The Idea That Celtic Broke A Rule In The 2020 Scottish Cup Final Is Risible Nonsense.

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Willie Haughey should know better than to spout utter, mindless nonsense in the media which allows some of them an anti-Celtic headline. But apparently not, because he did a bit of moaning about Queens Park’s Scottish Cup ban in which he dragged our names into it and suggested that we had fielded two ineligible players in the 2020 final.

His “logic” – if we can call it that, and believe me I’d rather not – is that six players from Hearts and two from ourselves were not signed when the games were originally scheduled to have been played or had played for other teams, and therefore should not have been allowed to play in the match.

Look, you can argue the rights and the wrongs of it if you like but he then claimed that there was nothing written down anywhere which made their appearances legit.

“There was nothing in writing saying because it was during Covid,” he said, which is almost certainly false. “If you take the rule they have ruled against Queen’s Park, those eight players shouldn’t have been able to play. You take your punishment and move on, it’s a human error. But it’s not as black and white as people think.”

Actually, rule breaking is pretty black and white and the extraordinary claim that there was “nothing in writing” which allowed those players to play is obviously a highly suspect one if we’re being generous.

The SFA would have needed to have a meeting about the eligibility criteria for this explicit reason, and that means that there is something written down which allowed this.

Even if it’s a memo between one department and the other.

Even if it’s contained in COVID specific rules and regulations.

There isn’t anything written down?

That’s got to be false, because if the issue came up in even one meeting and one discussion there is a minute of it, there was a vote on it and that puts it beyond reproach.

The idea that Celtic knowingly broke a rule … and that nobody twigged to this until now?

Three years after the fact?

That nobody noticed it? 

Celtic would never have fielded the two players that day – one of whom was David Turnbull, the other of whom was Diega Laxalt – if there had been the slightest doubt about their being allowed to play.

Hearts would never have fielded six players had that doubt existed, and the least either side would have done was email the SFA to find out.

Said email, and the response, of course constituting “something written down.”

It’s possible to feel sorry for what happened to Queens Park here, but they broke the rules and they got what has long been accepted as the punishment for doing so – banishment from the tournament.

Unless your club is called Rangers or plays out of Ibrox.

If he wants to have a discussion about ineligible players, there are targets other than us he could have taken a shot at.

I’m very sorry his club is in not in the Scottish Cup, but if its administrators had been clear on their business they wouldn’t have been booted out. That’s not Celtic’s fault.

He would have been well advised not to mention us in his petulant frustration and self-pity over it.

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  • Benjamin says:

    100% James. This is just a bizarre claim to be making, particularly aiming it at Celtic when both teams in the final were equally culpable. I would actually argue that Hearts have a bigger problem than Celtic did because one of the players who signed for them in that period was Craig Gordon. Ordinarily he would have been cup-tied and not allowed to play for Hearts. In fact, had Covid not delayed the Scottish Cup, there is a very good chance he still would have played in the final — for Celtic! To use that as evidence that Celtic somehow broke the rules is beyond bizarre and downright risible.

  • Scud Missile says:

    Oh dear obviously a selective memory,what a ROASTER.

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