Football - Lennon buoyed by `productive' SFA meeting

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has revealed he was encouraged by Monday's meeting with the Scottish Football Association's compliance officer, Vincent Lunny.

A delegation of Scottish Premier League managers, including Steve Lomas, Kenny Shiels and Jim Jefferies, met with Lunny at Hampden following a recent plea by Lennon for better communication between bosses, referees and the SFA and clearer guidelines on acceptable behaviour.

Lennon has not been in trouble this season but fellow Irishmen Lomas and Shiels have found themselves in hot water recently. St Johnstone manager Lomas, currently subject of an eight-match touchline ban, faces further sanctions after being called before an SFA disciplinary hearing later this month for kicking a water bottle during his team's 1-0 defeat against Hibernian on 28 November.

Kilmarnock manager Shiels has been served with two separate notices of complaint from the Scottish FA.

The Rugby Park boss has to explain critical remarks made about referee Euan Norris after his side's defeat to Inverness on 3 November, and he faces further scrutiny after protesting against the red card shown to his captain Manuel Pascali during a home defeat to St Johnstone last month.

Lunny will meet with all the SPL bosses in the new year but Lennon believes progress has already been made in a bid to eradicate some of the tension between managers and the authorities.

"It was very productive," he said, ahead of Wednesday night's William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round replay against Arbroath at Gayfield Park.

"It wasn't a question of any heated arguments, it was just points being put across from both sides and John Fleming (SFA's head of referee development) came in for the last hour or so.

"Alex Smith, head of the managers' association, was there and we are hoping to draw up a few proposals to take to Vincent and see where that takes us.

"One rule was brought up, (what can be said in post-match press conferences) we feel that there is a vague sort of grey areas in the rules and sanctions on managers as well.

"I don't want to go into in-depth because there was a lot of things said that will remain private but it was very productive."