Date: 18th July 2019 at 4:05pm
Written by:

Well that was a shock wasn’t it? No?

No, it wasn’t for me either. Talk about a piece of news that you’ve been sort of expecting dropping suddenly on you.

People who wonder if it’s possible to be taken completely by surprise by something and yet be not in the least bit surprised by it should take note; this was so predictable that you could have set your clock to it.

So Simunovic has been given a two match ban for his sending off in a pre-season friendly.

The SFA took their sweet time to get around to making the announcement, but I was never really in much that they were going to.

I know some people think Simunovic deserved the red, and many won’t complain about this, but it’s a dire portent of the season ahead.

We’re going to be on the receiving end of many, many, many more of these kinds of decisions and if we don’t speak out against them early then we’re setting ourselves up for big, big problems as the campaign goes on.

The quest to Stop The Ten won’t just be waged on the football pitch, but off of it as well and the SFA will play a starring role.

Celtic needs to be proactive in dealing with the likelihood of that, and not just wait for circumstances to start going against us first.

This decision needs to be appealed for starters; we simply can’t take this one lying down.

If we do we’re asking for trouble.

We will be well covered in the central defence, so the issue is not that this might cost us anything.

Bitton, Jullien, Ajer and Abd Elhamed – when that deal is completed – will all be in competition with Simunovic for the spot, so this is less about the two games he will miss than it is about the precedent that’s being set here and the warning shot across our bow.

I thought the UEFA ref in last night’s game was awful and allowed our opponents to rough-house us all over the park; I already know that Scottish refs are going to be far worse in the 2019-20 domestic campaign. Our players will be kicked black and blue, and woe betide any who retaliate.

We’ve seen the future of the season ahead here today, and I hope to God we have a plan for dealing with it.

It represents the gravest possible threat to us.