Scottish Cricket Got Its Independent Inquiry. Celtic Was Denied One In Football.

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I am always pleased when those in search of fairness, those who have questions wanting answered, get their victory. It impresses me and inspires me to see that such hard work and commitment to a cause sometimes pays off and gets its just reward.

Campaigners got that from Scottish Cricket recently, with their independent inquiry bearing fruit and finding out that there was something rotten in their sport, something needing clearing out. Scottish football needs that. It’s needed it for years.

Contrary to the oft-spoken “wisdom” – said with tongue firmly in cheek – most organisations don’t shy away from independent scrutiny. Some of them actually bring in professionals every couple of years to do a full strategic review … it keeps the business from going stale, it identifies problems before they blossom into crises.

That’s the thing, see; most professional organisations want that kind of examination. They want to know that they adhere to best practices. They want to know that things are running as right as they could be. They don’t want issues to lie dormant and build up. They understand that public trust is an essential component of any business.

There are two types of corporate culture that do not want scrutiny; those arrogant enough to believe they know everything already and those who’ve got something to hide, something dark festering away in a corner. Scottish football is both.

During the first meeting I had with Peter Lawwell, on the subject of reform, he could not understand why the other clubs in Scottish football refused our request for a review into the events of the EBT era and the subsequent collapse of Rangers.

I have often wondered if that was the point where he stopped wanting any further reform; maybe our club concluded that there was no appetite for it and Scottish football deserved everything it got. I’d hate to believe that, but the alternative is to believe we didn’t want any either. The truth is, at that point we certainly did.

What did Scottish football have to fear from an inquiry that so many shied away from one? The game here has one independent review in the time I’ve been following the politics in it – the McLeish Review – and they ignored almost everything in it.

But a review into EBT’s would have gone deeper, of course, and uncovered more, and so would the investigation into who knew what and when in relation to what Whyte had in mind for Ibrox.

We have written – at length – on that on this site before, the most critical article of which was called A Long Spoon: How The Governing Bodies Conspired With Whyte Against Our Game. You can read it at the bottom of this piece, if you so desire.

There are clearly things people want covered up. There are clearly areas of our national sport which not one light must ever shine on. Even now, too many people in this sport are still tainted by grubby little compromises, those times when people looked the other way, those moments when some folk kept their heads down and others stuck it in the trough.

Celtic has not done nearly enough, but the one time in recent memory where we have stuck our head above the parapet nobody wanted to help us. It’s not even as if we were demanding something massive … Lawwell made it clear, and I agreed with him, that what we really needed, more than anything else, was an admission that wrongs had been done, that things had happened which should not and that changes had to come from it.

That was Celtic’s policy. To get an admission from these people. That would have guaranteed the historical verdict on those matters and an understanding of those events which nobody could or would challenge. Nobody even wanted to go there.

Ibrox has called for two inquiries in the past couple of years. Nobody wanted to go there either. They had their own agenda, but independent inquiries would not have been a bad thing from the point of view of the game. Certainly Ibrox would not have found what it expected to; a clear anti-Ibrox bias and the Unseen Hand running things by remote control.

This is overdue. Scottish football has resisted the outside light for too long now. English football got more even than Scottish Cricket; it got an independent regulator, and that would be a game-changer up here almost beyond belief.

Which is why our current “governors” will resist it with everything they have. They are cowards … and they are hiding more than they ever want us to know.

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A Long Spoon: How The Governing Bodies Conspired With Whyte Against Our Game.

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  • Tony B says:

    Racism of all kinds and bigotry are endemic and institutional in Scottish sport, particularly in football.

    Cricket has shown the way, so what are we waiting for?

    Time for an INDEPENDENT inquiry.

    Maybe the bloggers should start a petition to get the ball rolling.

  • Johnny Green says:

    The only peepul who don’t want proper independent enquiries are huns, Sean McCafferty and his wee pal Jimmy.

  • John Copeland says:

    I’m afraid Scottish football could not be cleansed with a wire brush and Dettol! From the top down it is rancid, fetid, and a national disgrace and embarrassment,which include Politicians, the Judiciary,the Police and the governing bodies especially ,as they are supposed to be working for the clubs and the good of the game! The stench of dishonesty is overwhelming.

  • Tony B says:

    If it’s good enough for cricket then it’s good enough for all Scottish sport.

    If you’ve nothing to hide you’ve nothing to fear.

  • SSMPM says:

    An independent inquiry highlighting racism should not be bothered with? Wow

  • Bob (original) says:

    The Board of Cricket Scotland resigns en masse.

    Whereas at Hampden,

    Petrie – the author the secretive, shameful, 5 Way Agreement –

    gets promoted to President!

    Scottish football remains corrupt.

  • Auldheid says:

    Sorry James but Lawwell had no more interest in pursuing SFA reform than the other clubs.

    He pretended to want it, but when presented with leverage in the form of Resolution 12 to force it, he ended up lying to shareholders at Celtic 2019 AGM that he had not seen and so accepted the 5 Way Agreement in order to preserve the pretence that he was fighting the SFA all the way.

    He wasn’t alone in that pretence and the evidence based narrative published by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain at sets out the pretence from cradle to grave.

    However to be more positive: Lawwell has gone and with it an opportunity now exists for Celtic to do what they undertook to do at the 2020 Zoom AGM which was to engage with the football authorities on the SFA abandonment of their own judicial disciplinary process investigating the events in 2011 that allowed Rangers FC to obtain a UEFA Licence at Celtic’s expense using false pretence.

    With so much false pretence (aka fraud) about it is difficult to tell who, if any , can be trusted to bring about the kind of reforms that the Tracy Crouch Review has recommended for football governance in England .

    Celtic would do well to seek the same independent review commissioned by The Scottish Government.

  • Dirk Mangler says:

    Most of this racism is just nonsense. Its the reason why these right wing nutters exist and vote for right wing parties. In my place of work people from ethnic backgrounds actually have more perks than non ethnic the reason being people scared to criticize as if they do they are racist, so they are just allowed to continue at being bad at their job. This was merely down to this nonsensical you need to have 40% each male and women and 25% ethnic << we have less than 5% of non white people in our country. Its not about equality at all, it does not matter how good someone is at their job anymore its about filling this stupid quota regardless. I could not care if its all women, all men or all ethnic as long as people are the best for that position.

  • Mark B says:

    Celtic were sent a draft of the sanctions to be imposed on Old Rangers for ten years of cheating and chose to do nothing say nothing and accept they would just face a fine and transfer ban no more than that. We were also complicit in the 5 way agreement. We should have stood up for the game and our fans and did not. Astonishing.

  • Thomas Daly says:

    We should keep digging eventually someone will listen,they have to be found out

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