Celtic manager Neil Lennon was left angry by referee Callum Murray’s decision to send him to the stand for the second half of his team’s Old Firm derby defeat to Rangers.
The Hoops boss watched the game from the Ibrox media room after voicing his displeasure at the official’s first-half performance.
Murray sent off Celtic defender Cha Du-Ri for a foul on Lee Wallace in the first half before dismissing Victor Wanyama and Rangers’ Carlos Bocanegra after the interval.
Rangers won the match 3-2 but afterwards Lennon was angry that he had been prevented from returning to the dugout.
Speaking to the media the Northern Irishman called his treatment ‘a joke’, claiming the whistler refused to speak to him after the match.
On the red cards shown to his players, he said: “The first one is not a sending off, the second one is borderline probably, you can’t tackle like that. My sending off is a joke.
“I spoke quite quietly and coldly to the referee in the tunnel. I didn’t swear, I didn’t point any fingers and I’ve got witnesses.
“I did my team talk at half-time and I’m walking back out, I got called to the referee’s room and I can’t do my job and that to me is the most galling one of the lot.”
South Korean defender Cha was first to see red on 28 minutes with Rangers already ahead.
Lennon said: “I can’t for the life of me see how that’s a red card. He’s going away from goal, I’m not even sure he’s going to get the ball and the contact is minimal.
“Charlie Mulgrew is getting over and it changes the game. We’re a man down and a goal down.”
The Hoops boss also took issue with Rangers’ second goal, claiming it should have been ruled out for offside.
Lennon offered his congratulations to Ally McCoist’s men but said he felt the day had been spoiled by his row with the referee.
Commenting on his conversation with Murray, he added: “I do my team talk at half-time, I walk back out and got called into the referee's room. I have been deprived of doing my job properly when my team needed me. I am very angry about that.
“I said what was wrong with my behaviour in the tunnel? I didn’t get an answer.
“After the game I said I wanted to see him (Murray). I got a message back to wait 20 minutes but the referee wouldn’t see me.
“Who is accountable? Why do I not get an explanation in the biggest game of the season?
“I have to be very careful with what I say.
“I want some answers and I’m not getting them and as manager of the football club I think I deserve that.
“I was speaking to the delegate after the game and their version of events in the tunnel are different from mine and I’ve got witnesses to back mine up.”