Tonight, the news is good for Leigh Griffiths as far as any chance of his winding up with a criminal record is concerned.
But although it would have been simply impossible for us to have retained his services had he been charged with something, I think his position remains untenable and that Celtic would be better off if we found a way to move him on.
That he hasn’t broken the law gives us, at least, an opportunity to strike a deal for him elsewhere.
Offer him as a makeweight in a deal to bring Nisbett to the club and put this shabby mess behind us.
For the second year in a row, pre-season training is going on without him.
He is a waste of a squad number.
All this guy is to us now is a downward drag.
I said when the story broke in the press that the PR nightmare that will ensue from us standing by him simply isn’t worth the price we’ll pay for it.
Griffiths has failed to do the one thing that the club wanted and expected from him; he’s failed to comport himself in a professional manner, and in doing so he has upset the balance the manager is trying to find.
How do we know that the rest of the squad wants him around?
Retaining him will be deeply divisive.
It would also be an open invitation to our enemies to attack us, and whilst I normally wouldn’t care about such nonsense, retaining him doesn’t send the right message about the kind of standards we expect.
This shouldn’t even be a particularly difficult decision for this club to make.
We have to send the right message here, and keeping him around doesn’t do that.
I know there are some who only care about whether he can score goals; I hope to God that doesn’t reflect the thinking inside Celtic Park. There are things greater than that and they must be considered.
When the story broke, I highlighted the scene in A Very British Coup where the left-wing PM Harry Perkins sacks a favoured and high-flying cabinet minister after he was caught having an affair.
It wasn’t the affair that got him sacked; it was the allegation that there was some kind of “IRA connection” to the woman.
Both men know there wasn’t, but Perkins sacks him anyway because trying to keep him would toxify the government.
Perkins knows that the media will not stop on the story until they’ve ripped every bit of flesh from the bones. And he has more important things to do than fight a full-on war with them over someone who he knows himself has “been a damned fool.”
Ange Postecoglou cannot afford to waste time and energy fighting with the media over Leigh Griffiths’ off-field behaviour.
I don’t know this for a fact, but I suspect there’s more to come here and really, how much more of it do we want to read?
I personally don’t care about the sordid details of his life.
I’ve never cared about the private lives of public figures except in where it reveals something dark about their character, some hypocrisy or corruption. This is not such a case.
Griffiths might be “a creep”, to use the words of someone I know, but that’s between him and his poor sod of a partner, just as long as he isn’t breaking the law.
But Griffiths is also a high-profile employee of Celtic, and he’s been given trust and respect and a fresh start.
Frankly, he’s pissed all over it.
We might not have the legal right to terminate his contract, but we can certainly make sure he never pulls on the jersey again, and that’s exactly what we should do.