You have to laugh at the poor wee Sevconuts. It would be funny if what they found so grotesque today wasn’t actually so horrible.
Not only has Neil Doncaster survived the pressure they were putting him under, but he’s thrived.
So much so that he’s now got a seat on UEFA Discipline and Control Board. I think it’s an insult to all of us, to be frank, but I also find it lazily amusing that Sevconia sees in that move the potential for a whole new series of conspiracies.
Let’s be honest, first up.
Doncaster being promoted to that committee shows how insular football is, and how the fans of all shades and stripes are routinely ignored by those at the top. I wouldn’t let that man run a youth football side far less the SPFL … and he certainly does not belong at UEFA where his incompetence could have even more dire consequences.
The thing about recent challenges is that he was given a straightforward enough set of tasks to complete.
His board called off the Ibrox game when playing it would have been rank insanity.
All he had to do after that was negotiate with the broadcasters and clubs what the mechanism would be for ending the season early if it came to that.
Easy as pie, and especially as he had Lawwell there to lean on.
I’m not playing down the way this has gone; the board got most of it absolutely spot-on and they stood up against an Ibrox smear operation that could have done lasting harm to the game. They followed the rules. Amazing that we find that a revelation in Scotland.
But just because he got this right is no reason for anyone to go thinking Doncaster is more than he is; to call this guy third rate would be promoting him above his skill-set. He is a joke figure in Scottish football and we’d all have been forgiven in thinking this is as far as he would rise.
We’d have been wrong though, as his elevation at UEFA demonstrates.
The silver lining – if you can call it that – is the reaction in La La Land, which as you can expect is every bit as dramatic as that of a kid getting told all the birthday cake is gone. Dummies have been spat, chairs have been kicked over, tables upended and fury unleashed.
It is kind of blackly funny to see this reaction, and I just know those inside the club feel the same.
Doncaster was “the enemy” of this summer; the conspiracy theory they most subscribe to is the one where he led the efforts to end the season early so he could give Celtic the title. Because, of course, we were so scared we weren’t going to win it in spite of a 13-point lead and playing the best football we had all season. What craziness this is … but it’s true they believe it.
Of course, what bothers them most is that now Doncaster is at UEFA on a board which has already made a bit of trouble for them over the years in imposing fines and threatening partial ground closures and stuff. Obviously, that stuff isn’t going to bother them – or anyone else – at a time when fans aren’t in grounds anyway … but still, he could do them harm.
And they know it. And they are worried about it.
Doncaster is not a man who is going to do their club the slightest favour.
If their fans are allowed back in grounds in this European campaign they better be very careful indeed.
The chances of it are slim – I don’t think they’ll make the Groups – but not non-existent.
This is what happens when a club courts controversy and makes enemies.
This is what happens when its fans wallow in paranoia. As I once said, when you live in a fantasy world you have to be ever wary of dragons. Doncaster may haunt their dreams a while longer, and in an even more monstrous fashion than before. That’s the price they pay for the way they behave.
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