McInnes backs Lennon's SFA anger; Aberdeen and Celtic clearly fuming

By David Walton

November 22, 2020

Derek McInnes has slammed the SFA and backed up Neil Lennon’s fury as he stated his belief that their players haven’t been looked after.

Celtic were without David Turnbull for yesterday’s trip to Easter Road – something Lennon called “an absolute shambles” as he demanded more strict protocols and testing from the international set-up (Evening Express).

McInnes’ side is even worse off after three of their main players were ruled out of action for 10 days due to self-isolation procedures. He’ll now be without Lewis Ferguson, Ross McCrorie, and Connor McLennan respectively.

And it appears that the Dons boss has also had enough as he tore into the Scotland set-up for their treatment of the players.

As quoted by the Daily Record, McInnes said: “We’re very angry and extremely disappointed that we’re now without three very good players for the next three games through no fault of their own. You expect when they’re with their country they’ll be looked after but I don’t believe it’s been the case.

“We’ll be looking for assurances that this won’t be repeated. Connor and Lewis showed no symptoms and tested negative on their return. We only found out at lunchtime today but it still impacts on our preparations because we had to push back training and now head to Glasgow without two players who would’ve been playing.

“Even when they delivered the news today there’s no apology, there’s no remorse – we just have to deal with it. There has to be more guarantees and assurances for clubs who’re putting in a helluva lot of money every week to do things properly. It’s incumbent on the SFA to do things better.”

Clubs just keep being dealt blows

We don’t always agree with McInnes, but he makes some absolutely brilliant points here – none more so than when he talks about the tone of the SFA’s message to clubs.

McInnes says that there’s no remorse or apology in the message from the governing body. That’s not surprising. Whenever Celtic have been given players back who need to immediately isolate, it’s as if it’s met with a shrug of the shoulders by the national teams.

There’s something not right that employers are releasing their employees to no benefit of their own and are getting them back crocked. Is that really what Celtic and Aberdeen’s reward should be for sending their best youngsters away with the under-21s?

Celtic midfielder David Turnbull / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Listen, Turnbull in all likelihood wouldn’t have played yesterday anyway. Let’s not pretend that Lennon would’ve suddenly seen sense and dropped Scott Brown. But it’s the principle involved here.

We can shrug it off because it was only a bench-warmer who missed out for us. From Aberdeen’s perspective, however, they’re missing three of their best and most valuable players. That’s the full extent of how this crisis can affect clubs, and we’ve had it before when Odsonne Edouard/Ryan Christie have been self-isolating.

This won’t change anything of course. The national teams don’t really care so long as the players do a job for them. And don’t expect UEFA or FIFA to get involved. International football, for some reason, is still an absolute must for them.

In other news, one of Celtic’s Brendan Rodgers signings is back playing again after over a month on the sidelines.