There are two ways in which a major institution can handle a situation like the one Celtic finds itself in at the moment; it can wait for things to happen or it can make things happen.
It can wait for others to decide events, or it can steer them where we want them to go.
Celtic’s directors have chosen a smart stratagem this evening; we’re giving events a push.
We could have remained silent on the Elyounoussi-Ajer situation until a decision was made.
With the Scottish Government and the SFA’s Joint Response Group ready to meet on this tomorrow, and then decide what to do, Celtic has briefed the media that they expect the players to play, and that sends out a very clear signal to everyone involved.
Our club does not believe there is any justification for our footballers not being cleared for the weekend’s match against Hibs.
We have already lost Ryan Christie to protocols which were plainly not followed by others involved in the affair, and we’re not prepared to meekly accept a similar outcome here.
I suspect the players from Germany and elsewhere will play, just as Barisic will for the Ibrox club and Tierney did for Arsenal last time … Celtic will not tolerate less.
On the surface of it, what we’ve done tonight does not seem particularly exceptional but you have to read between the lines, and in fact what we’ve done here is pretty smart. We’ll have taken soundings with our medical teams and those in Norway, we’ll have looked over their regulations as they stand, as well as those covering Scotland, and we’ve publicised our stance.
If we are denied the services of these players it will be up to others to explain why, and why our club is again being held to a different standard than others.
This is more than it looks like; this is our club daring the football bodies and the Scottish Government to make a determination which flies in the face of our stated view, and that makes this different from the Christie affair in that we are not being reactive but proactive.
Which means the gloves are off.
If this decision goes against Celtic, I think we’re going to see fireworks.