For the last three or four years, as the most appalling stuff has proliferated on social media, I have refused to address it directly.
There were good reasons for that.
Firstly, nobody in their right mind would have published a word that potentially jeopardized ongoing legal cases, which we all wanted to end in convictions and heavy jail sentences. On top of that I knew our club was being proactive behind the scenes, meeting with people and co-operating with the police.
The process was ongoing. It still is.
The club wanted that kept quiet.
I understand some of those who spent the last 48 hours screaming for statements; others are either hysterical fools or people pushing an agenda. I knew our club would speak out. I had a feeling they would make their private work known.
Neither the statement nor its content was a surprise in any way.
This is a complex, difficult, issue. Everyone who is involved, and who genuinely cares about the victims, knew that these matters had to be handled with sensitivity, and privacy. These are not matters to be splattered about in the tabloids, or for the gratification of vultures, far less the satisfaction of vile bastards who preach concern but who only want to see the word Celtic and the word scandal in the same headline.
The media’s thirst for sensationalism is something the club knew it would have to deal with.
They knew our prior silence would be used to infer guilt of some sort, but they maintained it because in the circumstances it was the right thing to do.
Innuendo is rife in the published articles on this matter; to Hell with what is true, and especially when none of those they have obliquely linked to these crimes is likely to sue.
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room; we all know that some people do have questions to answer, but their names are absent in the reportage, whilst the hacks go after easier prey. I am not surprised at that either.
To put my thoughts on it out there, as I can now that Celtic has spoken, if evidence exists that people knew more than they let on and allowed crimes to happen on their watch I want them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and so do the people who work in Celtic Park.
Otherwise the media should cease with its campaign of smear.
You don’t have to identify somebody to blacken their name.
Unscrupulous individuals and titles can publish pictures without commentary and trust vampiric audiences or those with axes to grind to supply their own; some of us believe in accumulating evidence and doing things correctly.
The conduct of these people is disreputable, but nothing we haven’t seen before.
There are some who are going to foam at the mouth and make ludicrous demands that Celtic should pay compensation to people and bare our souls, accept guilt and even punishment. But guilt for what? Punishment for what?
Celtic did not do this. Evil individuals did, acting on their own.
This was a crime that happened in football.
This was not a football related crime.
Short of shutting down our club – or having it shut down – some of these people will not be appeased.
The victims are a prop to them, a means to an end.
Nobody should be under any illusions about it.
They will never get what they want; even if Celtic decided, out of moral obligation, to help people who were victims, even financially, we would do in exactly the same manner as we’ve handled these things up until now; in private. Below the radar.
The people who want nothing more than to see Celtic suffer will scream cover-up either way.
The simple truth is that Celtic has taken these allegations seriously enough not to grandstand over them. We did not run to the media and publicize what we were doing behind the scenes, how we were helping both the victims and the police; their grief, their trauma, their fears were not something to be exploited. We behaved responsibly. We behaved with compassion. We treated these matters with gravity, and proceeded cautiously.
And we will continue to do those things, in private.
To Hell with anyone not “satisfied” with that.
Some of them are so hateful they don’t even connect to reality any longer. If they cared about the victims they would not use them in the sordid manner that they do. They would not fake piety all the while gloating over the damage they hope it’s done to our club. Do they even hear themselves?
It’s not us that they continue to shame.
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