Andrew Smith of The Scotsman, who writes some of the direst Celtic articles in the mainstream press, tonight says Celtic have a “dilemma” because if we requested a postponement for the Ibrox club’s visit to Parkhead that we would have to postpone two other games with it.
This is a ridiculous article, and for many reasons, the first of which is that Ange has almost completely ruled this out.
It’s as if the media is now trying to put up roadblocks to the course of action they themselves have tried to push on us.
A course of action we don’t appear to have the least intention of pursuing on our own.
What’s more, when you read the actual SPFL rule – which he quotes in the piece – it makes it quite clear that he is talking utter rot.
He forgets, as does whoever came up with this, that the wording of these things is most often iron-clad and although some of their articles are written with enough grey area to get a coach and horses through, this isn’t one of them.
We can request a postponement in “any official match where three or more of (our) players who would otherwise have participated in such match are unavailable through international selection and, following receipt of such an application, the board may postpone and rearrange the relevant official match in accordance with rule G3.”
Taken literally – and that’s precisely how our lawyers would demand it be taken – that regulation is clear that we can request a postponement for any game which falls under this rubric; nothing in there in any way, shape or form suggest that we’d have to ask for more than one game to be called off although three fall within the timeframe of the international break.
Yet this is what Smith writes;
“It has emerged that the SPFL board would be unlikely to allow Celtic to be selective over which games they contested … (and) would accede to the postponement request only if the Parkhead club were also willing to re-arrange the away game against Hearts on January 26 and their fixture at home to Dundee United three days later.”
Who told him that? Did he not even bother to … think about it for two seconds?
He has the rule in front of him; he quotes it.
Did he actually read it? Did he engage a single brain cell on it?
If the SPFL board got our request and tried to mount this arguement they would have one Hell of a job doing it because although it’s perfectly feasible for them to insert that rule, they haven’t and so there’s nothing in the provisions that says that we would be disqualified from specifying one game, and nothing to justify their demand that we set ourselves up for such fixture carnage.
Apart from the ridiculous – and dangerous – precedent it would set, they would be arguing against themselves if they even dared.
It is their CEO who has said, just days ago, that there was virtually no more room in the fixture list for cancelled games.
Yet we’re really supposed to believe that his organisation would, in the event we wanted to protect ourselves in one match, insist that that we reschedule three?
Is Smith playing the role of Village Idiot for the night or what?
Does he actually believe that?
Has he taken two seconds to actually sit down and consider it?
Honest to God, our media will swallow anything and they will write anything.
No wonder The Scotsman doesn’t have the number of readers you’d find on the average blog.