Ian Maxwell has apologised to Celtic and the other clubs who were affected by the weekend’s latest round of health related call-offs.
He accepts that SFA had a responsibility to the players and to the clubs, and has lamentably failed in that.
His apology is welcome, but it isn’t nearly good enough.
He rambles on about testing during his statement, but makes it clear that plenty of testing was done.
It’s a smokescreen on the real issue; the Scotland Under 21 squad was not adequately protected. Testing can only reveal the virus in the bloodstream; it was the responsibility of the SFA to limit the exposure to the virus in the first place and they failed miserably.
Still, in the face of overwhelming evidence of that, he has the cheek to actually try and defend their handling of this.
“We have conducted an examination of protocols undertaken throughout the under-21 camp and it is the view of our chief medical officer that they are in line with the established protocols outlined in the Return to Football documentation.”
So this happened by magic, did it?
In the next couple of paragraphs, he then, twice, tries to remind clubs of their responsibilities whilst patting himself and his colleagues on the back for recording no positive tests this time amongst the senior squad.
Which is laughable considering that there were positive tests last time the senior squad went away.
Where was the explanation for that?
What a cheek he has. A handful of clubs have recorded positive cases since this began, and been subjected to all kinds of sanctions by the governing body, from fines to suspensions to cancelled games and all the rest of it. Celtic explicitly asked for assurances that the SFA was doing all it could when Christie was made to self-isolate … presumably we were given them.
So Maxwell’s apology is late in the day and too damned little in the circumstances.
Something major went wrong here based on the size of the outbreak, and he can deflect with talk of testing all he wants and seek to remind the clubs of how they should behave, but this one falls on him and his organisation and only deeds, only actions, will restore confidence in them over it.