They say that even a broken clock is right twice a day, and yesterday the SFA proved it by actually being right twice in one day … on the surface anyway.
Actually, I believe that what happened in both cases was that they completely lost their bottle.
It doesn’t matter than in both instances they were correct. The rightness of someone’s particular case has never stopped them riding roughshod over people, and the wrongness of something doesn’t always inspire them to act.
The two cases they got spot on yesterday were those of Neil Lennon and Scott Brown.
The media had tried to raise issues regarding both. Sevco fans went nuts over Lennon at Ibrox and were frothing at the possibility that Brown might be done by TV evidence over a minor, nothing, incident at Hamilton on Friday night.
Neither case will be referred to the disciplinary committee.
Neither case deserved to be.
The press demonization of both Neil Lennon and Scott Brown goes back a long way, and has been truly atrocious to behold at times. Neil has been a target of theirs for many, many years. Brown seems to pop in and out of their collective subconscious. But the narrative on Brown is the same as it was for Neil the player; that this is a footballer who plays in the dirty end of the field. It is a laughable assertion as I have pointed out many times.
Before the Scotland double header recently, much was made of Brown “being on a booking” and one yellow card away from a ban. That’s a fact. He was. But I was delighted to hear Scott answer that in the press by drawing attention to something I’ve previously noted on here; Scott always knows where the line is and when to draw it.
I’ve watched this guy on multiple occasions as he sails close to the wind. He can pick up a booking early on in a game and I never worry that he will pick up the second yellow which leads to the red. He is a model pro, and has immense self-control and poise.
He is also cheeky, but he will not suffer fools.
The parallels with Lennon are obvious, but of course there is simply no comparison between the treatment Scott gets with that which Neil has to put up with; our former manager gets a thousand times the scrutiny and the vitriol.
Sevco fans will not have known what to be more incensed about yesterday; that Lennon had been let off with mocking their bile filled support or that Brown would be available to lead the team out at Ibrox in the match at the end of the month.
Some in the media wanted both men done, but they won’t make a big deal out of it because they’ve been kept sweet by Regan’s focus on other things and nor will they explore the reasons why these two separate cases weren’t even put in front of the panel.
It’s because of fear. Lennon has not hesitated to use his lawyers rather than the “official” reps in the past and Celtic won the last Brown case and could look at plenty of prior precedent and call into question any effort to have Scott done this time.
Disciplinary cases would have been exercises in futility.
There would have been no guilty verdict in either one. The legal teams would have made sure of it.
For all that, the decision not to proceed with them was correct, procedurally and morally. Lennon was the subject of a torrent of abuse at Ibrox that day and the clowns who responded by wanting him done have been shown up as halfwits and goons. It would have been a travesty to discipline someone for giving neds in the stand a little of their own medicine. Perhaps Lenny’s example will encourage others on the touchline to stand up against such abuse.
Brown continues to be the quintessential Sevco hate figure.
They thought was out of the last Ibrox match only for him to roll up and dominate proceedings. They had thought he would be out of this one after some in the press made a song and dance about nothing. As before, Brown will be there on the day. And he will dominate as before.