The Neil Lennon comments on recent Celtic fixtures at Hamilton and St Johnstone have indirectly led the SFA into a response.
Lennon accused both Premiership clubs of failing to maintain strict social distancing laws during recent away matches. The Accies were first to briefly dismiss the Hoops boss (Glasgow Times), before Saints released a more substantial statement calling the claims “unfounded”.
But even so, the SFA haven’t let this go under the radar. Instead, they’ve asked all Premiership and Championship clubs to send them reviews of their protocols during games. It would appear to be an extensive request too, with Sky Sports stating that clubs must provide info such as plans of both dressing rooms and referee’s changing rooms.
They’ve also to give detailed info on meeting rooms and shower areas too.
A JRG spokesman spoke to Sky and said: “A letter was sent to clubs following a request by member clubs at the recent SPFL general meeting.”
Lennon comments on recent Celtic games leads to SFA request; governing body right to act
Sky Sports report that the reasoning for the request is to ensure protocols taken by clubs remain in line with government guidance.
For me, I don’t see anything wrong with this. Sure, it won’t help club relations and many will view Celtic as responsible for the review. However, if Lennon did see something that upset him regarding social distancing, he’s right to point it out.
What frustrates me, however, is why this wasn’t said at the time. It’s instead being used as a deflection tactic to take some of the criticism away from Celtic going to Dubai. That undermines the importance of the situation.
There are plenty of reasons in recent years for Celtic fans to dislike the SFA. But they’re taking the right course of action here. This just allows them the opportunity to ensure everything is operating as it should and that the correct protocols are in place.
As things stand, they only have word of mouth. It’s two club’s words against an opposition football manager. The only way to really come to a definitive conclusion on this is by requesting this information from clubs.
Hopefully, all clubs in the Premiership and Championship have their protocols up to the required standard.