Neil Lennon bans mobile phones from training ground – and reveals players breaking rules will be fined a week’s wages



Hibs head coach Neil Lennon admits he wants his players to be so focussed on winning the Championship that they will be fined a week’s wages if they are caught using a mobile phone at the training ground.

Former Celtic manager Lennon laid down the law on his first day in the job this summer when he told the squad that they must leave their gadgets in their cars when they report to the East Mains base.

The 45-year-old reckons there are too many distractions for players outside the game, including social media, and is also concerned that the younger generation are lacking basic communication skills.

(Pic: Twitter @HibsOfficial)
(Pic: Twitter @HibsOfficial)

It is a move that has paid off so far as the Leith side attempt to set a new record on Saturday when victory over Ayr United would see Hibs win their first six league games of a campaign for the first time ever.

Lennon, who has taken himself off Twitter, said: “Mobile phones are left in the cars.

“They are fined a week’s wages if they are caught using their mobile phones or are on social media.

“They are here at the training ground with their teammates, who are their pals and they should be communicating with each other.

“The last thing I want to see is somebody using a phone or a lap-top.

“There are too many players who have no social skills anymore because they have been brought up in the social media environment and era.

“It is my own observations and we did not have that when we were playing, as football was your focus.

“Any issues they have away from the club are left in the cars. I don’t want any outside influences annoying them.

“The only influence is me. This is where they come and play football – they are footballers after all.

“I don’t care what the players say – it is my rules, my house, my ball.

“They have to accept that. Is it a major thing? I don’t think so. For some it may have been a case of cold turkey for a couple of weeks.

“When they go out of the gate they can do what they like. They are not allowed to tweet things regarding the club obviously.

“I can’t stop them from doing things they want to do as I don’t rule their life for them.

“In terms of football and the social aspect of things, I can control what goes on in here and I think that works.”

Lennon, who is still running the rule over former Birmingham City right-back Neal Eardley, insists he is not a taskmaster, despite admitting he is always on top of the players on the training ground to ensure that complacency does not set in following a flawless league start.

He said: “I am very grumpy. I have a laugh and a joke with them but there is a time and a place for it.

“The training ground is their place of work and the rest of the place is their environment.

“I don’t want then worrying about coming into work, I want them to come in with a smile on their face.

“I am not a massive disciplinarian but they have standards that I want them to maintain.

“They have to retain their focus. They can manage themselves on the pitch but I don’t think they’re good enough to be complacent.”