Ibrox fans have proposed a bizarre theory in relation to the Manchester City saga; that Celtic are somehow involved in it with them and that the investigation could somehow wind its way back to Parkhead and see us sanctioned by the SFA and UEFA.
You have to admit; this is fantastic.
I love it when some of these muppets go full-on lunatic and start with this kind of nonsense. This is The Unseen Hand again, forever with its fingers around the controls of football, politics and global finance, all hell-bent on keeping their club down.
The logic of their position is stupefying. That Celtic’s “links” with City enabled us to hire Ange, one of the City Group managers. That we have been somehow involved in helping boost their balance sheet with the signings of such players as Daniel Arzani and Olivier Ntcham. That Lawwell Jnr. might be under investigation for his own role.
None of that makes a bit of sense. It is warped.
Those pushing it belong in the Hidden Hills asylum, and I might do a piece on that if this barmy idea spreads into the mainstream, where doubtless some of the hacks would absolutely love to be able to put it.
But none of it stands up to the remotest scrutiny.
Is every club which hired someone from City, or bought a player from them, subject to investigation? This is about sponsorship deals and other forms of financial doping; we didn’t enable City to win a title by buying its French midfielder for £4 million. It’s not even a drop in the bucket to a club their size and with their spending power.
That single deal might have filled the petty cash box for a day, but that’s about it.
None of Celtic’s other “City Group links” are remotely connected to this. The whole investigation centres on the EPL club, not any of its subsidiary organisations in distant lands. There are no links to the American team, where Deila went. No links to Japan, where Ange managed as part of their stable. None of this even relates to the current timeframe.
The timeframe in question is from season 2009-10 to season 2017-18; Ange’s move to Celtic is obviously not in that period no matter how much these people might wish they could twist reality to somehow fit it in there, and of course we didn’t hire him from Manchester City.
Mark Lawwell was not involved in sponsorships or financing. He was a scout. He worked on the football department, not as part of the money team. So it’s difficult to see where he could possibly be tied into this, in any way, shape or form.
Earlier on today I wrote about the SFA’s refusal to investigate the events of the EBT years. Yet Ibrox fans have long been convinced that their club suffered some draconian punishment and undeserved fate, and ever since the 2012 liquidation of their former club they have yearned for something to arise which sweeps over Celtic like a tidal wave.
But we are a well-run football club. We have cash in the bank. We have bankable assets on the pitch. We are insured against disaster. We can borrow money if we need to. And we play it straight. We don’t hide contracts, field ineligible players, cook our books and we’re not sugar-daddy owned and artificially inflating sponsorship deals.
We’re not the ones, if I may be so bold as to say so, getting “loans” from directors and signing commercial deals with companies owned by our own chairman.
If investigators should be digging for similar scandals in Scotland, it’s not Celtic Park they’d be looking at.