Today the press is focussed on a very important story, and I am moved to wonder just why it is that they are doing so right now.
The SFA has a disciplinary action open over the case, following Supreme Court testimony which heavily suggests that Rangers were not completely honest with the governing body during the license period. We all knew this, of course, but sworn testimony on the record appears to confirm it. No sooner had that case ended than Celtic made a public demand for an inquiry and even suggested that they see the Lord Nimmo Smith commission result as tainted.
The SFA then opened a case against the current Ibrox club, who claimed to be flabbergasted by it. They have questioned the SFA’s right to hear the case, presumably under the auspices of the Five Way Agreement, which they brandish like a Get Out Of Jail Free card.
They want the Court of Arbitration in Sport to hold a hearing on whether the SFA can even do it.
And that’s where this matter is hopelessly stalled.
The SFA has still not decided whether or not to pass what it has to CAS and ask them to adjudicate. They’ve been dithering on it for an age now, and yet this is the first time the media has taken a good look at the delay and asked what the Hell is going on. I can only conclude that Celtic has given the media a kick.
That’s all to the good. Because this matter needs to be resolved.
There has to be some sort of hearing and some sort of accounting, on an official level, over those events even it is just to say that the guys who pushed Resolution 12 all this time have been vindicated. Nobody expects Sevco to be punished for the sins of Rangers; that isn’t justice.
What these guys want is for someone, finally, to say “we accept that this is what happened.”
The verdict of history will be damning for all concerned at Ibrox.
Curiously, one of those individuals was in the papers this week and I strongly suspect that if Celtic did give the media a kick here it was his rambling, shambolic interview which did it. I am referring of course to Alastair Johnson, who was the chairman at Ibrox during part of that licensing period.
The Herald’s article not only singles Johnson out as the guy who’s signature was on the license application, but his is the picture that tops the piece.
This feels an awful lot to me like a hit-job, one of some political sophistication.
Johnson was supposed to join the Ibrox around a year ago; he never has. The assumption is that the SFA has blocked him on the grounds that he is named in the charges. That makes his interview in midweek a sterling example of hypocrisy at best.
Those who have been waiting for Celtic’s response to the last week may just have got it, but not in the manner they expected. Let’s be honest, there’s no way that journalists woke up to this story last week on their own and decided an issue which is now 20 months old was suddenly worthy of examination all over again. Someone pushed them towards it.
And I suspect that someone works at Celtic Park. Johnson overstepped his boundaries with that gibbering interview. Today he has been firmly slapped back in his box, and this issue, which the SFA clearly hoped would die a forgotten death, is suddenly live again.
I don’t do this often, but well played Bhoys. Well played.
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