Both Aberdeen and Celtic have had cases opened against them by the SPFL and the SFA.
There is no word on what the potential sanctions will be, but as I said last night when I talked about the decision to discipline the players, these proceedings have no teeth.
The decision to do this is utterly corrupt. I am not going to use any other word because no other word is applicable.
The SFA and the SPFL have been caught, again, asleep at the wheel and made a complete arse of things by not putting in place measures to punish those who breached the protocols every club has signed up for.
That failure is outrageous, and to prevent their own embarrassment they have opted to put together a kangaroo court.
I am not saying clubs should get away with breaching the protocols; far from it.
But neither Celtic nor Aberdeen was first to do so and in neither of those cases was the breach the responsibility of the club itself. We all know who was first and we all know that it’s the club, and not individual players, who were guilty. Yet they escaped even a slap on the wrist.
Please note, my anger over this has nothing to do with the creation of the regulations themselves.
I believe there should be regulations.
I believe they should punish clubs as well as players.
I have no argument with it at all, and I know for a fact that other clubs will fall foul of these rules as the season goes on and so those demanding blood on the walls and points deductions better be very careful in doing so that they don’t get what they want.
But this site is foremost in saying that every debate of the last decade comes down to one simple and fundamental question; what does the rulebook say? In 2012 the SFA and the SPL were willing to shred the rulebook to accommodate Ibrox.
During this summer all that this site and others were concerned about was whether the SFPL and the SFA had followed the rules this time, which they had, and so we were perfectly happy to take their side … this time against Ibrox.
In this instance, I agree that the rules should be in place … but those rules were not put in place until today and so the act of punishing clubs and players for violating rules which did not exist when the offences took place is outrageous and, yes, corrupt.
Celtic must not accept this and I will be shocked if we do. We cannot have real justice substituted for ad-hoc law; it makes a mockery of the rulebook and of the principles of natural justice. This is the very definition of arse covering.
In trying to look strong to the Scottish government these two organisations are trampling all over the rights of the clubs and the players involved.
The PFA will surely not accept this, and neither should the clubs themselves.
No independent tribunal – such as the Court of Abitration for Sport – would ever uphold a penalty imposed for a breaking a rule invented after the fact.
I look forward to hearing Celtic’s response to this, and to the PFA standing up for its own.
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