SFA counsel checkmate on Tonev


When engaging in a civil case under Scots Law, where one witness’ testimony contradicts another, a sheriff will rule not just on what witnesses actually say, but on their demeanour, assertiveness, body language and other perceivable traits (I’m no lawyer but I’ve first-hand experience of this).

Alek Tonev’s SFA Appeal panel, faced with contradictory evidence, explained their decision on this basis, “Tonev gave his evidence in a guarded and hesitant manner”, whereas Shay Logan “gave his evidence in a careful and measured manner”.

Alek, Celtic, you and me are free to disagree with this verdict, or cite the fact that the player may have appeared hesitant because he was so uncomfortable speaking English, he attended with an interpreter (who was unused).  In these circumstances hesitancy appears normal, I can’t imagine speaking at a hearing conducted in French with anything but hesitancy, so to find against the player on this basis is blatantly incongruous, but that is a side point.

Celtic threatened to take the SFA to the Council of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).  My hunch is that before this Appeal was rejected, the SFA’s counsel confirmed that the panel were able to judge on matters of demeanour and manner.

CAS do not re-hear cases.  In this instance, they will only determine if the grounds on which the decision was made, and subsequent punishment, were within the rules of the governing body which conducted the appeal.  It is inconceivable that the SFA, who employed counsel, would return a verdict which they knew could be referred to CAS, if it broke one of their own rules.

Like you, I don’t have enough information to judge one way or the other on this one, so I’ll offer no view.  Don’t be stressed that our reputation will be damaged by the charge.  These incidents are so rare at Celtic they are headline news and recalled for decades (literally).  This is a good thing.

Will get round to the moves being put on the SFA on other matters shortly, lots to cover this week.

Got your CQN Annual yet?  Just over one week until Christmas!

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  1. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on




    What’s your take on decisions based on the balance of probabilities sits with the Not Proven verdict in Boyds case

  2. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Your reply on previous article was exactly why TB was definitely her favourite


    Aw ffs…



    Get up for work,quick check on CQN,first thing I read is TBB telling me that Santa Claus is a myth.



    I’m horrified.

  4. dr ramesh and the love potion on

    What recourse does Tonev have? Can he sue the SFA and Logan for defamation through a civil court? If he were to win that case where would that leave him and the SFA? This is a very serious matter (whether it affects Celtic or not) and a few blazers or their friends shouldn’t be able to label someone a racist without evidence. If I were Tonev I’d sue. As for Celtic, I’m not really sure what we can do other than back the player if we feel he has been wronged.

  5. thomthethim for Oscar OK on



    21:12 on


    16 December, 2014





    As soon as I saw it, I knew if you were lurking you would just happen to mention it, nothing surer >}








    Even I couldn’t miss that open goal.



    Never mind, it will stay our little secret!

  6. prestonpans bhoys on




    Shocking behaviour taking that pod from soal in the balances of probabilities I think your a Hun :-)

  7. If, as the article suggest, Tonev has no grounds to turn to CAS then I suggest that he employs counsel to see what his options are regarding taking it through the civil courts, because a positive outcome there vindicates him and shows up the SFA Muppets for what they are




  8. iki


    21:33 on


    16 December, 2014


    ….PFayr supports WeeOscar


    21:06 on


    16 December, 2014




    Logan’s immediate outrage and reaction ….




    Towards the end of that game, Logan was involved with Leigh Griffiths and he displayed some outrage and reaction.



    In a subsequent game, his outrage and reaction earned a red card for foul and abusive etc.



    None of the above, proves or disproves the nature of Tonev’s utterances but, for me, it devalues the weight placed on Logan’s outrage and reaction.

  9. dr ramesh and the love potion on

    As for the flares, when is someone going to invent a safe fitba flare??? Until then please avoid letting them off in crowded spaces as they are dangerous. That said, there can’t be one rule for Celtic and another for all the other teams letting off flares.

  10. the battered Bunnet – your point is very well put…..however you forget one factor/precedent in the process which should deem this case PROBABLY ..NOT PROVEN!!

  11. the spirit of arthur lee



    21:33 on 16 December, 2014



    Can see a lot of ‘ stadium closed ‘ signs going up, HH

  12. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on




    its the Celtic way, send him back to villa and hope we don’t get our hands dirty….

  13. So whare the moves on the SFA that Paul has now mentioned a couple of times? Place your bets time.

  14. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on





    You’re entitled to your opinion ….the SFA panel thought different …unfortunate a decision they were entitled to make

  15. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on




    FFS I got labelled a Hun for supporting Comons the other night

  16. More referee bullying by Chelsea players , to get a guy sent off, disgusting but not surprising

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