When Celtic made their statement on John Beaton and on Morelos, I congratulated them but worried that all our request for talks would come to would be time wasted.
“The time for action has surely arrived, and if this ends in another friendly sit-down with no real changes emerging from it then that will be another disgrace in a long line of them,” I said.
Last night, the results came in over the SFA “sit down” with managers. Those few who boycotted it, like Steve Clarke, have been vindicated. The result was a lot of hot air and waffle. Nothing concrete has been agreed. Nothing whatsoever has changed.
Those talks were a farce. Those talks were a fraud.
All that happened yesterday was that refs and their SFA bosses circled the wagons. The substantive issues were utterly ignored. Instead we got a half-assed “commitment” to VAR, which when you actually review it is more of an aspiration than an actual policy.
The giveaway was in that it was a meeting of managers and SFA bigwigs. Where were the real decision makers at the clubs, the chairmen, the CEO’s?
I’ll tell you where they were; they were in hiding.
They were making sure their own names weren’t liked to this. Those, like Lawwell and Petrie, are more worried about keeping their soft executive seats or climbing the greasy pole. Others talk a good game in front of their own fans but never when it matters.
The managers themselves were never going to have the stones to follow this through. They can’t decide on a “line” between them. You have guys like Brendan who thinks the answer is to make some of the worst officials in Europe full time. You have people like Gerrard who probably praised standards to the nines yesterday whilst in that room, because he and his club think that’s a good strategic position to isolate Celtic.
And in the middle you have every shade of yellow known to man, people who won’t confront the lax regulations and complete failures of regulatory scrutiny which allow the possibility of bias and corruption to infect our sport. Not one of those middle-of-the-road placemen would have said a word that really mattered.
The SFA knew all this, of course, because they at least recognise the situation for what it is.
The clubs are hopelessly divided and weak on these matters and because there’s no agreement between them on what needs to be done – or even what the real problems are – there’s never going to be change of the sort that we require.
This is another area where I’ve reluctantly come to acceptance of certain things. An article on the whole mess of Scottish football is long overdue, and I’ll get around to it eventually, but I’ve stopped believing we’ll see change any time soon.
There is not a leadership figure in the game with the vision and the gravitas to get it done, and I see nobody on the horizon who is going to change that.
Fergus could have done it, but even he wasn’t a coalition builder … although I wouldn’t have bet against his bulldozer tenacity.
The SFA played this one beautifully. They’ve spiked the guns, and you have to marvel about Celtic’s absolutely chronic lack of foresight when it comes to figuring this lot out. We should never have attended any meeting with open-ended objectives and nothing nailed down. Had we wanted to be proactive we could have published our own proposed blueprint for where the game should be going and dared clubs to support it or not.
Our own leaders aren’t up to this job either. It’s a collective failure that would have embarrassed our all-over-the-place parliamentary class. And as the rest of us scramble, the SFA keeps on doing things its own way, and to Hell with who complains about it.
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