a history of condemning intolerance in all its forms.

“Our headline was a misjudgement and it was not intended to stoke up feelings ahead of yesterday’s match.”

The website allmediascotland at the weekend revealed that an apology was demanded from the Daily Record by Celtic FC prior to the match against Rangers FC at Ibrox following the offending headline.

Allmediascotland reported: “The headline asked who is more hated at Rangers' home of Ibrox: the taxman (over continuing issues between Rangers and HM Revenue & Customs) or Celtic manager, Neil Lennon?

“It comes in the wake of bomb and bullet threats sent to Lennon last season.

Then in a statement on its website, Celtic FC said: "Clearly, given the year Neil Lennon and his family have experienced - with bombs, bullets, death threats and physical assaults - this kind of reporting is inflammatory, highly irresponsible and quite simply offensive.

“For this newspaper to treat the matter in this insensitive and ill-judged manner is astonishing."

The statement added: "Neil Lennon, his coaching staff and the Celtic players are very disappointed at this reporting and have jointly decided that they will not be co-operating with journalists from The Daily Record.

"It is only right that the newspaper delivers a suitable retraction and apology."

The BBC had reported that during his BBC Radio Scotland football phone-in show on Saturday evening, the Daily Record's sports editor, Jim Traynor, who co-hosts the show, was quoted as saying: "I am not defending [the headline].

“I can't defend it. I would have pulled [it]. I think the headline is wrong. The paper will be dealing with this properly tomorrow before we address Monday's paper and we will also deal with Celtic's statement tomorrow."

Daily Record sports reporters covered the match at Ibrox yesterday and the redtop carries a seven-page special on the game today.

Rangers won the match 4-2.

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