At the time of writing this, Ibrox has yet to release any sort of public statement on the appalling behaviour of their women’s team assistant manager at the end of their 1-1 draw with Celtic’s ladies on Sunday night.
It is astonishing that they have yet to grasp the nettle here.
Their media strategy – which I sort of wrote about in the last piece – remains a mess.
I know that there are people in politics who cleave to what James Reston wrote in the New York Times back in May 1970 about Nixon’s attitude to the media in the aftermath of the bombing of Cambodia, “never complain, never explain, never apologise.”
But that’s so old school, counterproductive and ridiculous that the only organisation which still adopts and uses it is, not surprisingly, the British Royal Family.
It comes, in the first place, from Bagehot although it was Disraeli who first used the expression.
All it actually does is reveal a contempt for everyone else, and in this case casts a harsh light on their club.
They will attempt to hide behind this “internal investigation” nonsense.
And that’s all it is; nonsense.
What will they find out which isn’t obvious from the footage?
There are things which don’t require an internal investigation to merit a response. We all saw what happened. We all saw it clearly. The individual responsible might try to argue some mitigation, but what possible mitigation can there be?
Fran Alonso is one of the most genuine men in the game up here.
He was shaking hands with, and commiserating their players – the opposition’s players! – when he was approached from behind and subjected to that attack.
What possible justification for that is there?
It would be a disgrace to even try one.
So what are they waiting for?
It happened live on TV. The footage speaks for itself.
Nothing will make that less than it was, and the club could immediately have issued a statement apologising to Fran Alonso and his team and then declared that the matter would be looked at further.
They have not done so. Indeed, they were not the ones who announced the “internal investigation”. That is simply surmised from what the manager said on the night in the aftermath of the game.
Not a living soul from inside the walls has added one word to that.
Last night news broke that Celtic and Alonso would rather not even have the police involved in this, that all they want is an apology, which makes Ibrox’s clear and wilful decision not to offer one in public all the more incredible, and not a little disturbing.
Our club is right to be concerned by it, especially as it fits a clear pattern.
Their club offered no public apology for the bottling incident at their ground, choosing instead to issue it to Celtic behind the scenes. Why? So as not to upset their own fans by doing the right thing. So as not to offend and antagonise their lunatic fringe by getting out in front of it and calling that incident a disgrace.
People inside Celtic know, then, that Ibrox would rather pander to its goons than take them on … and that the nutters in the stands now have a poster boy who works on the staff will be regarded as deeply troubling, in particular as there has been no public comment from them on this. They hope that this whole thing will just go away.
So Celtic has good reason to be increasingly concerned. Even if there’s already been an apology behind the scenes, the kind of organisation which would rather have its fans, and the world, believe that they stand firm, stand by their man, stand by the worst elements in their support … and on the back of our club feeling that it had to turn down Ibrox tickets?
Let’s just say that this hasn’t improved relations one bit.