When Jim Goodwin blasted Ryan Porteous in the aftermath of a game between Aberdeen and Hibs earlier in the season – for the incident which saw our young loanee Liam Scales sent off – I was pretty astonished by his remarks.
I thought he deserved to be hauled in front of the SFA discipline panel for them.
They were shocking. But I didn’t expect him to be.
Yet no manager should be able to get away with what he did. It was a stunning attack on a rival footballer. Hibs would have been seething about it and with good reason. The SFA’s response amazed me and not because it wasn’t deserved. The size of the ban … well, that’s a different matter. It was pretty severe.
But I was surprised because the SFA had done something obvious for once. They had interpreted their rulebook in the correct way, and punished an outrageous act.
Here’s the thing; when you analyse what Goodwin actually did, stripped of the particular language he used, he did nothing that managers haven’t done in the aftermath of games against us.
Steven Gerrard called a Celtic player a cheat some years back and he was none too shy about accusing the SFA of institutional bias against his team. Kyogo has been accused of being a diver by at least one manager.
I could go on, but examples do come readily to mind.
It seems that if you’re going to level this accusation at people you ought to make sure you are in the home dressing room at Ibrox before you do. Or, at the very least, that the targets of your bile are playing their football at Celtic Park.
Because then you’re fine. Going on past precedent before this.
What the SFA has done in hauling Goodwin in is set a new standard. One that they’ve been curious to avoid setting before now.
We will see how long it lasts.
If this is now the done thing, then it will be interesting to see how the next person to have a go at one of our players does in front of the beaks. I suspect we won’t find out, and not because this will make the idiot brigade fall suddenly silent.
It’ll be because some rules don’t apply to Ibrox and others don’t apply to us.
We know who comes out on the good end of that. We’ve seen it all before.