John Beaton and the road to Galway

The Celtic statement yesterday was measured and forensic.

However, in one sense it is very little and many years too late.

In the summer of 2012 the extent of the cheating carried out by the original Rangers was very clear.

Moreover, the people on the 6th floor at Hampden were trying to drop the new Ibrox club into the top flight.

Indeed, Neil Doncaster, then the chief executive of the Scottish Premier League (SPL) stated that “there is no mechanism for what we are trying to achieve”.

That was a pretty frank admission that they were making it up on the hoof in order to shoehorn the Ibrox brand into the SPL.

Fortunately for the chaps at Hampden, the local media had the same objective.

The Stenography Corps wanted a Rangers, any Rangers, in the top flight so that they could use the term “Old Firm” in every piece.

They had dined at David Murray’s table and called Craig Whyte a “billionaire”.

Therefore, it was no surprise when they gushed about Charles of Normandy.

Everything was in place for a crime against sporting integrity to be inflicted upon the national game in Fair Caledonia.

Only the Scottish Spring, led by the late great Turnbull Hutton, prevented this appalling stitch up.

Consequently, the new club started at the bottom of the professional game in Scotland.

My sense of it at the time was that although the Celtic fans were cheering about the death of Rangers, not everyone in the boardroom at Parkhead saw it the same way.

This year Resolution 12 will be seven years old.

As you read this the Celtic board are sitting with prima facie evidence that Rangers should not have been awarded a UEFA licence for season 2011-2012.

All road in this story leads to the 6th floor of Hampden.

Consider this, what would Fergus McCann have done if he had the same documentation on his desk?

Two words spring to mind:

“Jim Farry”.

Indeed, the Bunnett would not have had to wait for shareholders to table a resolution at the AGM before going to law.

Moreover, the requisitioners would not have had to endure years of meetings with senior club employees where something is always just about to happen.

So in with all that water under the governance bridge complaining about a particular referee does seem very late in the day.

If you turned a blind eye to a blatant attempt to bend the rules of the game out of shape to suit the Ibrox brand in 2012 then the conduct of a referee in 2018 is rather a small matter.

So yesterday the Celtic board asked for directions to Galway.

As the story goes, if I was going there, I wouldn’t start from here!

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