Nicola Sturgeon goes in on Celtic; fails to take accountability for government actions

By David Walton

January 5, 2021

So Nicola Sturgeon has had her say on Celtic and their Dubai trip then.

Speaking at her daily briefing earlier today, the First Minister wasn’t impressed. She questioned whether Celtic should truly be in Dubai, and stated that she’d seen photographs that suggested the trip was more to do with R and R.

Sturgeon also interestingly said the following, posted on Twitter by Clyde 1 Superscoreboard:

“As I understand it, we gave advice to the SFA about the rules around elite training camps back in November last year. It’s not our role to sign off, agree or not agree what football clubs do in terms of training camps. We set out what the rules are.

“The rules have been that elite sports can go overseas for training camps if that’s important in the context of their training for competitions.”

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What Sturgeon failed to cover was the Hampden source in the Daily Record. The Record’s source stated that the Scottish Government had been advising Celtic on their trip as recently as the weekend.

Nicola Sturgeon not accepting accountability for Celtic trip

If that’s the case, it’s clear the government knew what the trip was all about. It’s clear they were more than aware of why Celtic were going to Dubai. They can’t just wash their hands of this and pretend they weren’t involved.

Sturgeon’s government knows a lot more than they’re letting on about this. They must do. You can’t lay out guidelines saying that clubs can go overseas then start panicking when fans get angry about it. To then try and lay the blame mainly at football’s door is unfair.

Listen, Celtic shouldn’t be there. We’ve been saying it for the past couple of days. But it’s lacking in standards morally more than it is legally. Sturgeon can’t claim their government gave advice to the SFA to allow training camps only to then question why Celtic are away on one.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon / (Photo by Fraser Bremner – Pool/Getty Images)

Dubai has proven for whatever reason to be huge for the club. It’s been the starting point of eight and nine in-a-row in particular. It’s allowed Celtic to press the reset button. R and R will of course be involved, but who’s to say that isn’t considered important to training for competitions?

The guidance should’ve been a lot clearer. We know Celtic as a club. As bad as this looks morally, they would never have gone if there were set rules against it. The government almost certainly okay’d this trip if they were talking to the club just days ago.

The lack of accountability from Sturgeon here is disappointing. Celtic have made a poor decision in travelling to the UAE. But we shouldn’t allow anyone involved in discussions about the trip in the first place to point their fingers at us.

In other news, a Celtic coach’s family member has disclosed how the club complete transfers.