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.
If you like the CelticBlog and especially our occasional forays into politics, pop culture and other stuff, then please like and share and follow our new site The Red Under The Bed, and give us some love on our Facebook page and on Twitter as well. Thanks in advance guys and gals.