When midfield maestro Lisa Robertson left Celtic just prior to the start of last season it was something of a surprise to say the least. After all Robertson had been the heartbeat of the Celtic team in the previous campaign and was expected to play another huge part as club captain once again.
Yet, after a pre-season of intense planning and preparation was due to draw to a close, and Celtic due to start competitive action with a League Cup tie that coming Sunday against Partick Thistle followed by an SWPL1 opener against Hearts a week later – and only 12 days from a first ever Champions League qualifier against Levante in Trondheim in Norway – Scotland’s player of the year Lisa Robertson headed for the Women’s Super League to join Birmingham City – on loan for a season. It made so little sense and there is absolutely no doubt that Lisa has been missed this season.
Now there appears to have been some context added to the story with news Lisa Robertson, as mentioned today in the court reporting section of Daily Record, was dealing with an abusive partner, one who had physically assaulted her as well as being both controlling and emotionally abusive towards her.
That cowardly partner, it has today been reported has pled guilty to ‘engaging in a course of conduct which was abusive of his partner between July 2020 and May last year’ after his lawyer reached a deal with the Fiscal, who initially was pursuing a more serious charge.
Lisa Robertson, Sarah Ewens, Mariah Lee and Anna Filbey, all left Celtic that summer, but it was the loss of Robertson which stung the most, and I have to admit I was at the time critical of both Celtic and Head Coach Fran Alonso, for what I at the time viewed as a lack of ambition from Celtic in allowing top talent to leave. Just goes to show you when you don’t have all the facts and come out all guns blazing, you can look pretty stupid. I can only offer my apologies now.
Because you can only believe Fran Alonso and indeed Celtic did the right thing in allowing Lisa Robertson to head south and allow her to put some distance between herself and what must have been a sustained and terrifying experience. And a great deal of respect must be given to Alonso for making that happen, ensuring that Lisa could remain safe and ensuring none of it made its way into the public domain until today.
Hopefully that time away, and a guilty plea in court from her abusive ex-partner, has allowed Lisa Robertson to in some way get her life back together after such an ordeal. We can but hope football with Birmingham City and Scotland was in some way a release from all of that, and that her life moving forward can return to some sort of normality.
If that future was to be back at Celtic, Lisa would know she would have all the backing she needs from the Celtic family, however if that footballing future remains down south then we also would fully understand that too. All we can do now is wish Lisa all the best for the future and hope she can put such a dreadful ordeal behind her.
One other point, while having to deal with all that disgraceful behaviour which must have been terrifying, Lisa continued to perform at a consistently high standard for Celtic, indeed you may recall us talking about the discussion on one of theRangers forums after another Celtic win over their team at Murray Park last season where there fans complained that Robertson bossed the game and was the reason Celtic won.
Whether it’s at Celtic – where she’ll be welcomed back with open arms – or perhaps back at Birmingham City where she has been a stand-out, we wish Lisa all the very best.
Please remember if you are dealing with domestic abuse of any kind help is out there, and only a phone call away. Refuge do wonderful work supporting the survivors of domestic abuse and can be contacted by following this LINK.