Earlier on, I wrote about the Deputy First Minister saying that Celtic’s trip looked hard to defend; what I wasn’t aware of when I published it was that the Scottish Government released a statement saying that the expect the SFA to look into the trip.
Normally I would not want the Scottish Government interfering in football matters and the idea that the SFA should investigate Celtic for something would be deemed utterly absurd and too ridiculous for words. But I agree this time.
Let’s have the authorities take a good look at it, and if we’ve got a case to answer then let’s see where it goes.
Everything about this trip needs looking into.
Celtic itself won’t have an internal review as to who lost their mind and okayed it … but that review ought to be had.
Not only, as I said earlier, is it an egregious insult to the fans that the players are swanning about over in Dubai at the supporter’s expense after a calamitous first half of the season, but it asks serious questions about the judgement of people at our club.
I never liked the way this was done, or that we wilfully postponed a match because of it.
Even if this has been on the books for months, it was insanity to even organise it with the virus sweeping the world and every expert on the planet predicting that we’d experience a second wave, at just this time.
On top of that, we have a three game fixture backlog; this was the time to get one of those games played.
The players had an extended summer; they did not need this jaunt to the other side of the globe, and to have gone through it when the whole of Scotland was already in lockdown and a new variant of this thing was creeping across the country was absurd and ridiculous.
There are a lot of folk out there demanding that we are stripped points for cancelling a match.
We are miles from a point where that is even on the table.
It’s a barmy suggestion, put forward by people who even with a major league lead are still clawing for any advantage they can get, and willing to trample, again, on the sick and the dying to get it.
But let me tell you something, if we’ve screwed this up we deserve whatever punishment is coming to us. If we’ve abused the spirt of the regulations, we deserve every bit of opprobrium we get. If we’ve abused the letter of them, let the consequences come. I strongly suspect that this is a case of the SFA just basically rolling over for Lawwell for once.
Our club should never have asked for this in the first place though.
This whole affair leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Celtic has become extraordinarily arrogant. It is also, right now, tone deaf to anything that doesn’t suit the people within the walls. In many ways, we’re behaving like a certain other club and that is a comparison I never thought I’d make.