Interim Celtic manager John Kennedy has rightfully fought Celtic’s corner after the SFA allowed an appeal from Rangers to clear Nathan Patterson to play against Celtic in The Scottish Cup. Despite breaking the rules blatantly, Steven Gerrard said a breach would hamper his career – something which Bolingoli suffered from as a result of his breach in August of last year.
Speaking to the media conference, Kennedy was asked about his thoughts and the interim boss fought the clubs corner and flagged up the blatant double standards and outright hypocrisy from the footballing authorities and Ibrox.
“Gerrard’s got his reasons to do that and say what he said but regardless if you are a talent or you’re not, you’ve still broken the protocols, and there’s a punishment that goes with that.
“Our players are talented too. They have been punished. It’s the same difference. We paid money for them and have high hopes for them. Look at the Boli Bolingoli situation. Yes, he broke the law, and he was harshly punished for it — rightly so.
“We’re not defending that. But it was a massive setback in terms of his career at Celtic. That’s the punishment for stepping out of line. You can’t do it. It was made very clear to our players these are the situations that you can’t get involved in.
“One, because you’ll be punished for it, but it also brings extra pressure and scrutiny on the club. Bolingoli was punished and we accepted that was the right thing
“These players have been caught breaking the law. The SFA have to address that quickly. It’s consistency that again a lot of people in Scotland will ask for whether it’s with officiating, the SFA disciplinary process or other things. It should be very clear in terms of how you deal with situations like this.
“Regardless of the player, and how talented or valuable he is, there has to be a punishment when you step out of line in these situations. We’ve been dealt with harshly in the past and had to accept it, and we have to wait and see what comes Rangers’ way.
“I’m not just saying this because it’s Rangers. Aberdeen were dealt with in the same manner as ourselves when their players were involved in their situation.
“There’s a process in place as to how they deal with these things, but for whatever reason, it seems to have broken down at this point, and only the SFA can answer that.”
Kennedy pointed out the differing timescale between the Bolingoli situation as well as the Rangers Covid breaches. As reported by The Sun, Kennedy listed a number of grievances that he and the club had over the double standards relating to the breaches.
“We were addressed very quickly in the situation we were in. We had games postponed, and the players were dealt with fairly quickly. I really don’t know what the delay and the hold-up is.
“Players who probably should have been banned played against us. They have broken rules. The SFA need to address this themselves, and give a bit more clarity to everyone in terms of the hold-up and why it’s taken so long.
“It’s something I think should have been dealt with a lot quicker to remain consistent with all the other decisions that have happened.”
Celtic had two games postponed at the start of the campaign which meant that we were forced to play catch-up from the get go. The performances on the park were sub-par throughout the course of the season but the least that the club deserve is that they are treated the same as every other club.