While the SFA’s decision to let Jon Flanagan off with a forearm smash on Scott Brown may have shocked some Celtic fans, it really shouldn’t have. The governing body have previous for dumfounding decisions this season.
It was they who let Alfredo Morelos off despite three instances of violent conduct in a derby match. They did likewise with Allan McGregor following a clear stamp on Kristoffer Ajer in September.
However, despite that, the decision to agree to the Ibrox side’s appeal is still worrying for Scottish football.
Violent conduct is now acceptable
The judicial panel’s decision to absolve Flanagan of any blame despite a clear as day smash into Brown’s face sets a dangerous precedent. It now says that off the ball violence is allowed.
Video footage shows Flanagan clearly looking at the Celtic skipper before hitting him in a move that made Brown fall to the ground. Referee Kevin Clancy was just yards away and decided a yellow would suffice for the full-back.
Statements do work
Following the news of Flanagan’s citing, the Gers released a statement criticising the SFA of double standards. They mentioned a highly forgettable incident between Jozo Simunovic and Jermain Defoe and pondered why the Celtic defender hadn’t been sanctioned.
It appears that the Ibrox hierarchy got the response they were looking for. It looks like statements do work in Scottish football after all. Who would have thought it?