JOHN Hartson has expressed his surprise that his fellow BT Sport pundits Neil Lennon and Chris Sutton were prohibited from attending Ibrox by Rangers last week.

And he has stated that Celtic would never “stoop so low” and stop Rangers greats like Kris Boyd and Ally McCoist from carrying out their media duties at Parkhead.

BT last week confirmed that Lennon and Sutton had been barred from working at the Scottish champions’ Europa League group game against Lyon due to “security concerns”.

The broadcaster changed the arrangements for their coverage of that match and the Celtic encounter against Real Betis in Spain earlier on Thursday evening.

Rangers responded by insisting they had “complied with all UEFA contractual obligations to facilitate BT as host broadcaster”.

Speaking at his charity foundation’s golf day at Turnberry yesterday, former Celtic striker Hartson stressed he had attended the Govan ground on many occasions without any issues arising. 

Glasgow Times:

“I was surprised what happened,” he said. “I’ve been working at Ibrox for years and never had any problems. 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.”

Hartson added: “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.”


John Hartson was speaking at The John Hartson Foundation Golf Day at Turnberry. The Hartson Foundation supports various cancer charities around the UK.