Only Rangers fans living on Mars recently could have failed to spot Celtic demanding a reopening of the investigation into the EBT scheme at Ibrox following the SFA’s assertion that it was a completely closed affair.
Indeed, not only did the governing body of the land’s game state this, but traditionally Rangers-hating entities like Aberdeen backed them up. Now, we are not going to praise the likes of Stewart Milne for stating enough is enough, but we can at least acknowledge his sense in wanting this nonsense put to bed for the sake of Scottish football.
Our game is already swilling in the mire when our supposedly best team cannot buy a win when it really counts in the Champions League, and our second best team finishes a double figures points tally behind them in the table.
One then has to look at why Celtic’s CEO Peter Lawwell advocates a return to the bog that is the entire investigation; why he wants the coals raked over and old wounds reopened ‘for the sake of Scottish football’.
Why does Lawwell want to drag Scottish football back even further than the backwater it is already in by dredging up old rubbish from the sea bed?
In short terms, Peter Lawwell is not a terribly popular chief at Celtic Park – fans have never really taken to him and there were murmurs in the past about just how much longer he might last in the job.
And nothing else appeases the supporter base at ‘Paradise’ and brings them onside more than reopening the Rangers EBT can of worms and pretending you actually want the topic re-explored.
In no way does it serve Celtic interests to have such practises outlawed, for fear it will dredge up their very own use of them too. Celtic fans frequently try to justify their own use of EBT schemes, especially that of Juninho, and point out that all the outstanding tax was nevertheless paid.
Problem is that there was outstanding tax. That a dubious scheme was indeed used. And it had to be settled via legal manners for closure.
Does Lawwell really want this thing looked into? Of course not. It serves Celtic no use whatsoever to even suggest Rangers have titles stripped. It would be ugly for the Scottish game as much as anything else and would seriously damage the already frail coffers of our game.
Serie A suffered dreadfully from Calciopoli – but that was a league which had enough cash in it to survive titles being taken from Juventus and given to Inter and the commercial damage. It only survived. It has taken over a decade to restore a few Italian teams to where they were in European stakes, and the likes of Milan, Inter and Roma remain miles off the forces they were. It is a league which has lost so much of its global clout following that scandal.
Compare that with the pathetic sums in Scotland and there is absolutely no survival possible for such a damaging act.
No, Lawwell is trying to gain face with his customers, little more. In truth, most CEOs in his position would do the same.
We really need to move on from this as a nation, we really do.