Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government are not messing about today after the news that broke last night.
We are in for a bumpy ride and no mistake.
Our next two league games are most likely off. Do not be surprised if the SPFL announces a raft of measures for future violations which includes the forfeiture of fixtures and points deductions. We’ll be lucky to avoid that in any case.
Of far more immediate concern is this; we have a European fixture to play next week and if the governing bodies here are pissed off at us that’s nothing compared to how UEFA might view this matter. Even in the best case scenario, these preparations are not ideal.
The full cost of what Bolingoli and, to a lesser extent, Griffiths have done is now becoming readily apparent, and the enormous risks for all clubs if players are going to breach protocols are becoming alarmingly clear.
If Bolingoli had tested positive and our team was forced into self-isolation, we would presently be facing ejection from European football entirely.
Ten in a row is already in jeopardy.
Our team could return to league action eight points behind, and whether we have the games in hand or not or have been forced to forfeit the matches, that is not a hill we would ordinarily wish to have to climb, and especially not with a loaded down fixture list which is already going to be crippling.
We ought not to be blaming the governing bodies or the administration in Holyrood either. This is a catastrophic self-inflicted wound.
One of the issues that arises from this is the amount of time off the players at our club get.
At the weekend they turned in a lacklustre, and frankly shaming, performance which bore all the hallmarks of lack of match preparation.
The news that Lennon gave them two full days off following a routine win at home against Hamilton is worrying enough against that backdrop, but it was in this unnecessary period where the players had nothing to do that Bolingoli took his trip.
Footballers do not have to work hard.
Let’s be blatantly honest about this.
They train for a few hours in the morning and the rest of the day is theirs as they see fit.
Our footballers did not need two full days away from training as a “reward” for beating a bottom table team on the day we unfurled the flag. I don’t know whose interests were being served by giving them such an absence from Lennoxtown, but it certainly wasn’t that of the club as a whole.
Had training been going on as normal we would not presently be in this position and hard questions need to be asked as to why the club allowed it to be waived for 48 hours, during which at least one player felt he had license to get on an airplane.
The whole club stinks of sloppiness and half-heartedness right now.
I said yesterday that this would be the week we signed a striker, if for no other reason than to change the mood music after the display at Rugby Park; that mood music is a hell of a lot darker now but don’t be surprised if things on the signing front don’t go according to plan either.
From the outside looking in, we’re not particularly impressive on any front at the moment, save for the supporters who continue to be magnificent.
You would never think we were the club playing for ten in a row right now.
There is a slackness and lack of application running right through Celtic at the moment and it might very well manifest itself in the perfect storm. It’s as if some people don’t understand that their place in history is going to be decided largely on the next few months.
If our club has real leaders in it, this is the time for them to step forward and be counted.
We should start with a definitive statement saying that Bolingoli has been shown the door and work forward from there. But make no mistake, this is as bad as it’s possible to get. The best case scenario is that two league games are postponed and this squad – weaker than it was last season – now has to fit them in somewhere.
The worst case scenario doesn’t even bear thinking about.
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