Let’s be clear, you cannot punish a player on the basis that he has made a comment which is only offensive, offence is subjective, highly so in Scottish football, where thousands await the opportunity.
Nor can you punish a player for a derogatory remark which may offend, especially if the remark does not call into question the probity of the subject. “Hearts are rotten, we beat them easily twice this season”, is a derogatory remark and will offend some Hearts fans, but it also falls into the category of being a fair opinion.
And without pointing out the obvious, you cannot offend the dead. John Guidetti and the club are right to contest this ridiculous charge, which by context, clearly refers to a team no longer with us.
I was absolutely astonished to read that newco (and former oldco) director, Paul Murray, explained Dave King’s absence from newco’s recent share as he is waiting until the SFA “have completed their review of Dave’s status before he can fully participate in the future of the Club”.
The SFA have no issue whatsoever in Dave King investing heavily in newco, or in owning all shares. Indeed, King is already the largest shareholder, which has attracted no attention from the football authorities.
The prospect of King sloping off if the SFA judge him not Fit and Proper (which I think they will), is a fabulous twist in the work of this legendary non-executive director of a dead club. He sat on the oldco board which paid EBTs for so many years, he stayed while they made no provision for the HMRC tax case, plunging into the transfer market instead. Now he awaits the whim of the SFA before deciding to invest, having led newco away from their primary source of funding.
What a star.