So Tierney started this afternoon for Arsenal after all.
Look, this isn’t going to be a litany of “woe is me” and excuses for that abject performance this afternoon.
I said in the match report that even with a full-strength team at our disposal that we would not have won that game playing the way we did … I am not going to even suggest that Ryan Christie’s absence was a contributing factor in that disgrace.
But questions remain about this issue, and they demand answers.
“Arsenal went through the proper channels,” was how Sky reported it. But what were those channels? According to them, it was the English FA who gave him permission to play, but since when do they have precedence over government health advisors and the law of the land? I know all about EPL egotism and exceptionalism, but this takes it a little far.
So the question is begging to be answered; what exactly did Arsenal do or know or say that was in any way different to what Celtic would have been asking for or saying? Our club has a responsibility to get to the bottom of this, and so does our media up here.
I am no conspiracy nut and I’m not about to suggest that The Scottish Government had some role in making sure Christie wasn’t available, but if Chris McLaughlin or someone else doesn’t directly ask Nicola Sturgeon, on Monday, whether Kieran Tierney is breaking protocol here and if he isn’t what are the circumstances that make this case exceptional, then as far as I’m concerned they are asleep at the wheel because that question is begging to be asked.
Furthermore, it is not one to which no answer is required or should be accepted.
Reports the other day suggested that Arsenal were given permission to play him because Tierney has had this thing already. Not only is that unsupported by anything that has been in the public domain, but it’s not even clear how that would change the equation.
There are now over a dozen cases on the record where people who’ve had this have been reinfected and I would be astounded if any health body in the country was willing to overlook that.
Had Tierney lived and played up here I have no doubt whatsoever that he would have been unavailable for that game today, and so it is in the interests of the Scottish Government itself to explain how this situation has come about.
From the side-lines, this looks like shameful pandering to the money and power of the EPL.
Until someone explains this to us in plain English we’re entitled to hold onto that view.
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