USE THE FORCE, CELTIC.
A comment on Charlotte Fakes’ revelations and their effects on Scottish Football
Yes, I accept this is Champions League week and we have an exceptionally exciting football match coming up on Wednesday. That, I confess should be what occupies our minds and hearts at this moment and one would expect nothing would distract from it. But, unfortunately, in the midst of pleasure disturbing news can sometimes disrupt our enjoyment. No one is more aware than I that Rangers, Sevco, The Rangers and the whatever Rangers saga has us all frustrated and “cheesed off” beyond forbearance but the latest letter revealed by Charlotte Fakes can not be ignored. It is not simply a Rangers or Sevco or whoever story. It strikes at the very survival, the very lifeblood, of Scottish Football. And, like it or not, for the moment, Celtic Football Club are part of it and have to live with what it is. On the other hand it might not and it might at last decide to do something about it. The question is when and how? I have my own reasons why a serious question about the whole shoddy affair and the consequent upheaval should be forthcoming.
The whole issue of Charlotte Fakes’ revelations raises a question that has long puzzled me. Why have Celtic FC and other clubs for that matter, remained silent? This is the very soul of Scottish Football governance that is being stained here and, as members of these “illustrious” – or should that be disastrous – bodies, should Celtic and others not have made some sort of challenge. For the moment let us forget that the latest revelations in the current Charlotte secret letter that there was collusion, legitimate or not remains to be seen, between the old S.P.L., the S.F.A. and Sevco. Let us also forget it was conspired more secretly than a James Bond, secret agent, “For Your Eyes Only”, mission. With all that in mind, one could excuse the lack of questions about it from clubs. But surely any non-gullible human being could not fail to detect a stench of unbridled intrigue being brewed at football headquarters, even if fermentation was taking place in illicit stills somewhere in Hampden’s deepest unknown cellars. The stink could have been picked up by a blind man with a blocked up nose easier than he could the choking fumes from a fire in a Pirelli tyre factory. Yet, a great big nothing from Parkhead and elsewhere. In truth, it does make me somewhat uneasy.
If this latest revelation of a secret letter is true, and as many others much better qualified than I have confirmed, it looks to be so, as it is not in any way challenged, then surely all Scottish clubs are bound in justice and integrity to hold the Scottish Football authorities, every twig and branch to account. Office bearers from mahogany desk to executive loo, must be made to leave voluntarily or be thrown headlong. For a long time there has been a groundswell of opinion among ALL Scottish Football supporters that those in charge of our game are embarrassingly and shamefully incompetent. Many go beyond that complaint to accusations of underhandedness. If Charlotte’s revelations are true, then the latter is proven beyond all doubt. The whole governance edifice would need to be demolished and a completely new structure erected. But will this happen? Will this be allowed to happen?
When serious doubts are raised about the judgements of the pillars of justice in Scotland, one has little confidence that anything in the country is clean, never mind squeaky clean. Is there trust, can there be trust in any institution, large, medium or small, legal, political, religious or sporting when corrupt or unconscionable men are in control? Yet, this is the HD transmissions being released or revealed to us daily, though significantly, not by those in charge of the Scottish media. Not that I intend that last comment to necessarily contain any implications. A much more serious situation is the possibility that perhaps Lord Nimmo Smith was as duped or deceived as those throughout Scottish club football and, indeed, throughout society. If so, is his competence in question? Should he, from his lofty and apposite position, not be capable of recognising deception? Here, the very basis of upholding our law is brought into question. Worse still, if he knew what was concocted in the private chambers of the Hampden nobility and judged it acceptable, then he ought himself to be judged.
Whatever the case, Scottish Football, it would seem, has been ill served all round. The time for all clubs to demand explanations and justifications is long, long overdue. If Scottish Football is to move forward as our stalwart protectors of the game continually proclaim, it has to have a complete transfusion. The blood that flows through the veins of authority has to be pure, uncontaminated and red. Preferred colours are no longer an option. So, I suggest that all Scottish clubs develop an anatomy that has attributes not used solely for exhibition but for enforcement, not just for pleasure but for purpose and not simply for personal gain but for sporting progress. Failure to take action now is guaranteed to be the death knell of Scottish Football. The coffin lid could well be on the verge of being nailed down. It is whatever corpse is laid out inside that may finally determine the future of football in Scotland.