Scot Gov wants to talk about Celtic, not the deaths


If you want to criticise Celtic for taking a January holiday while the country suffers and you have been stuck at home for 10 months, go for it, there’s acres of space below.  The football bubble is difficult to reconcile when people are currently falling ill and dying in such numbers, the optics are poor; Celtic, really?

But if you are responsible for setting the rules of the football bubble, like the Scottish Government are, you are responsible for what is permitted within that bubble.

If you gave specific permission for Celtic’s trip to Dubai, like the Scottish Government did, you and you alone have no right to issue PR statements of condemnation.

This contrasts with the Scottish Government’s congratulatory comments for Newco after punishing their players who broke bubble rules, a marked contrast to their reaction after Celtic punished Boli Bolingoli.

I get that this Government is a world leader at PR, that their leader appears to spend much of her day preparing and delivering her message of PR brilliance and that they effortlessly dig into Celtic without self-awareness.

And I know this is a lot easier than their day job, like deciding whether to send infected patients to care homes or not, running an education system, controlling a police force who witness sectarian crime without concern, and ensuring NHS hospitals do not have to issue statements of regret after poor cleaning-related deaths.

All this magnificent PR keeps eyes away from how that day job is being performed.  Scotland has a death rate higher than all but six countries in the world, including countries run by incompetent fools, like the rest of the UK – who we continue to shadow for inexplicable reasons – and the US.

Your government wants people to talk about Celtic, not look at the death count.  The former is embarrassing and the latter is worse only in Peru, Belgium, Italy and three former Yugoslav countries.  I am not part of this cult.

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  1. Jamesgang


    I think most Celtic fans would agree that this trip is , at the very least, a poor exercise in public relations. I also think, though, that the Scottish Government`s lack of even-handedness in dealing with Celtic and Sevco in Covid issues makes it more difficult for some Celtic supporters to criticise the Club (or support the Government).



    PS I also think that had we beaten Sevco, our support would be more forgiving of the Dubai trip :-).


    PPS Looking forward to, hopefully, seeing you in person next season.

  2. Hi Bhoys



    Below is the reply i recieved from the office of my MSP about my enquiries regards the abuse at Ibrox to our players and staff and the graffiti under the Kingston bridge.



    Thank you for getting in touch.



    I am afraid that I am unaware of the grafitti that you are referring to however I can raise this matter on your behalf with Police Scotland.



    I will also contact Police Scotland on your behalf to put forward your concerns regarding the recent football match and the incident you have described, and keep you informed of any response received.



    Kind regards,





    I have replied to this email with a link to the graffiti. Also asking why there is now a police Scotland enquiry regarding events outside Ibrox when a senior officer was on the spot and could easily dealt with the situation.




  3. This Celtic Dubai Thing Has Become A Predictable Farce Of Claim And Counter Claim.



    The argument between Celtic and the Scottish Government over our trip to Dubai has been raging back and forth between the two organisations for the past 24 hours, in public and in private. We’re at the point now where it’s descended into a free-for-all of blame tossing and finger pointing. None of it is particularly edifying.



    Celtic is on the end of a PR hammering, and it no longer matters to many people whether we played by the rules or strayed outside of them. The whole affair makes our judgement look seriously flawed and our club’s position look grotesque.



    My own view on this is clear enough; we made a dreadful error in judgement by going ahead with this trip, and that’s me putting it mildly.



    I cannot believe the arrogance it displays, the rampant egotism, the complete disregard for what other people might think of it. At a time when millions of folk are seeing their lives become ever more restricted, I cannot conceive of what possessed people inside Parkhead to think that this was ever going to be anything but a PR train wreck.



    We’ve had it all this season already. I though the ultimate symbol of the club’s contempt for its own fans was going to be the pictures of those fences up in front of the Celtic Way.



    I would not have believed that it could be topped as a visual image of a board of directors who are totally out of touch with reality. I was wrong. This whole shabby affair, and those poolside images, are even more revealing of the ways those running Celtic see things.



    The headline from today is that we haven’t broken the rules. There is a lot of toing and froing going on over this, but having listened to Nicola Sturgeon on it I am 100% sure that what we’ve done is in keeping with the regulations which were in place in November last year and which haven’t been altered since then. Now, listen … that’s a point I need to go over again before the end of this piece, but for now it’s enough to know we broke no rules.



    But really, that’s never been the issue for me or for a lot of other people. The idea that we might have only arose last night when the Scottish Government started demanding that the SFA look into this matter. It was never the principle concern and it isn’t now.



    So let’s, for a moment, try and untangle all this because there are claims and counter-claims flying about. Whilst I’m happy we’ve not broken the rules, it’s not the end of the matter.



    Let’s start with the Scottish Government’s statement yesterday;



    “While there are travel exemptions in place for elite sports which are designed to facilitate international and European competition, if we feel they are being abused, we won’t hesitate to remove this privilege.”



    Celtic’s statement said this;



    “The training camp was arranged a number of months ago and approved by all relevant footballing authorities and Scottish Government through the Joint Response Group on November 12, 2020. The team travelled prior to any new lockdown being in place, to a location exempt from travel restrictions. The camp, the same one as we have undertaken for a number of years has been fully risk assessed. If the club had not received Scottish Government approval, then we would not have travelled.”



    When I read both of those statements I believed that someone was not playing it straight. In fact, both sides are factually correct. Celtic hasn’t broken the rules, but by God have we taken advantage of a loophole in them big enough to drive a Mac semi through.



    The Scottish Government is right to say the exemptions exist for competitive games. An intercontinental Jolly Boys Outing, is not a valid reason for an exemption. If you think that’s pretty cut and dry the First Minister either clarified it or muddied the waters further today when she was forced to answer questions on this as part of her daily press briefing.



    The First Minister made it clear that training camps were allowed, and that this was discussed again in November. She basically said that this had been put at the discretion of the SFA.



    Which ups the ante here and then some, and turns it into an even bigger free for all. That’s the reality of how big a shambles this whole thing has become.



    Let’s try to see it from the Scottish Government’s perspective for a moment. The football bubble is a regulatory framework which no other industry in the country is protected by. To say that the sport has been treated favourably is an understatement.



    But as the saying goes, with power comes responsibility.



    Their suggestion that Celtic has behaved with gross irresponsibility and a tin ear for public opinion is 100% spot on. It’s irrefutable.



    Even if all this was agreed months ago, the idea of it reeks.



    The whole notion that professional footballers should be allowed to fly halfway across the world on a mini-break is staggeringly offensive to the millions of people in this country whose own lives have been put on pause. It takes my breath away that Celtic is the club that’s done this.



    Those who defend it on the grounds that “those players will be working hard over there” need to do a little research on A Day In The Life Of A Professional Footballer. We’re not talking about guys who will be over there doing basic military training, out all day sweating it on the assault course or on an over-night march with a full rucksack.



    Footballers train for a few hours a day, usually in the morning. Now, I am not knocking how hard they work and train in that time; it is intensive. It has to be. The rest of the time, these guys will spend poolside. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this doesn’t have some benefits; it’s good for morale and for team-building. Just don’t let anyone kid you it’s a slog.



    This is, effectively, a mini-holiday, the sort the average punter will not get for a very long time. That is why so many of our fans and the fans of other clubs, and folk in the media, and folk in the political sphere, are up in arms about it.



    The Scottish Government points out that the football bubble wasn’t made for this. They are correct. Yet, still, there was a provision in the regulations which allows for “elite training camps.” The clause is there, it exists, and Celtic has taken advantage of it. We’ve squeezed through a loophole; it’s like Andy Dufrene on the plate factory roof advising Byron Hadley to give his sudden inheritance to his wife as a gift because then the IRS can’t touch a penny of it.



    As long as there are loopholes people are going to exploit them.



    You see it in every walk of life. Quite often it’s low-key and under the counter, drawing no attention, and then there’s something like this which is brazen and in your face and makes you question how these special exemptions ever come to be written in the first place.



    The training camp exemption was written, like most regulations are, more in the hope than the expectation that everyone would abide by the spirit of the rules and not just the letter of them. It was intended for clubs preparing for tournaments; I suspect it was written specifically with the national team in mind at the end of this campaign, in preparation for the Euros.



    It was not so that teams in the middle of competitions who fancied a wee jaunt could have one under the cover of “training.” There was no essential purpose to this. Celtic’s statement doesn’t even claim one, except for the stunningly arrogant assertion that “we do this every year” as though there has been nothing exceptional at all about the last 12 months.



    If we had a winter’s break this year, I may have understood it to an extent, although I’d still have thought it utter folly and pretty outrageous, and I would not have wanted us to go. But we’re in the middle of a normal football week here. We moved a game to fit this in, and we lost a chance to play one of those games in hand that gives the league table its insurmountable look.



    Callum McGregor has defended the Dubai trip by saying the warm weather means that players come back fitter and stronger; it apparently has great effects on the heart. I mean, this is the argument and it’s a plausible one. But you only need to do two minutes of research online to find there’s an equally strong body of evidence that cold weather training has a similar effect.



    The truth is, Celtic will try to justify this in as many ways as they can, and top of the list is that the players will benefit from it in some way or another, whether they come back more fit (which I think is a highly dubious claim when they are over there for only a week and training only part of the time) or more relaxed or having got to know each other better … these are the arguments that the club will deploy and which a lot of people will accept.



    But really, they all amount to the same thing; this is a trip away. This is a break from Scotland and the cold and the realities of life and all the various things that are going on which make the world seem like a less happy place to be right now.



    That would be fair play to them if we weren’t where we are. If we weren’t in the middle of the pandemic and the lockdown. Because those are the same reasons we’d all like a holiday, the same reasons we’d all like a bit of sun and a beer by the pool.



    The real reason we’re over there, as Celtic itself has said in the statement, and as Callum McGregor has confirmed in his, is that the club has made this an annual thing and they weren’t going to be denied it, not by anybody, not by anything.



    The scrapping of the winter break wasn’t going to change it. The busy schedule wasn’t going to deprive them of it. Not even a global pandemic and travel bans, not the prospect of a negative press, not the egregious insult to the population which has to stay at home, nor the appearance of being totally out of touch with reality was going to prevent this trip.



    People at Celtic wanted to do it, and therefore nothing else mattered. Some have tried to draw a parallel with Bolingoli, but that doesn’t stand up.



    The closest one we have for is Dominic Cummings, who was equally brazen, who went on the offensive and who refused to accept that even if his explanation wasn’t riddled with contradictions that it was the hypocrisy of it which staggered people, the idea that there was one rule for the elite and another for them. It’s a Tory idea, it’s a right-wing construct.



    Well we’ve long known that this was the operating theory of our board. It’s presumably why they’re so relaxed about what’s going on at Ibrox; the strong do what they will and if the little people don’t like it, then that’s just tough.



    Celtic wanted to do this, and so they did, just as Cummings wanted to take his trip to Barnard Castle with the wife and to Hell with what anybody thought about it. He too, of course, exploited a loophole so as not to have broken the law and he pretty much said “Everyone else could have done this, so why are you having a go at me?”



    Which brings me, finally, to the SFA and their own part in this fiasco.



    They might have had regulations in place in November, but it was only a week or so later that much of Scotland was put into a series of higher tiers. Didn’t that prompt a rethink? Or was it a case of “well the decision is made now, so why bother?”



    When Christmas was cancelled, when regulations were tightened, when the whole country was confirmed as going into a Tier Four shutdown, didn’t it dawn on anybody at the SFA that perhaps the rules should be looked at again? I agreed with how they handled last season, I think they got a raw deal over that, but the laziness and laxness in terms of putting in place no regulations and a decent regulatory framework for this season has been a fiasco.



    I understand why other clubs – particularly those facing points deductions – are furious about this trip and demanding answers. Unfortunately, they are asking the wrong people. The SFA rules allowed this just as they allow a club at Ibrox to spend money it doesn’t have, just as they allow referees with obvious allegiances to officiate games involving their clubs.



    Until clubs get serious about reform, this is what we to endure.

  4. THE EXILED TIM on 5TH JANUARY 2021 4:22 PM




    ‘ they are now arresting women for videoing empty hospitals in England, who would have thunk it eh.’







    Is this a reference to the woman who filmed hospital patients without their consent and posted the footage online?



    Is that behaviour you approve of?

  5. We will appoint a foreign manager, who is used to having players bought and sold from under him……..let me think who would do that for Celtic?

  6. WTF – Sturgeon is in the process of deliberately destroying Scotlands economy and she’s criticising CELTIC !!!!

  7. fourstonecoppi on

    BAMBOO on 5TH JANUARY 2021 4:46 PM


    WTF – Sturgeon is in the process of deliberately destroying Scotlands economy and she’s criticising CELTIC !!!!



    Aye if only Boris wis in charge!!!

  8. glendalystonsils on

    Should Barca sell Messi?



    Should Juve sell Ronaldo?



    Should Bayern sell Lewandowski?



    Should any club sell their best player if there’s an alternative?



    I didn’t go anywhere near that preposterous article.



    BTW should I pass on my bank details to that Nigerian chap whose


    emails sometimes appear in my spam folder?

  9. Ernie


    I am not your errand boy, do your own digging, while you are at it, ask yourself, or look for yourself why Public Health England has on their website that on the week ending 20th Dec there was only 50, yip that would be [fifty] reported C-19 cases reported to them by Drs in England for a statuary communicable disease, kinda a big disparity to the pish the MSM are spouting and the government is locking down the country for and destroying peoples lives, also the same governments national stats site tells you that there is NO excess mortality, in fact it’s less that the bad winter of 17-18, not something that you see on the BBC.


    I know you are a smart bloke, yet you seem going by your posts blind to what is happening, so either you are not smart and really stupid, or you have an agenda, I know what my money is on.

  10. fourstonecoppi on




    Well said…..both sides have got this wrong. It might not be law breaking but It’s all about moral compass.




    This kind of rhapsodising might sound good to fellow conspiracy theorists.



    To those of us who actually lost someone to this bug it’s just pig-ignorant, offensive, reeking garbage.

  12. The decision to go ahead with the Dubai trip is a(nother) cataclysmic failure of judgement by the CEO for allowing it to go ahead. Regardless of the then pertaining circumstances and approval, the situation has (had) changed dramatically since November, and it is not rocket salad to recognise this. A sacking offence on its own, imo. As if we don’t have enough pressing issues to deal with…

  13. James


    I am in the same boat but I unlike you don’t believe their lies, a brain tumor doesn’t suddenly turn into Covid, so with respect, go forth and multiply

  14. THE EXILED TIM on 5TH JANUARY 2021 4:53 PM







    I am not your errand boy,’








    This reminds me of your story about George Floyd’s death certificate saying he’d died of Covid.



    It was complete bullshit, but you fell for it, and then went off on one when you were asked for evidence.




    I literally don’t know what to say that mate .



    I know you’re a Good Guy, one of the genuinely Good Guys on here.



    But at times man, I wanna bang my head against the wall reading you!

  16. James Forrest



    People are dying for a multitude of reasons everyday.



    Lockdowns and restrictions dont work and should never have been imposed.

  17. Hi Bhoys



    A really quick reply from the office of my MSP.




    Thanks for providing the update.



    The vandalism is utterly unacceptable, and I’m glad to see that it has been roundly condemned. I hope that Glasgow City Council will be able to remove it as a matter of urgency.



    With regards to the police action, this would be for Police Scotland to make an operational decision and I will keep you updated with any response received.



    Kind regards,





  18. Vinniethedog



    Your example of Ian Cathro proves to me you don’t know what you’re talking about.



    I’ve been on an SFA coaching course with him before he was known. Before he was known he was seen as an up and coming smart progressive coach who made money by setting up football drills and coaching sessions then patenting them. You want to use his session you pay him.



    He excelled at setting up progressive coaching sessions however he was and still is never seen as a football manager,where the skills set required is completely different.



    Valencia as a coach big success.


    Hearts as a football manager, big failure.


    Wolves as a coach, success.



    Anyone knowing his personality would be confident of predicting, put him in a dressing room full of pro’s and he would struggle, it’s just not in his make up.



    Ask him to prepare coaching sessions and he will excel, Ian Cathro is back in the correct job for his skills.

  19. Ernie


    As I said I am not your errand boy, the info is out there, just look for it.


    I fell for it, aye right, prove me wrong then, show me where there was more than 50 reported cases to PHE in Dec W/E 20th, or is that on their website.




    Ok then, I have asked many times for posters who don’t believe what I say to show me concrete proof that I am talking pish, I am still waiting.


    Look for yourself, see when you stop believe the agenda driven news, things start to become a tad clearer.


    Look at the sites I have mentioned for yourself, why would I reference them if it’s bollix, listen James, I have been wrong many times in the past, when I am I hold my hands up, I won’t be holding my hands up on this matter, I will bet my grandweans lives on it.

  20. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    beginning to see a clear division on here – as SFTB suggested earlier,



    Those of us who appreciate what Neil has done for Celtic but recognise that his time is up and he has to go,



    we would like him to go with his dignity still intact,



    Those of us who couldn’t care less what he’s done for Celtic and just want him sacked immediately,



    probably would like him kicked out the back door with the SMSM waiting to ambush him,



    this could run and run, the longer things remain unchanged the more volatile this place will be




    See, this is where you simply refuse to understand our point of view.



    Whether Lennon’s dignity is intact or not is something he’ll decide. If he runs this thing out until the board has no choice to publicy sack him, then so be it. The idea that no-one cares what he’s done is stupid. Rodgers slunk out the back door like a thief; his contribution to this club will never be doubted.



    Neither will the contributions Lennon has made.



    And yes, I want him sacked immediately. Because for the good of the club, we need what time is left in this campaign to start preparing for the next one. Every day he’s still there, when everyone knows the gigs up, is a day we’re wasting. That’s the reason I think it’s got to happen right away.

  22. A great question in the Boris Johnson presser just then;



    “How can anyone have confidence in you when you said on Sunday that schools must stay open and then, on Monday, you closed them?”



    To me, the greatest folly in all of this has been letting schools re-open. Moreso even than the pubs and everything else, I thought it absolutely barking. Especially when distance learning is probably the easiest thing we could impliment as a society.



    When the first of many, many, many public enquiries into this goes ahead one of the things that future generations are going to struggle to comprehend is why we allowed such an obvious reservoir for this thing in the first place. If it looks like the extended lockdowns didn’t work it’s because they weren’t lockdowns when millions of kids all across this island were sitting in classrooms with each other all day long and taking back whatever they were spreading amongst them to the parents and their familes.



    Incomprehensible lunacy, and repeated in all three of the UK nations, and in the occupied territories across the water.

  23. I detect an anti-nationalist sentiment in Paul’s musings.


    I don’t know if I agree with Paul. Once Scotland is an independent country things can only get better. Sevco supporters can stop hating all things catholic and can start eating food products with green wrappers.

  24. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    SFTB @ 3:37pm



    Skipped by the first few bits.



    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your last six paragraphs.



    Measured, sombre, rational and tolerant.






    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  25. Rock Tree Bhoy on




    Fair comment James, however I’m basing my ‘nobody cares what he’s ever done’ on some of the posts I’ve read on here, Celtic fans coming on here saying he’s ‘stinking the place out’, never thought I’d see that,



    by the way I like you posting on here, definitely makes it more interesting – whether we agree or not.

  26. bluegrass celt on

    I’ve been to five funerals since September. 3 were old and in poor health, 2 were barely in their fifties, one very fit man and one killed in a hit and run ( still not got the b@st@rd).


    I couldn’t give any of the grieving families a hug , certainly not the 15 and 9 year old who lost their father. I even had to stand outside the chapel for my two favourite aunties.


    I’m fed up with these prima Donna “football stars” effing off in a jolly while the rest of us batten down the hatches and stick to the tough restrictions.


    Celtic management should have reversed this decision but no,” we go every year”. Aye? Well I like to go out celebrate ma birthday every year especially when it’s my bus pass one, but I couldn’t.


    The board just gave the government a stick to beat them with in this instance. You can use the Nicky bashing squirrel all you want Paul. That team should have been locked up at Lennoxtown after the Ibrox game and not let out until they had all got to know each other…..and defend a set piece.


    Oh and, we’ll said James Forrest

  27. Garngad to Croy on

    James Forrest




    Agree the Schools staying fully open was indeed a great folly but we are a Capitalist country and Capitalist’s don’t like looking after their own children when they could be at work (as a highly paid footballer or journalist)

  28. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    John Collins talking about who could be the next Celtic Manager



    “John Kennedy has been moulded for this for years.



    “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s the next manager, to be honest with you.”

  29. DOWNFORSAM on 5TH JANUARY 2021 2:56 PM






    Sack Lennon?…………………………….Yes or No?




    Do you really need to ask?



    You would think not. Banter years in full flow. We are the butt of the jokes unfortunate






    Smiling here.a poster implies i am a troll for defending Neil Lennon who happens to our 4th treble winning manager…and defending his name against someone who does not even attend Parkhead.



    And its alright to slate him with lazy crap like above



    Dear oh dear





    St stivs/gg and chairbhoy



    Ta for share issue discusdion.brilliant