Levein wants compliance officer role binned; Rangers fans' Celtic conspiracy theories were on full show yesterday
Former Scotland manager Craig Levein has urged the SFA to ditch the compliance officer role as he claims it demonises the person in the gig.
It was reported yesterday that Clare Whyte was to step down from the job after two years in the role (Clyde 1). This then led to a backlash from the Rangers supporters, who weighed in with a host of ridiculous Celtic conspiracy theories regarding the club’s infleunce on the SFA.
The compliance officer’s role has mainly involved pulling up incidents in matches that referees may have missed. For example, an elbow that has been missed that should’ve resulted in a red card and a ban for violent conduct. For some reason, our rivals unsurprisingly feel they’ve been hard done by in that regard under Whyte (despite the fact the likes of Alfredo Morelos continues to get away with murder).
And Levein believes the tribalism involved in Scottish football should see the SFA ditch the role and revamp it with an unbiased firm.
Speaking on BBC Sportsound, Levein said: “It’s a position I wouldn’t want for all the money in the world. It’s maybe time for a different approach. If you are in that position then you are in a no-win situation. Eventually, every club and their supporters will have some sort of gripe against you.
“Previous compliance officers found it difficult as well. It needs to be less personal. It doesn’t need to be a compliance officer but perhaps a law firm could take the role under their wing.
Looking at it from the outside now, I’d say this position has demonised every person who has taken it by the very nature of what the job is. There obviously needs to be some sort of disciplinary procedure. But I just feel the single compliance officer role needs to change.”
Bias will always be accused by the bitter
Levein’s point is a noble one here and you can see the merit it has. There may very well be something in taking the individual out of the situation and signing a contract with an unbiased law firm to provide disciplinary action.
However, that won’t stop the tribalism that exists. We’ve seen the lengths and stretches our rivals have been willing to go to in the past. It would hardly be a surprise if they accused a law firm of being institutionally biased towards Celtic either.
I don’t think you’ll ever get rid of that poisonous bitter element in Scottish football. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an individual or a firm that carries out the disciplinary action. That bitterness will always be there, and it won’t swerve a law firm.
But it will be interesting to see who gets the compliance officer gig next. It must be stressed that there is no sign of the SFA changing up the role or binning it anytime soon. Whyte will almost certainly have a successor.
Here’s hoping he/she hasn’t attended Celtic Park in his life then. Goodness knows the backlash they’ll get from our rivals if they have.