Jozo, 72 EBTs and The Pictures that Prove the latest SFA Decision is a Complete Joke

THE SCOTTISH FA have fined Celtic £4000 for failing to control our players in the Scottish Cup win over Partick Thistle on 18 January at Firhill. Referee Alan Muir, who had denied Jeremie Frimpong a stonewall penalty earlier in the game, somehow decided that this challenge by the young Celtic right-back somehow merited a spot-kick for the home side.

Jeremie Frimpong beats Dario Zanatta to the ball in injury time but Alan Muir decides it’s a penalty.

The SFA’s issue might cynically be regarded by some as a tit-for-tat to reduce the flak that inevitably will be heading their way for having to hand out fines to the Rangers for the trouble they caused at both Easter Road and Celtic Park in December. The Ibrox club, which was founded by Charles Green in 2012, was fined £15k this week for these incidents, with £5k of that suspended. The Rangers have said that they plan to appeal.

Another charge against Celtic relating to the aftermath to the ‘stamping’ incident involving Leigh Griffiths at Hamilton was dismissed, so let’s look back to the photos taken by Geo at Firhill on 18 January. Here is the incident that has resulted in a £4000 fine, for Jozo Simunovic putting his hand on the referee.

Jozo Simunovic of Celtic puts his hand on referee Alan Muir after the penalty decision

Look at the photograph – does Jozo look threatening? And look at the Celtic Supporters in the background laughing at the incident, seeing the funny side of a refereeing decision that was clearly so bad that it was funny. If Jozo deserved to be punished for this why did Muir not do it? He had both a yellow and red in his pocket, did he not?

It’s worthing noting that the Scottish FA fined Rangers £250,000 for more than a decade of industrial scale cheating and unlawful tax evasion yet deem that this nothing incident at Firhill is worthy of a £4000 fine. This report from the BBC lists 72 EBTs handed out by Rangers which works out at just £3,472.22 for each one according to the punishment dished out by the unfit for purpose Scottish FA. (Yes, we know that the number of EBTs was higher).

Today Celtic have been fined more that the fine imposed on Rangers for these 72 EBTs, mostly for players who weren’t properly registered and played for the Ibrox club only because David Murray had signed them up on his dodgy EBT scheme.

EBT Scammer David Murray

Here’s another photograph taken by Geo at Firhill. Muir certainly looks like he is engaging with the Celtic defender with both player and referee acting in a reasonable manner. Had the Scottish FA not had to deal with the awful behaviour of the Rangers staff and players at Easter Road and Celtic Park – including Kent threatening to blow supporters’ brains out and Morelos opting for the cut-throat gesture, you can be sure that this nothing incident at Firhill would never have been mentioned.

And another thing, the Scottish FA in imposing their £15k fines on the Rangers this week, also decided that £5k should be suspended, meaning that the Ibrox club will only have to pay £10K. That’s a third of the total fine, reduced, gone, money saved.

So how much of the £4k fine imposed on Celtic was suspended. Surely a third too?

No, actually none of it was suspended. With the Scottish FA there’s clearly one set of rules for any club playing out of Ibrox and a different set for everyone else.

Yet it is not Celtic who has the biggest grievance with the Scottish FA this week. Their decision to uphold the simulation decision that means that the Inverness Caley Thistle player will miss the Challenge Cup Final even made Gary Lineker scratch his head yesterday at the incompetence within the Scottish FA.

Here is another picture from Firhill with the Celtic players questioning Muir’s shocking decision as he books Frimpong. If it was a penalty – and it wasn’t – why no red card?

Celtic should draw a long-overdue line in the sand today. The Rangers are appealing and so should we. And we should chase them up on the other matter going to CAS while we are at it.

Here is the wording of the two charges brought against Celtic, from the Scottish FA website.

Disciplinary Tribunal Update – Celtic FC

Thursday 20 February 2020
Alleged Party in Breach: Celtic FC

Charge 1:

Match: Partick Thistle FC v Celtic FC

Date: Saturday 18 January 2020

Competition: Scottish Cup

Disciplinary Rule allegedly breached: Disciplinary Rule 204 – All Clubs and recognised football bodies shall procure that its officials, Team Staff, employees and players conduct themselves in an orderly fashion at all times during and/or after a match. In particular, Clubs and recognised football bodies are responsible for ensuring that its officials, Team Staff, employees and players refrain from any one or a combination of the following: (a) becoming involved in a confrontation (b) conduct that is likely to lead to or to exacerbate or prolong a hostile or argumentative situation with players and/or team staff from the opposing team and/or match officials (c) conduct that may otherwise incite disorder.

Charge 2:

Match: Hamilton Academical FC v Celtic FC

Date: Sunday 2 February 2020

Competition: Scottish Premiership

Disciplinary Rule allegedly breached: Disciplinary Rule 204 – All Clubs and recognised football bodies shall procure that its officials, Team Staff, employees and players conduct themselves in an orderly fashion at all times during and/or after a match. In particular, Clubs and recognised football bodies are responsible for ensuring that its officials, Team Staff, employees and players refrain from any one or a combination of the following: (a) becoming involved in a confrontation (b) conduct that is likely to lead to or to exacerbate or prolong a hostile or argumentative situation with players and/or team staff from the opposing team and/or match officials (c) conduct that may otherwise incite disorder.

Principal hearing date: Thursday 20 February 2020

Outcome:

Charge 1 – Proved under deletion

Sanction – £4000 fine

Charge 2 – Not Proved

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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