spoke of his ordeal at being the victim of a bomb threat, saying how it has affected his personal life and admitting he will consider quitting his position as Celtic
manager if the situation happens again.
It was revealed this week that Lennon, his lawyer Paul McBride and the Celtic-supporting former MSP Trish Godman were the intended recipients of explosive devices. For Lennon, it is merely the latest – if most high profile – security incident against him. "I probably listen to advice from security people more than anything else," Lennon said. "If this was to escalate further then I would seriously have to reconsider my position."
While Lennon insisted he had no immediate plans to step down he spoke emotively about the way it has affected his everyday life. He is clear that his background as a Catholic and a Northern Irishman at Celtic fuels plenty of the treatment he is subjected to. As a player with the Parkhead club, Lennon was routinely a target for opposing fan. "It's just another chapter in what has been a tumultuous 10 years regarding things away from football," Celtic's manager said. "I never envisaged coming here would create such hatred for myself or my persona as it has done. I don't know what it is that brings the worst out in people when it comes to myself."
In direct reference to why he attracts unwanted attention, Lennon said: "People have their theories. I was an aggressive footballer, blah blah. But they cannot have that theory now. It's obviously something else. And we all know what it is. I had 14 years in England with a completely peaceful, calm lifestyle. I could walk down the street without any hassle. It was a nice way to live your life."
Now, Lennon has security focus on his every move. "I can do my job okay but living a normal life is a bit different," he explained. "I have had to change a bit of my lifestyle obviously, and reassure my family that things are going to be okay.
"This has gone on another level, in terms of this package. This has taken the security levels through the roof. I am not under armed guard or anything like that but we have had to curtail a few things and change things about my lifestyle which is unfortunate. But I am hoping things can be brought to a head.
"It's uncomfortable seeing yourself on the hour, every hour on Sky News or BBC News. It's a surreal feeling. I have not had that since the death threat when I quit playing [for Northern Ireland] in 2002. There is a disconcerting element to it."
Admirably, Lennon appears to have conducted his work as normal throughout this turbulent period. If he harbours deep-rooted resentment, he hides it well.
"I'm not a bitter person," Lennon said. "I'm too busy to be bitter. I'm too busy trying to achieve things. I have so many challenges in my life to look forward to and I can leave things behind. People who are bitter get left behind in life. I've always looked ahead. I have had a few regrets in my life in football and private life, but I've a lot to look forward to and I have no time to be bitter. You get offered the Celtic job once in a lifetime and you take all the crap that goes with it," he added. "By that I mean criticism in the press, but I get things a little bit differently. But I said that it's a great privilege to manage this club and I want to do it for a while.
"I have never once thought about walking away. It has not deterred me from what I have to do and my job here. It's been the greatest privilege of my life. I am totally committed to what I want to do."
The 39-year-old hopes the shock surrounding the affair can trigger some positive impact, directly related to the wider issue of bigotry. Walter Smith, the Rangers
manager, became the latest figure to express his outrage over the explosives affair on Friday.
"I think we are coming to a zenith on this," Lennon said. "I think there will be condemnation from all aspects in Scotland – at least I'd like to think so. Hopefully, all this rubbish can stop. It has nothing to do with football and we are all fed up with it. We're all fed up with the singing, fed up with the abuse and we just want to do our jobs. I'd like to think that we've reached a tipping point."
Smith endorsed sentiment he stated earlier in the season, that the Old Firm environment is too troublesome to enjoy. The soon-to-depart Rangers manager and his wife have been briefed by police over their own safety in recent days. Smith went so far as to say the unpleasant backdrop would have led to him questioning his position in the summer anyway, were he not already committed to leaving Rangers.
"After the happenings of the last week, I'll be delighted it's my last one," said Smith of Sunday's Old Firm game. "In the 20 years I've been involved [at Rangers] and being from the west of Scotland, I've never known a week quite like this. It's sad."
Lennon's full focus, then, is on the small matter of a crucial trip to Ibrox. "There might be a few sympathetic voices in the ground, which would be nice," he said. "But I am not looking for sympathy. I am looking to go there and win a football match."