The media has been busy this weekend promoting the views of various people who think that Celtic should be deducted points for Bolingoli’s breach of government health protocols. It is an outrageous suggestion, and one that brings discredit to those who make it.
As Lennon pointed out today, it was Celtic who took the lead in creating these protocols in the first place. No club has done more than we have to make sure of compliance. This is one of those occasions in which you can say, for sure, that our club has definitely led the way.
That this doesn’t cut any slack with our critics is hardly surprising, and when you hear goons like Kris Boyd come out with flatly contradictory nonsense in support of the idea you realise how desperate they are to give it even a hint of legitimacy.
Yesterday, I highlighted how they have actually tried to twist the Hibs chairman’s words to make it sound like he supported the idea, when actually he didn’t. He does support sanctions, but when the right framework is in place laying out the why and the how.
Lennon was asked today about this and he said the club would take responsibility “if we are accountable” but do not take this as a sign we’ll roll over and put up with anything either.
Celtic is furious about these charges, coming as they have in relation to rules which have just been invented. There is no way we will take a points deduction or even the threat of one lying down. That would spark a major fightback from everyone at the club.
It is not just the unfairness of charging the club under rules imposed after the fact. Celtic does not believe there is anything it could have done about Bolingoli’s offence.
Those talking about imposing points deductions for these sort of infractions should be careful what they wish for.
What if someone, say Morelos, decided to push his club towards getting rid of him by going off the reservation and making sure that this became public knowledge?
I would imagine that Celtic supports sanctions against clubs, because there are certain cases in which you can clearly see the need for them. Say a club plays a match without testing being done – as Sevco already has. Say a club, wanting to avoid lockdowns, decides to ignore positive tests, isolates only those players and lets others continue to play?
In those circumstances you can easily see why sanctions are appropriate. The decision would have come from the club hierarchy. It would depend on the silence of the players. In that case there is no question that points deductions and major suspensions should follow. In fact, I’d support relegating any club which behaved with such cavalier disregard for public safety.
But Aberdeen didn’t send its players out on the lash, and Celtic did not give Bolingoli permission to go. Footballers are adults and at some point you have to trust them to do the right thing. If they breach that trust I am not sure what football clubs can do about it.
Celtic won’t roll over for this, and the fact the rules were brought in only after the Scottish Government outcry means that no appeal court – like CAS – would ratify the verdict if we decided to challenge it, which would be a certainty.
We will support the league and the SFA the full way on any measures they want to bring in provided it is fully thought through and not the result of them panicking and trying to look strong.
Their reaction to these events has been hysterical and even dangerous; ad hoc regulations, and retrospective punishment? That’s third rate stuff you wouldn’t get from a bowling club committee, and it was only done to cover the humiliation of needing to be asked why there weren’t robust rules and regulations in the first place.
They are a petty, narrow-focus organisation unfit for purpose. Just when you think they are getting the hang of this leadership stuff they give you more cause to be dismayed.
It does not matter how many people the media puts up to promote the idea of points deductions; it is not going to happen, because Celtic will not permit it.
The gutless and weak administrators cave in to every pressure.
There is no way they are going to mount a full-scale, charge the guns assault on Celtic which they know they have no chance to win.
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