I’m not going to do a major piece on the Celtic Boys Club case until there’s a decision on it one way or another, one with legal force and effect, but the news today that Celtic has offered to open settlement talks is one of the things that this site and others have urged on the club for a while now. It’s the right thing to do, and it should probably have been done before now.
There is so much ignorant nonsense out there on this subject, almost all of it propagating on the forums of the Ibrox fan-base that I’ve refrained for years from commenting too directly on any of it.
Their firm conviction that this was their Celtic Year Zero moment has never wavered, and they have allowed themselves to fantasise about potential consequences which had no realistic chance of ever coming to pass. They have attempted to weaponize this in every conceivable way. The more they built it up, the greater their disappointment was likely to be.
I’m going to use a somewhat brutal analogy here, and it’s one that I’ve not hesitated to use before; that of Donald Trump and the way he behaved prior to and during the second Presidential debate with Hillary Clinton.
It’s a textbook example of what I’m going to say.
On 7 October 2016, Access Hollywood released a tape in which Donald Trump openly boasted about sexually assaulting women. We all know what he said, and there’s no need for me to give you an account of it. It might be the most famous “locker room talk” – his words, certainly not mine – in the history of the world. It was abhorrent.
Three days later, he deflected questions about that at the second Presidential debate against Hillary Clinton by pointing out four women his campaign had brought to the event; Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathy Shelton and Kathleen Willey. All of those women had credible grievances. All had levelled consequential allegations against Bill Clinton. Their backgrounds and cases were known beforehand. They were women the media and the liberal establishment had treated with appalling callousness and lack of sympathy, and I felt bad for all of them.
But in pursuit of what they saw as some version of restorative justice, they allowed themselves to be used as props and human shields for a man whose conduct was beyond the pale.
Similar allegations have stalked Donald Trump for much of his professional life; a 2019 book, All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator, includes more than 40 specific allegations. And that’s what those four women, that night, had enabled in their quest to get their own justice.
They gave legitimacy, and perhaps even helped hand over the White House, to a man guilty of his own litany of crimes against other women.
You cannot have justice at any price, at any cost. Because then it isn’t justice, its revenge and that’s a whole different motivation and it cheapens and degrades whatever it is that you are trying to do. You cannot, and must not, in the name of justice believe that the ends justify the means nor that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” regardless of their own personal history and their own personal conduct. Those women fell into that classic trap. Trump didn’t give a shit about them or getting some measure of justice on their behalf, he did it for himself.
And the cause those women should have been devoted to? The protection of other women? They set it back decades by sitting there next to that guy, on that night, after what the Access Hollywood tape had revealed about him and the things he’d done. How many women spent election night in stunned incomprehension as tens of millions of their fellow Americans voted for the guy who bragged about sexual assault? That’s what they aided and abetted.
Let me use another analogy; this one’s for the lurkers;
If you’re going to call us every name under the sun and wrap it up by singing God Save The King at the top of your lungs, at least make sure that the King in question isn’t protecting an offender who hung out with Jeffrey Epstein.
You get it now? Is that making it clear?
Those seeking “justice” in this case, really did tie themselves tight to some truly reprehensible Peepul in service to that cause, and that always comes with a cost. Those who genuinely do want justice for victims should long ago have disassociated themselves from many of those claiming to be their allies. Their presence in this debate has tainted it from the start.
Their involvement has toxified an issue which should have been handled with sensitivity and respect, both for those who suffered … and for those who stand accused.
Let me repeat that; and for those who stand accused.
I’ve seen people’s names thrown about like confetti in all this, when no evidence has ever been offered to support their involvement, or who very obviously played no part in what took place. I’ve seen appalling attempts by those “investigating it” to draw links between other heinous crimes, which have precisely zero relevance to these proceedings, and that too has levelled accusations at people without the slightest shred of evidence.
But most sickening about all their posturing is this claim, made over and over again, that all they want is “justice for the victims.” But they don’t want justice for victims anymore than Trump did when he sat with Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones and the others that night; these people want revenge, revenge for 2012 and their own self-inflicted wounds.
They are like people who have blown their own toes off with a shotgun demanding that the guy who handled it last compensate them because the trigger went off when they pressed their finger on it. They have suffered. They believe we had a hand in that suffering. Therefore, they want to see Celtic suffer and this seems the most logical route to getting that outcome.
Some of them are actually openly debating what “sporting sanctions” there will be, although what that has to do with justice for the victims they won’t say, because they can’t say, because that’s almost certainly nowhere on the list of priorities for those who have suffered abuse. Not that it would matter since there are precisely zero grounds under which Celtic could suffer any sporting sanctions, whatever the outcome in this case had been.
Their attempts to draw some sporting equivalence between what they accuse us of here and what they were actually liquidated for would be comical if the situation were not one of the utmost serious and the issue of the utmost gravity.
The simple fact is that that what they did broke football regulations. You aren’t supposed to pay for your footballers with a tax scam. You aren’t meant to hide contracts and cheat on how footballers are registered. You aren’t supposed to spend more than you earn.
And yet … none of that even matters in the grand scheme of things, because if we’re being honest, they got away with all of that anyway.
Their entire thirst for revenge is based on a lie. They ran out of money. They went bust. They weren’t relegated. Their club disappeared out of existence. I don’t know how many times this needs to be repeated, and there are some Celtic fans who don’t get this either and have never processed it properly, so once again here goes.
There was not then, and there is not to this day, any mechanism for relegating a team from the top flight to the bottom division because of debts. They went out of business. They died. The club at Ibrox is a different club than the one that existed before. There is no other way this could have happened if that were not the case.
The Survival Lie is arrant nonsense.
The Victim Lie, which is what they clutch to most tightly, is the support pillar that keeps the Survival Lie from collapsing.
Without their status as victims, they have to acknowledge that Rangers died in 2012. The Victim Lie was created to give the Survival Lie a foundation on which it could stand.
At its heart is a question; if their club didn’t die, then why did they need to start at the bottom?
We contend that they did die, hence they started where all new clubs start.
This is a self-evident fact.
But they’ve allowed a toxic myth to grow instead; that when they were vulnerable and weak, Scottish football got together and decided that this would be the right moment to punish them for … what? Success?
So in spite of it violating every rule we have, the clubs and the governing bodies voted to “relegate them” out of the top flight.
This is sheer fantasy. It’s proven fantasy.
The facts can be read in every online archive from that time.
But not only did that not happen … it could not have happened even if we’d wanted it to.
Even if Celtic was the monstrous club they claim, and even if we were ten times bigger than we are, and even if our board was dedicated to their utter ruination, we could not have done this.
It would have taken an alliance of the two governing bodies and the directors and officials at every club in the land, risking all they had, in pursuit of a goal that would have been plainly insane.
Nobody could have done it.
If such a thing had even been attempted, they would have fought it fiercely and they would absolutely, without question, have won in a court whether civil or sporting, and the cumulative fines and compensation they’d have gotten for it would have put the SFA and the SPFL out of business. Neither of those organisations would have chanced that for one second, no matter who was pulling the strings or sitting on their boards or urged that course of action.
No other club would have supported such a move.
Why would they?
Aside from the momentous financial consequences of being involved in the lawsuits which would have followed, there’s another consideration to bear in mind; if the rules could be twisted like that to “punish” the second biggest club in the game simply because it ran out of cash, why would they not think “hey this could happen to us”?
UEFA would never have permitted it either, and they would have banned every club in the country from their competitions until the matter was resolved.
The Grand Conspiracy never existed.
The idea that clubs “voted to relegate them” is nothing but a lie.
It’s not an exaggeration or a simple misunderstanding of what occurred here, it’s a lie.
The truth is that Ibrox barely suffered any actual sporting penalties, even when there were clear violations of the rules.
They were deducted points. That’s standard when a club goes into administration.
In short, that was a consequence, not a punishment.
The Lord Nimmo Smith case ended with nothing more than a slap on the wrist and a bunch of mumbo-jumbo which Celtic should never have accepted. So, these Peepul want revenge for nothing, against no-one, because what they have convinced themselves happened didn’t happen at all … it is stuff pulled out of Narnia.
But this is their motivation.
They thirst to settle this score, although the debt exists largely in their own imagination, and they don’t particularly care that it exploits grief and pain.
And because they are committed to seeing Celtic suffer, some of those who have been impacted by abuse believe they have friends and allies amongst the dregs of the gutter.
If the settlement offer is accepted, wait and see how many of their “friends and allies” call them cowards and sell-outs because they didn’t inflict a mortal blow on our club.
Because that’s what interests these people, and it’s all that ever has.
That’s all they wanted and all they’re ever going to accept.
This is not about justice, it’s about revenge.
And as I said earlier, that’s a whole other motivation, an uglier one, something diminishing and unseemly, and in this case it is both obscene and without justification at the same time.