Former Celtic attacker Kris Commons has questioned the efficiency and process of the Scottish FA disciplinary process after farcical handling of incidents during the recent derby against Rangers, writing in his Scottish Daily Mail column (20/01 print edition, Verdict supplement page 16).
One of Neil Lennon’s most important players, Ryan Christie, was handed an immediate ban that ruled him out for three matches following the incident.
However, word of any action taken on our opponents for gestures and touchline drama at Celtic Park took an age to be published.
It was eventually revealed that neither Ryan Kent nor Alfredo Morelos would face further punishment.
Sky Sports pundit Commons has been left annoyed by the secrecy and confusion involved.
As quoted by The Scottish Daily Mail (20/01 print edition, Verdict supplement page 16), he said: “This current set-up is just so confusing. I don’t know anyone who fully understands it. Ryan Christie gets charged for grappling with Alfredo Morelos and banned within a few days of the Old Firm game.
“Yet, almost three weeks after the match, Rangers are being cited for their staff and players ‘not conducting themselves in an orderly fashion’. How does that work? Even allowing for holidays, if any action is to be taken, it has to be within a few days of a game ending.
“If Morelos was booked after the game for his throat-slitting gesture, then just make it known there and then. Why the delay? Why the secrecy?”
Transparency and efficiency needed
The decisions of the Scottish FA are likely always going to attract criticism and upset supporters. It’s never nice to see decisions go against your team.
However, right now, the governing body don’t appear to be in anyone’s good books. Whether you’re a Celtic fan or a fan of any other team in the Scottish Premiership, we’re being let down by the current systems.
Retrospective action doesn’t need to be so shrouded by a veil of secrecy and unknown outcomes. Having issues like this rumble on for weeks is quite ridiculous, as Commons points out.
If we’re ever going to have faith in the disciplinary process then it’s the clubs, as SFA members, who need to vote for the changes they want.
Celtic, as the most successful club in the country over the last decade, need to take the lead on that.