Celtic boss' classy response to SPFL controversy; other managers could learn something

By Euan Davidson

December 9, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has delivered a classy response to the controversy surrounding Dundee United man Calum Butcher.

Butcher scythed David Turnbull down when the Celtic faced Dundee United on Sunday. With a tackle that was late, dangerous and a potential leg-breaker, Butcher only saw a yellow card. Last night, however, Butcher was handed a three-match ban. It would’ve just been two, but Butcher was already over the disciplinary threshold.

The Dundee United midfielder had only just returned from a two-match ban to face Celtic. The Bhoys manager could certainly have taken issue, or demanded a harsher punishment for Butcher’s tackle on Turnbull.

Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

Rather than screaming for vengeance, claiming conspiracies or laying into Butcher, Postecoglou took a more mature approach to the whole debacle. He said [Herald]:

“I think it’s been addressed, which is the right thing to do. I think it’s a simple clear-cut case.

“My view on these things has always been – and you guys will know this – that I don’t go in after games and highlight things.

“Things that need to get addressed are addressed, and this is being addressed.

“The authorities will see with it as they see fit.”

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Other SPFL figures could learn something from Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou here

And that was it. No name-calling, no frenzied vendettas, no demand for a replay. Obviously, Celtic and manager Ange Postecoglou have the benefit of the three points from Sunday. In terms of the match itself, the Hoops had it won by the time Butcher unleashed his style of defending.

Perhaps the reaction would’ve been different had it had more of an effect on the game. However, there’s still something SPFL managers, chairpeople and pundits could learn from here.

There’ll be disappointment that the story ends here. The press will have wanted Postecoglou to talk about the standard of refereeing. Or, more pertinently, the fact that this benefits Rangers much more than it does us, with van Bronckhorst’s men facing a Butcher-less Dundee United on the 18th of December.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

He didn’t, though.

Postecoglou could also have criticised the player himself, the nature of the incident. He didn’t do that either.

Again, we’re seeing Postecoglou opt out of potential storylines that distract from the actual football. How refreshing it is to actually focus on watching Celtic. Especially in a calendar year so rocked by controversy. The Hoops became box office in 2021, and it wasn’t a blockbuster any of us had interest in seeing.

It’s classy stuff from Postecoglou.

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