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Peter Lawwell on mute as SFA brazenly show off their double standards

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On Tuesday, 24 days after he was issued with a Fixed Penalty for attending a house party the SFA finally decided to charge Nathan Patterson and four other Ibrox Covidiots.

The contrast with earlier in the season could hardly be more stark. On August 9 news emerged that Boli Bolingoli had taken a trip to Spain and decided not to self isolate on return, on August 11 Celtic had two matches postponed, Bolingoli got charged and on August 28 he was given a three match suspension. A 20 day turn around.

Patterson’s hearing will be on March 26, almost SIX WEEKS after he breached the football bubble to enjoy a house party with some team-mates.

It seems ridiculous double standards from the SFA but strangely Peter Lawwell hasn’t chosen to question why Celtic were so harshly and quickly dealt with in comparison to  their O** F*** partners.

Had the same timescale been applied to Celtic, Neil Lennon’s side might have been able to build up some early season momentum rather than staring at a large points deficit.

If the games against St Mirren and Aberdeen had gone ahead Lennon’s squad might have been better prepared to face Ferencvaros in the fateful hampions League qualifier. Patryk Klimala might have got a game in as a striker and been better prepared after Odsonne Edouard got booted off the park away to Dundee United.

Despite all that Lawwell has sat in silence. Similarly last season he accepted a two match suspension for Jozo Simunovic after he was sent off in a pre-season friendly. This season Ryan Kent was sent off in a pre-season match but scored the only goal of the game in the opening SPFL fixture away to Aberdeen. No suspension was applied.

It is often said that football is a game of fine margins. When the club CEO fails to ensure that the rules are applied evenly to all clubs it tilts things against your club.

Earlier this season the SFA showed that they could deal swiftly with the Ibrox club, in November Jordan Jones and George Edmundson were caught at a house party. While a ‘Hollyrood source’ praised the club two days later the duo were charged by the SFA.

Back in February 2018 Lawwell was able to criticise the SFA, telling BBC Scotland:

The problems appear to be significant and it seems that Stewart Regan has taken the rap for that, in terms of the changes over the last couple of weeks.

I think there are others in there, who have presided over the SFA for a number of years, that really need to have a look at themselves just now. I don’t think it’s worth personalising, but clearly there are issues that need to be addressed. On the other hand, I think there are positives.

You have a board there with very capable people in Mike Mulraney, who represent the clubs, alongside Ian Maxwell. And you’ve got independent non-executives in Gary Hughes and Ana Stewart who are capable people.

Maxwell is now CEO of the SFA, overseeing every aspect of how the SFA operate.

Once upon a time Celtic would have been all over these double standards but it seems as if the club is permanently on mute when it comes to matters involving the SFA.

Steven McLean’s performance in the 2015 Scottish Cup Semi Final against Inverness Caley Thistle was barely challenged. A year later he was rewarded with the Scottish Cup Final, the template was set.

In December 2018 John Beaton allowed Alfredo Morelos to go unpunished for brutal attacks on Ryan Christie, Tony Ralston and Scott Brown. The Compliance Officer took no action, Celtic issued a statement and Beaton continued his path to the top of the tree. In 2020 he was rewarded with the Scottish Cup Final.

Less than three weeks ago Bobby Madden defied the Law of the Land to try and referee the Ross County v Celtic match when he should have been self-isolating. Fortunately the intervention of The Sun saw his journey cut short as he returned home without blowing a whistle.

An SFA referee was prepared to put players at risk in order to pick up his match fee with one eye on a lucrative Europa League trip to Rome. On Saturday Madden was back in action at the Aberdeen v Hamilton match.

At the end of June Lawwell will retire with Dom McKay taking over as CEO. One of his many tasks will be holding the SFA to account to ensure that their rules are applied evenly to all clubs regardless of what background deals have been set up.

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