Why The Celtic Star is as Astounded as the Rangers, not reading the 5WA

THEY have at last said something, after almost eight years, that we can agree with. They are ‘astounded’ by the notices of complaint that issued by the SFA last night. You see, we are too, absolutely astounded.

Here’s what the official statement from the Rangers says:

“Rangers is astounded by the notices of complaint issued by the SFA.

“It is concerning that it seems the governing body is seeking to hold Rangers to a different and more stringent code of conduct than that applied to others, with unprecedented charges being levied against the club.

“Rangers fans can be assured that it is our firm intention to resist the charges in the most robust manner possible.

“Rangers will make further comment after the weekend.”

In response a Scottish FA spokesman told the PA news agency in response: “Our policy is not to comment on live cases,” according to Scottish Sun which was of course the media outlet of choice for the breaking news on Thursday night that Kevin Clancy became the first referee in the game ever to issue a third yellow card after the first to resulted in a red in the Glasgow Derby on 29 December.

This controversial third yellow was forgotten about and wasn’t included in the match details on the SPFL’s official website. No-one is seems knew anything about this until the Sun’s story on Thursday night. Curiously none of the other papers ran with the story although there was outrage across most(not all) of the Celtic Blogs.

The Celtic Star spoke to an editor on an English site – A third card takes us into Mickey Mouse territory,’ Caught Offside Editor…see HERE.

Niall J had harsh words for Peter Lawwell and a very perceptive comparison to make between the Celtic CEO and a very famous character from the Wizard of Oz. Three Yellows – The SFA are laughing at Celtic’s Cowardly Lion…see HERE.

How can Peter Lawwell allow this to happen? And while he remains silent, the (new) club that has once again had the rules bent, re-written or manipulated to suit their agenda, are the ones coming out fighting saying that they are astounded and promising fighting talk next week.

They are astounded? So are we! Astounded that we have a Board that is prepared to sit back and allow all this to happen time after time after time. We have a CEO who told the Celtic AGM in November 2019 that he had not seen the 5 Way Agreement, a piece of legal gymnastics that effectively gives the Rangers a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card for all the sins of the club that went bust in 2012 buy allies the successor club to keep each and every honour.

Maybe if Peter had been bothered enough to get his hands on a copy of the 5 Way Agreement, read it and noted the huge advantage that it gives a club that came off a solicitor’s shelf and had its name changed to house the basket of assets ‘Founding Father’ Charles Green purchased from the Administrators after the proposed CVA was rejected by creditors in June 2012, he’d have a better idea of the new laws of the game subsequent to the death of Rangers.

With the new Rangers starting life in the third division Celtic were always going to be favourites to win the league. But here is the thing. Nothing lasts forever and Celtic’s winning sequence will come to an end at some point. When it does the support could have accepted that with good grace if it were this new Rangers winning the honour, especially the league title.

But if they win the league the 55 boast will be everywhere. That is because Celtic have not had the backbone to make sure that the correct position is what should be followed. Instead a myth was created and the Rangers discovered if they are aggressive enough, shout threaten and intimidate then the rules can be bent to suit their agenda.

Ahead of the Glasgow Derby on 29 December they got their chums in the media to highlight the disgraceful abuse that Alfredo Morelos suffers. Celtic fans responded by posting videos of the Hoops fans cheering the Glasgow Derby goal-less wonder onto the pitch in a previous game at Celtic Park.

After he threatened to slit-throats in that recent encounter, after his teammate Ryan Kent had indicated a willingness to ‘blow brains out’ while pointing his imaginary loaded pistol at the Celtic Support, the Rangers got some of their other chums in the press box to call racism and claim they had seen a video where Morelos – the villain in this saga – was racially abused.

Yet the same hacks were reluctant to share that video and no wonder. They weren’t telling the truth, they were defaming the entire Celtic Support and they will still be allowed to come into the Celtic press box and enjoy the facilities.

It’s a small point but it’s worth making again. The Rangers fans media photographer is allowed into these games but the Celtic fans photographer Vagelis Georgariou (@vagelisgeo) is NOT allowed access to Celtic Park. Let that sink in, oh and he is allowed into Hampden – see below.

Back to the claimed Racist video. This was reported to the Police by the latest Ibrox club as was a subsequent tweet from a Celtic fan who responded to the provocative gestures by Kent and Morelos by posting an online threat to these two players. No coincidence that. The boy plead guilty and has apparently been remanded custody awaiting sentencing. Which we have said is fair enough.

When is a threat not a threat? Well judging by Police Scotland’s response, it’s when the alleged offenders are playing for the Rangers.

The Rangers’ chums also claimed that an elderly Rangers fan – who Police indicated that the man had fallen on the stairs – was hit with a coin thrown from the Celtic Support. It took the Celtic fans media (ie The Celtic Star) and Celtic Supporters on social media to stand up for the club and the support by posting the video where the Police officer clearly indicates what happens.

Celtic to this day remain silent on the bogus claim that there was a racist shout as Morelos was exiting the field of play in disgrace and threatening to slit throats. It was a common gesture in Colombia, the Rangers told their chums, not so said the Colombian media, who branded Morelos a disgrace.

“Can’t say anything on recent allegations until investigations on complaints received are concluded, I totally get the frustration but we have complaints that need to be followed up” John Paul Taylor, Celtic’s SLO told The Celtic Star.

Celtic said nothing. Apparently they have to wait for the investigation to be complete. That is being pencilled in for the day after they win 55 Peter, the Cowardly Lion who hasn’t even bothered to get a copy of the 5 Way Agreement to read and see how it affects Celtic.

How much are Celtic Supporters paying him?

So in a way you sort of admire the cheek of today’s statement from the Rangers. The SFA re-wrote the rules to remember that a third yellow was issued three weeks earlier, they made it clear that their top two players would not be inconvenienced by further suspension and they dropped the hint that a small fine would be enough to brush the entire situation under the carpet – again. They too are ‘Going for 55″.

But this Rangers are hardcore – they know what is there to be achieved from their aggressive behaviour and they have no intention of quitting while they are ahead. They are hungry for more, much more. It’s won them 54 titles for heaven’s sake. Giving evidence to the Scottish Government’s Justice Committee in 2011 Mark Dingwall, a board member of the Rangers Supporters Trust, told MSPs what they could expect in the future.

He said: “If we see something that offends us. We’re going to go after the opposition fans in the way that people have gone after us. So, you reap what you sow.

“The debate around football has been conducted in an air of unreality, both in regard to the behaviour of football clubs and the nature of Scottish society. But around football, we have this hysteria that paints Scotland as a very dark place to live.”

Celtic were passive on the park on 29 December. The Rangers have a plan when they play teams that ‘are better than them’, it has worked in the Europa League and it worked at Celtic Park. Two narrow banks of four, with Kent playing just off Morelos, get their noses in front and then go 4-5-1 to see the game out.

It’s a decent plan. They are sticking to it and it has so far worked, although thankfully not in the League Cup Final.

Neil Lennon needs to work out how he is going to combat this plan in the January window and the matches that follow, starting today.

Peter Lawwell has a tougher job. He needs to decide if he has it in him to stand up for Celtic in view of the aggressive tactics that are being employed across the city.

Maybe he should start by reading that 5 Way Agreement so he can find out how it affects Celtic?

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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