Yesterday, at her press conference, when asked about Celtic’s Dubai trip, Nicola Sturgeon said that as far as she understood it, someone at Celtic had publicly said that the trip was more to do with “R&R” than it was about training.
The comments were the only thing she said that didn’t sit right with me.
I thought, “Where’s she getting that?”
Could anyone at Celtic Park really have been daft enough to use that term?
Surprisingly, the answer is yes.
And sadly, because it will look as if I’m having another go at him, the person who did it was Neil Lennon himself.
In his interview with Sky right after the game he personally described the trip as being about a “wee bit of warm weather, let them get some R&R then come back and refresh and go again.”
The manager himself. Explicitly saying this is a jaunt.
You could not make this up. Those comments are on the record. They are the stick that we are going to be beat with again and again and again and it does not matter how many videos of training the club posts.
Some are going to hold out some hope that those remarks are enough to open up charges against us by the governing bodies; they aren’t, as the SFA has already confirmed.
Those folk can get that stupid idea out of their heads right now. As I said yesterday, we’ve broken no rules and even this doesn’t constitute an actual violation, more a slip of the tongue.
The SFA and the Scottish Government drew up the rules.
The rules allowed for “elite training camps” and only offered the vaguest clarification on where, when and how they were to be constituted. As I said yesterday, we exploited a loophole.
No, all this does is confirm that our club is thumbing its nose at the fans and at public opinion, and that those involved in planning the trip weren’t going to let a little thing like a global pandemic stop them from going.
It confirms that this is rampant egotism.
It confirms that our board, our club, has about as much shame as an ex-Ibrox player with an EBT lecturing on sporting integrity.
We didn’t break the rules though. So what?
This whole episode is shameful, and our club is responsible for that.