ALASDAIR JOHNSTON the other day and apparently out of the blue, re-ignited the debate on the death of Rangers back in 2012 and tried to re-enforce his staunch ‘same club’ credentials to the Ibrox support while having a go at the Celtic Support for believing that liquidation means the end for the club that had run up tens of millions in debt that they could not pay – and did not pay – ran what was proven to be in the highest court in the land, an unlawful tax scam that allowed them to sign and play players that they admitted themselves that they could not otherwise afford.
We have responded to Johnston’s outburst extensively over the past few days, please feel free to read back or click on the links at the end of this article, if you missed out. What was always an interesting aspect of all this was why Johnston choose to say what he did at this time? The Rangers had just won at Celtic Park and if they win their game in hand will be a point ahead of Celtic in the title race, although that’s just on paper as the reality is that game isn’t scheduled yet and both sides will have plenty of games before that happens to drop points, thus altering the picture. Celtic just have to keep winning and not worry about them until we go to Ibrox aiming for the best Beautiful Sunday of them all.
So why did Johnston say what he did? Pieces of the puzzle have been falling into place over the past day or two.
Yesterday the Scottish media, after completely ignoring the matter for a year, returned their attention to the Scottish FA’s inaction on taking the subject matter that we all know as Res 12, to The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. This had stalled after the Rangers successfully argued that they had immunity against the old club’s sins via the secretive 5 Way Agreement and you can imagine the the beaks to the Scottish FA would be happier if that grubby document was never examined by an independent court.
And remember that Peter Lawwell told the Celtic AGM back in November that he had never seen this 5 Way Agreement that is the thing standing in the way of the Scottish FA investigating the Rangers European licence application from 2012.
Celtic PLC basically told the Res 12 boys to do one at the club’s AGM last November while board friendly bloggers had long since given up on any pretence that they were supportive of the Persistence Beats Resistance campaign. Incidentally Auldheid over the weekend gave some insight into this aspect of the story and it’s well worth a read HERE.
The Res 12 supportive Celtic bloggers including Phil (who was first to write about this yesterday), E-Tims, ourselves at The Celtic Star, James Forrest at Celtic Blog and Joe at Video Celts all received copies of the extensive documentation that the Res 12 team had delivered to Peter Lawwell over the weekend. It will presumably be on his desk this morning.
Is this why Johnston spoke up? Did he get wind of the latest Res 12 initiative? But even if he did he knew that Celtic had effectively dismissed the matter as not in the company’s interest at the AGM and knew that the press weren’t interested, so it would have been logical for him to simply say nothing.
Then, remarkably, the press wrote about it. Why now after all this time? At one point when I was trying to book Res 12 advertising in the papers, the Herald told me that they would not carry any advertisement that mentioned Res 12. Now they were writing about it, un-prompted. Why?
Has Celtic suddenly grown a pair in outrage at the Scottish FA’s charges against Ryan Christie which will be heard today? It seems incredible to most people that they could find fault with Christie’s contact with Morelos while ignoring the murderous threats from two Rangers players towards the Celtic Support and the disgraceful attempt to label Celtic fans racist via a video that none of the press seemed happy to share, probably because it does not back up their racist slur.
Has Celtic had enough and pushed the green button using the latest Res 12 documents which are particularly damning for the Scottish FA?
Or maybe this has something to do with the Craig Whyte book which is somewhat gloriously being published on St Valentine’s Day – 8 years to the day after Rangers FC entered Administration and the date that Johnston claimed that Celtic fans use as the day that Rangers died? Whyte feels hard done by in all of this, and he isn’t stupid. He knows how Rangers ducked and dived and managed to get that licence to play in European football despite having outstanding tax liabilities and he knows the exact role that Alasdair Johnston played in forcing through the licence.
Is Whyte about to reveal all and if so that looks like being particularly bad news for Alasdair Johnston and it might also have given the media and indeed Celtic PLC cause to reflect on their previous head in the sand stance and conclude that it is no longer viable.
It looks like everyone is jockeying for position ahead of Craig Whyte having his say. Is the former Rangers owner intent on having the last laugh?
Much more to follow on this story over the coming weeks because Persistence Beats Resistance…
ALSO ON THE CELTIC STAR…
The Celtic Support knows exactly what happened – Alastair Johnston, Tangled Up in Blue…see HERE.
Alastair Johnston and A Statement from Celtic Supporters, “Air of unreality as 140 years of history is formally ended in less than nine minutes,” The Herald, 15 June 2012…see HERE.