Not like the stories that the Celtic sites have been writing.
It doesn’t matter if you accept the club’s reasons for the trip and think it was a good thing or believe it to have been a move of incomprehensible stupidity; we’ve gone back and forth over those issues until we’re all tired of it.
Over on the Ibrox sites, this is a story that has been mined for every chunk of rock they think is in it.
They wanted inquiries. They wanted sanctions.
They wanted the club hammered from the politicians, then by the governing bodies, then by the politicians again.
All of this is pretty standard stuff … but they have much crazier things on their minds than just this stuff. In the Dubai trip they see the signs that our club is playing a much deeper game.
This is really “down the rabbit hole” stuff, so brace yourselves.
The more extreme of them seem to be accusing Celtic of deliberately threatening the season; their logic is that Dubai was part of an attempt to actually get the campaign called off so that null and void can be declared.
They wonder what we’ll try next.
Do they actually believe this?
I look across the water at Trump supporters trying to storm the Capitol to prevent the certification of a democratic election, in the name of persevering America, and I think to myself, “Yes, they probably do believe it.”
No conspiracy theory is too outlandish for them, it seems to me.
They believe in the Unseen Hand the way some people believe in the Bermuda Triangle. They see the world in a way that is slightly obscure and warped, and through that lens anything is possible.
They have been gearing themselves up for the “possibility” that something will deprive them of their league lead for months now. Their acolytes in the press, who argued all summer long that a null and void option was the best one (the fairest one, some said) are now arguing that it’s untenable. And it is, and it was last summer as well.
They see corruption everywhere; it’s called projection.
They know there’s no low they wouldn’t stoop to in our position, and because they have no other frame of reference they just assume that we are as bad as they are. But their imaginations are so OTT that they don’t conjure up possible lines of attack but instead manufacture absolutely barmy ones.
So in their eyes, Dubai was part of a plan.
A plot to push the government towards shutting football down completely.
Then, presumably, we’d have used our “contacts” in the government to make it clear that this was to be the last word on the season. Then, of course, we’d have rallied our sympathisers in football to seal the deal.
Plausible? Only if you live inside their heads.
You know, I wish we had directors and a board that was capable of coming up with that, putting it into motion and then executing it. Not that I would want them to do it if they were, but the ability to plan and network and strategize like that … we could use some of those skills inside Celtic Park.