Yesterday Scott Brown publicly offered his support to Leigh Griffiths in the expanding row between the player and the “national coach.”
What made that all the more remarkable is that Brown’s intervention was part of a wider interview, but that it was the Griffiths section the club chose to highlight on the website.
This was not an off-cuff decision.
As some in the media have hinted, Griffiths has widespread support within the ranks of the national side, and he has the unflinching, full-throated support of the club.
In using the official website to report Brown’s comments the club was publicly offering its own. This is a significant move, for a number of reasons.
We’re not best pleased with the governing bodies at the moment, as everyone is well aware. But our biggest issues, as they stand at the moment, are with the SPFL and not the SFA.
Nevertheless, people at Celtic Park, and especially the manager, are watching the way our internationals are being treated under McLeish and although it gives our players the breaks they need when not being selected, the constant drip-drip-drip of negativity cannot be ignored.
It’s all designed to undermine the confidence of the likes of Forrest, McGregor, Griffiths, Tierney, Gordon and Jack.
Aside from the Griffiths issue, it is summed up most clearly in the remarks from James McFadden the other day about he and McLeish being unsure where Forrest might fit into the team; how about wide right, where he plays for Celtic, and scored four at the weekend?
If they need help I can provide diagrams.
As Joe McHugh pointed out yesterday, McLeish has no interest in resolving this situation amicably. In what was certainly not a throwaway remark, he brought up “issues in (Griffiths) private life” yesterday; a quite scandalous comment to make and one I am sure he would not welcome if such was pointed in his own direction.
He has his own “issues” including a hefty bill from HMRC; fortunately for him, the SFA was on hand to throw him a job to help him with the rent money.
Perhaps that’s their plan for all the recipients of EBT’s; having failed to punish the club that did it or the one that took its place, maybe the policy is to forgive and forget on a much grander scale. Can we look forward to debenture holders and Tartan Army members being asked to chip in for the rest of the Rangers squads of that era?
Because that’s increasingly what giving McLeish this job looks like; an act of charity for someone who was involved in a tax scam.
Not meaning to get personal or anything.
You can discuss this and and all the other stories by signing up at the Celtic Noise forum at the above link. This site is one of the three that has pushed for the forum and we urge all this blog’s readers to join it. Show your support for real change in Scottish football, by adding your voice to the debate.