Ann Budge bid farewell to grotesque podium and Celtic after Ten-in-a-Row


Since Friday March 13, when the Covid 19 shutdown ushered in the summer of discontent, Scottish football witnessed some of the most cheeky and damaging personal interests the game in Scotland has ever seen. Maybe it’s time for Celtic to go down that route.

In the last four and a half months, Scottish football has imploded and has done so in the most public way. The laundry was washed rather publicly.

We have heard calls for a null and void season that would have bankrupted many clubs, with some executives lobbying dubiously on behalf of a potential future employer – bizarrely against the interests of their own club and the game. itself – to vote, withdraw and re-issue, the ballots counted and released to the public via a BBC website timeline – Good Friday it was not – for questionable records and votes from trust, ultimately more wet spit than guns.

And all within the top management of the FPSL board of directors which seemed, if not suspect in its intentions, certainly lacking the organizational skills and leadership you would expect from such positions of power.

If anyone is confident that Scottish football is able to move forward without some kind of outside help then help me here, explain to me, I could do with hearing it. Remind me who is the league sponsor in the season to start?

Football played on pitches rather than podcasts will indeed be a welcome distraction. This is of course if a certain Glasgow football club can ensure that their players arrive on the pitch having fully adhered to the testing protocols.

Following the sessional court referral of Hearts and the doomed Partick Thistle, attempts to send the whole process back to the courts for arbitration – where it should have been heard if there was no hadn’t had Hearts’ presentation in the first place – after a week or two of deliberation, a panel of three QC scholars decided that Hearts and Partick Thistle’s attempts to end the season without them, nor to be financially compensated for their losses were unfounded.

In what was primarily a public relations exercise on President Ann Budge’s part to disguise inept management at the level of football operations, she herself oversaw, while seeking the favors of a support, who without such distractions would have been able to run Gorgie Road with pitchforks questioning his abilities to do so. So the last challenge of the 2019-20 season was over and we can look forward to a less difficult 20-21 season. Who am I kidding?

Hearts were the driving force with Partick Thistle taken for the ride. Predominantly you would assume because Hearst had little defense so cut adrift down when the league was called their own case enjoyed a club I really sympathize with which gives them a veneer of respectability.

Partick Thistle may have been the last in the championship but if they had played an equal number of matches they might not have been, as such they added some validity to Hearts’ attempts to a sympathetic ear.

Hearts, on the other hand, did not have such a fold. From Budge’s blind spot with his manager / soccer director and Craig Levein’s painful slowness in unraveling the fortunes of a club that went from league leaders to basement boys in the space of 12 months, upon Daniel Stendel’s appointment, Hearts reasons for relegation had less to do with the shutdown of Covid 19 and more to do with misplaced loyalty and football naivety. When a ship started to deviate from its course and the captain was replaced, it was by a man who had never been in these waters. Covid 19 or not the Hearts ship has already sunk.

It would appear that not only was Budge reckless with Hearts’ football operations, but she was also cautious with her own legal challenge attempts. In part of her statement yesterday, she points out her legal team – “recognized up front that it would be an uphill battle” – but she still decided to take the risk.

The Queen’s lawyers will offer advice before their client decides to go to court. They will offer a percentage chance of winning before proceeding with the case. It would be interesting to know what number his legal team was informed about in regards to the percentage of chances of success. Oddly, his statement omits such figures.

There may be a change to come with Peter Lawwell now taking a seat on the FBCL board of directors in place of “Rangers” Stewart Robertson who sailed upwind avoiding accusations of discrediting the game this summer, but the truth is Scottish football will have scores to settle in the months and years to come.

Any hope of a consensus for the betterment of Scottish football, whether in governance, rebuilding, marketing or sponsorship, will now be undermined by scores to be settled and more bloodshed in the future.

Peter Lawwell will have no control over all of this. Where he has real influence is in the interests of Celtic as a football club. When Celtic kick off on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. and a ninth league flag flies, we should be looking to make it 10 in a row and the story to go with it. Once done, we need to draw a line below.

An area where revenge rather than advancement will be the priority of too many club presidents. The end of this summer of discontent will not be the end of grievances, they will continue and Celtic will be weighed down by it all.

The 10-in-line should be a watershed moment. Celtic is a name that attracts Adidas as a partner, but the league we operate in can’t even attract a sponsor of any kind – and that was before the impact of Covid 19. If that doesn’t indicate that we have passed our surroundings, i don’t know what that does.

In a summer where self-interest has prevailed, it is time for us to take our lead on this and say goodbye to Scottish football.

Niall J


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