One paper has called it “the nuclear option.”
Another has called it “exploiting a loophole.”
These are both references to a simple SPFL rule that has been invoked several times before, which exists for every club to use, and is an option which, as I said last night, we’re not even talking about utilising.
In fact, we’re doing the precise opposite of talking about it.
Once again – and they never learn – people in the press are trying to read between the lines, looking into something Ange hasn’t said rather than focussing on what he does say.
He hasn’t explicitly ruled it out; that’s true.
But if he’s keeping his options open that’s not the same as saying we’re on the brink of doing it.
I reckon he’s been pretty clear.
Nobody at Celtic is seriously talking about this.
Yet the media is talking about it.
When they aren’t talking about transfer rumours this is the subject they are focussed on; the possibility that Celtic might – might – ask for a postponement of the game against the Ibrox club, pencilled in for 2 February.
What kind of phrase is “the nuclear option” for something that would, if we did it, create no problems for other than one club? Nuclear option suggests something that would devastate the game. How exactly would this cause harm to anyone?
Ibrox might have its own rash of players out.
Is that what this is? Are the media trying to bounce us into requesting the postponement so they won’t have to? Is this an effort to force us to take action which all sides can criticise, whilst Ibrox rubs its hands?
There is something stinky and reeking about the way this has come up.
It’s not a secret that we’ll have players out for those games, and it never was.
It’s not a secret that we were about to make three signings from Japan, and it never was.
Yet it’s as if this stuff has just dawned on people in the media; how could it when this blog and others were writing about the possibility of it from the moment the winter break was extended?
It’s not just the sudden pushing of the story either, it’s the language being used.
What kind of phrase is “exploiting a loophole”? it’s not a loophole.
It’s there in the regulations, in bloody black and white, and if no other club in the history of the game had ever done it then that would be all well and good and I could understand why pencils and knives were being sharpened over the possibility that we might.
This is a sample of the poisonous, even toxic, garbage which will be tipped all over us if we were to take this course.
It’s one of the reasons why I doubt that we will, but you know what? The way the media is reacting to even the mere prospect of it almost convinces me that we should do it just to stick a thumb in their eye.
Dare the SPFL to say no.
Because then what does the provision exist for?
Are there other rules which the SPFL can apply or toss aside as they see fit? It takes three players being away on international duty to request a call off. We might have as many as six. We’d be fully justified in doing this.
The regulation exists for this explicit purpose, on sporting integrity grounds, so that teams are not disadvantaged by having players selected for their country.
If we choose not to pursue it I won’t throw any toys out of the pram, but if Celtic do why should we eat dirt over it?
We shouldn’t, and I’ll tell you this; we won’t.
If we decide to go down this road we should do it with our heads up and with a copy of the rulebook in our hands and with prior precedent to guide us down the road. Because our stance will not be exceptional.
It will not be a “nuclear option”.
And using a very clear provision in the rules is not “exploiting a loophole.”
This damnable press should not be allowed to demonise us for it.