Celtic has issued a statement tonight in relation to the Ryan Christie verdict, and of course the club is furious and of course we understand why.
The statement goes further than I had expected, and it calls out the SFA’s decision making in language not dissimilar to that which some of the blogs used earlier.
This is welcome, as far as it goes.
But how far does it really go?
I applaud the sentiment, but it’s almost as if our club hasn’t been at the heart of the Scottish football system all this time, as if we wield no influence at all, as if we are merely watching from the side-lines as others take the decisions that matter.
If that’s true then it’s the real scandal here, not what the SFA has done.
Scottish football deserves all of that and more, but I have seen not one piece of evidence to convince me that Celtic even cares about those things. One club alone cannot change the game, but if we haven’t got allies then our leadership is pathetic and underserving of the monster salaries that some press outlets and blogs talked about this weekend.
This website and others have suggested a very simple and straightforward course of action for Celtic to take, one that would flush out those in Scottish football who would maintain the status quo at the expense of other clubs and fans and even themselves.
Celtic should assume the leadership position which is currently vacant. Those who hope for true vision from the likes of Rod Petrie are kidding themselves on. The ground on which to build the new Scottish game is empty and waiting to be filled, so what are we waiting for?
I’ll tell you this, if Sevco were in our position they’d be merrily seeking allies and building barricades.
They’d be pushing their people into every empty slot, and none of it would be for the benefit of the wider game but only for their own … and the longer we wait the more chance there is that they’ll get busy doing exactly that, and the door will be shut for 20 years.
Celtic should publish a roadmap for the future of the game, laying out what we see as the challenges facing it and proposing our solutions. We should be standing up for the principles of fair play and integrity for all, starting with a major revision of the disciplinary system and how it works, supporting VAR and referee’s registers of interests, including declarations of allegiances and what “clubs and societies” they might be members of. Transparency. Openness.
We should be backing Financial Fair Play, above all else.
I hate days like these, because the response from our club is always the same. We talk a good game. But nobody else is going to do these things. Nobody else cares, until it suits them, until it effects their own club, and then they whine just like this and move on.
It’s time we stepped up and did more than talk.
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