Scottish clubs must be careful what they wish for as Celtic await SPFL fate

By David Walton

August 17, 2020

Hibernian owner Ron Gordon could do with being a tad more careful with his comments.

As Celtic and Aberdeen await to hear the SPFL’s verdict on whether they’ll be charged for players breaching government health protocols, he’s been giving his view on potential club punishments.

The talkative Hibs owner was speaking to the club’s official TV channel during their live showing of Motherwell’s trip to Easter Road on Saturday night.

He was asked about whether clubs should be deducted points for their players breaking government rules on tackling the health crisis.

Celtic star Bolingoli broke government protocols / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Gordon said: “I would not be opposed to that. I think there has to be somewhere you draw the line. It needs to be proposed before you could actually implement it, but I believe there would be support around the league for that.

“Everyone needs to chip in and behave. All clubs, including Hibs, have gone to great lengths, to put resources in place to create the right environment – a safe environment – so it’s disheartening when a couple of players go off the track.”

This, no matter how you look at it, is Gordon leaving the door open for the SPFL to deduct points from Celtic and Aberdeen.

What are the SPFL planning?

The Daily Record reported over the weekend (15/08 print edition, page 59) that the SPFL were set to introduce COVID-related rules that could see clubs retrospectively have points deducted.

However, a source told the outlet it was unlikely that Aberdeen and Celtic would receive that kind of punishment.

The Scottish FA, separately, has issued a notice of complaint against both the Bhoys and Bolingoli, with a fine and heavy player suspension possible outcomes from an August 28th hearing.

Owners/chairmen like Hibs’ Gordon should be careful. It’s easy to talk about punishing other clubs when your own players haven’t committed any breaches.

But that doesn’t mean they won’t.

Hampden stadium (Photo by Oliver Hardt – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

It only takes one player to breach government protocol and your entire club is thrown under the bus for it.

If this happens to Hibs, would Gordon quickly regret sticking up for the idea of points deductions?

Gordon believes that clubs would support points deduction protocols being put in place. Sure, he’s more in tune with other league chairmen than I am. However, I doubt one would advocate it if it was for their own team.

The fact Celtic are being charged at all is dumbfounding. If I go out and commit a crime in my spare time, my employer hardly gets charged for it. Why should football be any different?

Hopefully both the SFA and SPFL take that into account when dealing with the Bolingoli issue.

In other news, Celtic striker Patryk Klimala has been called up to the Poland under-21 squad for matches against Estonia and Russia respectively.