Staying with Easter Road, what incredible front from Celtic
chief executive Ian McLeod to suggest that licenced
thug, sorry, skilful defender Bobo Balde has been hard
done by after receiving a one match ban for a vicious elbowing
on Hibs defender Paul Fenwick during a recent league
match. The TV cameras caught Balde bang to rights even if
the referee didn't. By appealing against the ban, Celts will
have Balde available for two of their most crucial games of
the season - against Aberdeen in the cup and Rangers
in the league. Thus, if his appeal fails, (and anyone who
saw the incident must reckon that Balde is getting off lightly
with a one match ban) the player will serve out his suspension
in a far less important and possibly meaningless encounter.
There's only one way for the authorities to prevent this blatant
abuse of the rules: Throw out the appeal, ban Balde for
six matches and let the ban take effect from the start of
Meanwhile McLeod is moaning about the way TV money from UEFA
is distributed. Seems they give more to clubs from more populous
countries than they give to the Old Firm. Quite right Ian.
Let's share out the money equally. Starting with the SPL.
What's that? The motormouth of Celtic Park has caught laryngitis?
Over at Ibrox, the "you couldn't make it up"
statements are coming from security head Lawrence McIntyre.
He says that violence at the recent UEFA Cup tie against
Feyenoord was caused solely by the Dutch fans.
Now we know that Dutch football has as many nutters per head
of population as the UK (the only difference is that they
usually speak far better English) but can't help noticing
that of 34 arrests inside the ground, only eight were
from Holland. We also can't help but notice that there
have been two major outbreaks of crowd violence inside Scottish
grounds this season - at Pittodrie and Ibrox. We
also note the sole common denominating factor - Rangers were
Now we're not suggesting that every sash-wearing, fenian-hating,
brittannia-ruling, queen-loving son of William is responsible
but we do suggest that Mr McIntyre pays a little more attention
to what goes on around him at every match. Perhaps he could
start by asking himself this question: Have Rangers done
all that they can to eradicate bigotry, sectarianism and racism
from Ibrox? When he can come back with a positive answer
to that, we'll start taking his bleatings a bit more seriously.
Still with Rangers. Ronald De Boer is missing crucial
league and cup games after picking up an injury in a meaningless
(for Holland) friendly against England. I wonder what General
Manager Dick Advocaat, a renowned critic of such games,
will have to say about that to the Dutch team boss Richard