Everyone knows I don’t support what Bolingoli did, or think the Aberdeen players have any defence for their behaviour.
But there is no doubt that the governing bodies have made a real ham-fisted mess of dealing with these situations.
There should have been rules in place for this stuff before a ball was kicked, before players were brought back to training, before a single incident had transpired.
Why wasn’t there?
Surely it was as obvious to the governing bodies as it was to many of us that there might be breaches of the protocol?
Are we run by the stupidest people in Scotland, or what?
Now that the politicians have slammed them against the wall they are flapping.
They aren’t even blaming the clubs. They are blaming the players.
None seem to want to look in the mirror.
They’ve rushed through some regulations which are gutless and toothless and will punish the players only … the clubs get off scot-free although I guarantee you it’s the clubs who will prove to be the bigger problem here. When the game here is suspended it will be because of a breach at the very top, perhaps even one ordered by a club to prevent a lockdown … and there’s nothing in the rules to punish them.
Rules could have been made for that as well.
Indeed, Sevco has given the SFA and the SPFL ample reason to act in that regard and they’ve both failed to do it.
I’ve argued that Sevco should have been subjected to some kind of sanction for that … but, actually, I was wrong.
Because if no specific sanction exists then there’s no point in demanding one.
And I do not believe in retrospective punishment.
The SPFL and the SFA cannot just re-write the rulebook and then prosecute people or clubs on the basis of the re-write for things that have already been done.
The news, tonight, that they are going to sanction Bolingoli and the Aberdeen players is shocking because they have no right to do so and I hope all nine players appeal.
Their offences were committed before the rules were in place.
If the SPFL and the SFA want to appear tough they should perhaps have thought of that before now, and written these rules at the start. To go after these nine players now is simply a deflection tactic, something done to appear tough and capable when in fact they’ve been absolutely useless.
I am now seriously worried about what might happen next.
The decision to put the onus for this onto players rather than clubs is a serious mistake, and one that guarantees plenty more trouble down the line. The postponement of fixtures with no consequences for clubs will make cancellations routine, and we’ll end up with the most crowded schedule we’ve ever seen.
There is no real punishment built into those weak regulations, but what little there is will now be used against nine footballers after the fact?
That is a scandal. That is an abrogation of responsibility.
These things happened.
The game will have to live with them.
Our club will have to.
Aberdeen will have to.
Punishment will be meted down from the clubs as these players have breached our own internal guidelines, but the governing bodies shouldn’t pretend to have had any.
The people running the game here are a joke and this decision should invite scorn and ridicule and disgust.
It is another moment of infamy. I fear it will not be the last.
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