SPFL chief executive, Neil Doncaster, is clear on the subject of offensive singing at football games: “It remains the SPFL’s position that if it can be established that clubs have done everything required in overall management of the event pre-match, during the game and post-match then they have no case to answer”.
This may be the case, but if clubs fail to communicate appropriate instructions to fans after one transgression, which is quickly followed by a second transgression, Doncaster’s defence is moot. The club has failed to do “everything required” pre-match and post-match, and is guilty under the rules, if applied.
Doncaster has employed a rhetorical technique. When faced with a difficult scenario, make a statement which is in itself true, but the parameters of which do not match the scenario.
The chief executive of the Scottish Professional Football League’s comments this morning appear like an attempt to protect a member club from the League’s own rules. He is paid to ensure rules are applied, not negated.
It is no business of his to defer responsibility to the police, or the Justice Ministry, which concocted this inept Offensive Behaviour Act in order to “equalise” criminality, where it didn’t exist, but will not lift a finger on this issue.
What do you know about Andy McAtee? He signed for Celtic from Mossend Hibs in 1910 and left in 1924, having played 438 games on the right wing, scoring 75 goals. He won six league titles and four Scottish Cups and was one of the earliest Celtic heroes. During the Great War he fought in the Alps, and in Haig’s bloody field in the Somme.
When he, and other members of our first genuinely great team, retired, Celtic found it impossible to replace them. We didn’t win another six titles until Inter manager, Helenio Herrera, watched our title win in May 1967.
The Celtic Graves Society mark his final resting place at Kilsyth Cemetery (G5 0TA) at 12:00 on Saturday 28 February. After a graveside blessing, there will be a Q&A with Jim Craig, Tom Boyd and Pat McCluskey, at The Curling Stone pub, High Craigends, Kilsyth. If you can make it along and support the great work of the Society, get there.