"Let the others come after us. We welcome the chase. It is healthy for us.
We will never hide from it. Never fear."
- William Struth


Written by: Col Brannon
Thursday, 8th November 2018

As sure as night follows day, when former Celtic Boys Club chief Jim Torbett was found guilty for a second time of several counts of sexual abuse of children, a certain section of the Celtic support took to Twitter in rage, but not at Torbett, or their own club for their conduct at the time and right now, but at those calling out Celtic on their conduct.

As Mark Daly reported, the club has a long history with the Boys Club spanning 55 years, with the boys club acting as a feeder club being a recipient of significant sums of money from the club, support and assistance from key club figures including Jock Stein, Billy McNeil and David Hay.

There is documentary evidence of this, including numerous reports in Official Celtic publication the Celtic View, and transactions between Celtic FC and Torbett himself to the tune of £1M AFTER he was first found guilty of abusing boys at Celtic. Note that during this time, Torbett employed not one but two Celtic FC Directors (Jack McGinn and Kevin Kelly). McGinn, of course, also served on the board of the SFA for many years.

There has been muted coverage in the print media, with front pages yesterday largely running reports as 2nd or 3rd story, with no coverage whatsoever today.

You get the feeling that the print media in particular wish to move on as quickly as possible, and most certainly are not interested in anything beyond Torbett’s abuse.

To put this in to context, the Penn State scandal in the US, resulted in global headlines with major fines and sanctions for the club, on a far smaller scale than what has happened at Celtic, which involves many more children and several abusers working at the one boys club at the same period, with the chief being an employer of two Celtic Directors (with one also being an SFA Director), being in receipt of significant sums of cash, and being re-employed by the club after being kicked out of the club by Jock Stein.

The media in Scotland wish to bury this scandal as quick as possible, as do Celtic and the SFA.

It’s immoral, and is a scandal in itself.

To give credit where it’s due, a handful of Celtic supporters, along with Daly and The Herald Celtic supporting journalist Neil Cameron, have challenged Celtic to make some sort of response to what is their issue, however, this is sadly outweighed by many Celtic supporters indulging in the most reprehensible denial and deflection.

You’d think any football fan would be more disgusted at their club failing to take action to prevent children being abused, or trying to imply that it’s not their responsibility, but no, there are several high profile Celtic supporters who are apparently more angry at those challenging this vile behaviour.

In this circle of shame, apparently if you are disgusted at Celtic and express this, you are point scoring.

Our old friend Andy Muirhead, who once joined VB under the username MauriceEdu8 and was banned within hours for posting disgusting racist hatred, apparently thinks that Rangers fans are “using child abuse to get back at your city rivals for laughing at you getting liquidated”. Yes, really. He’s even written a blog attacking Rangers fans for having the temerity to express an opinion on Celtic abusing children.

Graham Spiers, who has previous for defending child sex offenders, has accused Rangers fans of point scoring, while not attacking Torbett, the numerous Celtic officials who turned a blind eye, or the current Celtic board for their complete and utter silence. Make no mistake that Celtic’s conduct right now is still disgusting. Daly confirmed last night on television that Celtic Boys Club have changed their name to St Patricks in exchange for a five figure payment from Celtic as the parent football club distances itself from the boys club.

Both Celtic and the SFA just want this story to go away. They want to pretend it didn’t happen, and that it either wasn’t their responsibility that it happened, or it isn’t their responsibility to make things right.

As I write, Celtic have released a statement that is astonishing in that it juxtaposes an apology to the victims with a defence of their own conduct, a very questionable assertion that they first knew in the 1990s, and a repeat of the myth that the boys club was distinct from the parent football club.

It is Celtic’s responsibility to make this right, and it’s not Rangers fans they need to be concerned about, but the victims and victims’ families, who have some level of justice but now need comfort and closure that they will be treated with some humanity by Celtic. I should be clear that this present board cannot be trusted on this. Their statement released today makes that clear

The contempt that the victims are being shown by Spiers and Muirhead should be called out, and their reaction bears all the hallmarks of those club custodians who thought it more appropriate to cover it up than call the police.

I ask myself now, if Spiers or Muirhead were Celtic Officials, what option would they choose? Call the police or cover it up?

The conduct of Celtic, as they distance themselves from the boys club, is reprehensible. Given that the club had the audacity to commemorate the birth of their club this week with the oft repeated myth that their club was founded to help the poor (including children), rather than to stop Catholic families going to Soup Kitchens run by the (Protestant) Church of Scotland this is not a surprise.

The truth is something Celtic Football Club are alien to, but they will need to face it soon.

While the priority should indeed be that the abusers find themselves imprisoned, all of those who enabled the abuse should also be punished. The victims deserve better.


by Phil White
by We Must Be Bolder


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