Ian Maxwell has had a bit of a first week. As expected, Sevco is putting the pressure on Scottish football’s new supremo and in a fashion that shows them up as an egomaniacal club which is hell bent on never being punished for any of its past sins.
One of the things Maxwell was asked in an interview last week was in relation to the decisions Stewart Regan made, and he went out of his way to be diplomatic whilst also making clear that his own tenure would be guided only by what was in the rulebook. That is music to all of our ears, although some of what’s in the rules has to change.
All we ever wanted was someone at the SFA who behaved honourably and treated every club the same way. Had that been the case when Regan was in charge, we would not have some of the mess we do right now. Maxwell already sounds like a man we can get behind. But talk is cheap, as every single one of us knows full well.
Regan left behind a Hell of a mess, and it is Maxwell’s job to fix that. He might not want to discuss Stewart Regan, but it’s his responsibility now to right those wrongs and learn from those days everything that he’s able. Scottish football cannot move on without a reckoning, and Celtic has called for an inquiry into the whole affair.
Maxwell must be put on the spot over that. Celtic must renew its demand, and I suspect that when the European license issue resolves itself that we will. If it’s framed correctly, as an inquiry into the conduct of the SFA itself, we’ll get broad support and I would hope that it would come from Ibrox as much as anywhere else, if they don’t spin a conspiracy theory out of it.
I understand that decorum prevents Maxwell, in his first week, from thoroughly scorching the work of the man who came before him, but there are good reasons why Regan is not currently in his post. I do believe Celtic decided he was finished when he refused our inquiry request. From that point on he was a dead man walking. But Maxwell is no stranger to that period. He knows what was going on. He has impressed Lawwell and others enough that he’s now the man at the helm. He has to know that our club was, and remains, in the right.
So although he doesn’t want to slag off Regan he nevertheless knows that something was rotten about the whole thing and that we need to get to the bottom of it. His responsibility is not to protect the man who once sat in his chair but to represent the best interests of the Scottish game itself, and those are not well served by sweeping things under the carpet.
It’s time for that reckoning. He knows this. He knew it when he took the job. It will happen on his watch or his watch will deepen the anger … and a generation of us will forever see the organisation as corrupt and our national sport as mired in the scandal.
There is no way to skip over this. Scottish football has to face up to it, tackle it head on and put it to bed forevermore. It will happen one day. Those titles will go. Restitution will be made. The historical record will be made right … and people will acknowledge the mistakes that were made and the rules that were bent to enable them.
Maxwell may not want this responsibility, but it goes with the job and he took it willingly.
There will be no excuses for any failure to act.