The Ibrox support has got itself into one of its apoplectic wee rages again … this time in relation to the news about two SPL clubs who have forfeited fixtures because of virus outbreaks and breaches within their squad bubbles.
The fan-base over there thinks this is proof of a conspiracy, of course.
Nothing could be further from the truth. There was no “special treatment” in this case, none at all. Facts are a strange thing over there, but they shouldn’t be allowed to throw conspiratorial nonsense around about this when those facts are readily available.
The news for St Mirren and Kilmarnock is about as dire as it gets; both sides have had 3-0 losses awarded against them, with the Paisley club having that sentence handed down twice. The main beneficiaries were Motherwell, who got two favourable outcomes here as they had a match postponed against both teams.
This is the ultimate sanction, of course, the one everyone talked about beforehand and which has just been given for the first time. It was obvious that this would spark wailing across at Ibrox; “Didn’t Celtic and Aberdeen have games postponed as well? Where was the 3-0 forfeit?”
Well let’s state the obvious; Celtic and Aberdeen had a fixture postponed against each other … who do the Ibrox hordes suggest the 3-0 win was awarded to? Do they think both teams should have a points deduction? Nonsense, there’s no provision in the regulations for any such measure. Points deductions take away victories that have already been won, where there was no stain on the outcome … so it would have been wholly unjustified.
You could have simply forfeited the game … but these are the same fans who insisted that a league campaign be 38 games last season; you’d have had Aberdeen and Celtic both on 37 matches with the season apparently “complete.”
Again, there’s no provision in the rules for that.
And if none of that stops them from foaming at the mouth, here’s the real point; the matches weren’t forfeited because of postponements. They were forfeited because breaches of the health regulations and the club’s responsibilities caused the postponements.
Both sides violated physical distancing regulations on their coaches and at post-match meals at away grounds. St Mirren didn’t even provide good social distancing provisions at their own training ground and players were car-sharing on the way to training.
No wonder their club has had several different outbreaks in it. The SPFL and the SFA were entirely correct to take action. It’s absolutely barmy that this was allowed in the first place. Every away club who’s visited their ground was being put at risk.
The Ibrox fans need no excuses to go off the deep end, of course, but this is poor fare even from them, with the most cursory check on the facts revealing that there was no conspiracy just stupidity at the two clubs involved.
Both of those clubs have been commended in the SFA’s statement, for the work they’ve done to get their act together since; frankly if that had happened I’d Celtic I would expect sackings to follow; although we apparently don’t do that based on results, forfeiting matches because of an internal breach of these rules is presumably as serious as it gets.
All the clubs have been sent a warning today by the governing bodies, and for once they are in front of a major issue in a way that counts.