WITH Stewart Regan gone, shuffled out the door with farcical weasel words of gratitude for his “contribution” to Scottish Football ringing in his ears … and sticking in every fair-minded person’s craw … the process is already in motion to install a “suitable” successor.
I think we all know what that means.
His (or her?) embraced priority will need to be to ensure that the good ship SFA doesn’t stray into choppy governance waters. The demise of Regan will be seen in the Hampden corridors of connivance as the perfect opportunity to airbrush away all the many transgressions of his controversial tenure and ensure that the moving on that is already well under way continues apace.
I have one great regret about the last six or seven years that have seen DOS, EBT, Nimmo Smith, “Imperfectly Registered” but Eligible players, Judicial Review obstruction etc. etc. come and (apparently) go without appropriate retribution. It is the fact that, viewed (rightly or wrongly) from the outside, Celtic has seemed reluctant to get the gloves off and get stuck in about the whole governance debacle.
I fully understand that I do not appreciate the ins and outs of the legalities and politics involved in the modern era; but I can only give my layman’s perception of events.
If, as is beginning to look increasingly likely, “Moving On” becomes “Moved On”, the EBT years will remain, IMO, a dark chapter in the glorious history of our club, notwithstanding the huge success they have brought on the field.
One can only speculate what the litigious Fergus McCann might have done in the same circumstances. Reflecting on how he saw off Jim Farry for, in the great scheme of things, much lesser malfeasance, you cannot but feel that Celtic’s stance in recent years would have been much more aggressive had “The Bunnet” still been at the helm.
Or, going much further back, what would Bob Kelly (never the most popular figure in the Celtic story but a man of unshakable resolve in matters of principle) have done if confronted with the controversial issues of recent years? The way he faced down the odious “Flag Affair” of the early 1950s ( … threatening to pull Celtic out of Scottish Football altogether … ) suggests that his approach, too, might have been much more robust.
We’ll never know now – but just how different might things have been had the storms of recent Scottish Football history, which still hang like the “Sword of Damacles” over the whole game in this country, been tackled, from a Celtic perspective, by either of those two former giants of Celtic history?
Or if Jock Stein had been around to throw in his formidable tuppence-worth …