Right now, Ian Durrant is keeping his head down.
Rightly so. But I am guessing that it will not be long before he pops up somewhere, either in a media role or back coaching at some club or another. I expect the newspapers to announce his next career move without commenting on his latest scandal.
Because this is Scottish football, the land without standards.
I am not suggesting for one second that Durrant be sine-die from the game, although if people in this country were serious about eradicating sectarianism instead of just paying lip-service to the idea the issue wouldn’t even arise because he’d be as shunned as Kevin Spacey at a Hollywood casting session.
His pals will scream “overkill” if I dare make such a statement; what I am saying is that those who next decide to employ him must take responsibility for the message it sends.
I am saying that they will give him the job knowing what he is.
That man has been exposed like Kyle Lafferty sending a selfie; he is an unreconstructed bigot.
It is by no means his first offence.
Nearly thirty years separate his arrest for sectarian signing in 1989 and the incident which was recently caught on camera, but the intervening years might as well not have happened at all for all the change they have wrought.
He was in his early 20’s then, a young lad who liked to live well and for whom, perhaps, you could make some excuse; what defence does he have now, aged 51? Durrant has refused to grow as a person. His views have not changed one bit. His behaviour and his belief systems remains as repellent as it was back then and nobody should be kidding themselves otherwise. The next organisation to hire him cannot plead ignorance of it.
I half suspect that he’ll wind up on McLeish’s team at the SFA.
Don’t ask me why, it’s just a feeling I have.
They don’t care up there anyway; misogynists are welcome, tax cheats are not frowned upon, but woe betide anyone who self-defines as a Celtic fan.
Here, you can get hounded out of an executive role with the governing body for something you joked about in an interview a dozen years ago but sectarianism is of no consequence. A national coach kept his job in spite of broadcasting his bigotry down a phone to a woman he was seeing.
Putting Durrant on the coaching team ain’t no thing next to that.
He has pals in the press box who will try to make sure he lands on his feet regardless.
They are welcome to defend him to their hearts content. They will say it’s out of character, but deep down they all know that it isn’t. Fresh from the Hall of Fame scandal that would have had our national sport honour a thug and racist, Durrant hardly stands out as an exceptional case. Ibrox produces this stuff like Coca Cola produces sugary drinks. He is a symptom of a disease that just will not go away because people would rather hide it than face up to it properly.
And so Durrant will soon be back amongst the gainfully employed, perhaps at a new club where he will be held up as a role model, and someone kids should aspire to follow. Whoever writes the cheques should ponder that before handing him his first pay packet.
The message it sends out is very clear; Scottish football has no real problem with this stuff.
Just please, spare us the talk about rehabilitation which will inevitably follow. Three decades made not one blind bit of difference to this guy; change would have happened long before now, and so I hold out no hope for some future enlightenment and nobody really believes there will be one. He has said sorry for the offence caused by the comments, but not for holding to the ideology that produced them. He is comfortable being what he is.
Whoever next gives him a job is saying they are comfortable with it too.
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