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Justice for Celtic Boys Club
Image Credit: Wikimedia

This article first appeared on The 4th Official Patreon on Wednesday.

Last week, a Scottish Court ruled that twenty two victims of child sexual abuse can form a class action against Celtic Football Club PLC.

Today it was announced that yet another six victims of historic abuse at the hands of men/monsters who held positions of power within Celtic Boys Club have come forward and joined the class action case against Celtic.

When you add this up, it’s now twenty eight victims abused at the hands of predators that were involved in coaching young boys at Celtic Boys Club. Add to that the thirteen that have since passed away, and you’re now into the realms of literally dozens of kids who’ve gone through hell at the hands of evil.

This subject is a difficult one to broach. There are others out there who have written about this better than I ever could, but I am at the point now where I feel I must speak up and say a little bit about how i feel about this.

I want to discuss the lack of support shown to those twenty eight men that have come forward. How brave and scared they must feel right now, their bravery, honesty, and integrity should never be questioned, yet it is repetitively online.

I need to point out that the lack of acknowledgement from The SFA, Celtic Football Club, the Scottish media and much more importantly, the Scottish Government is as heinous as it could possibly be. There’s a definite lack of ambition or determination to see the victims of these crimes against children receive the justice and recompense they so deserve.

I wish to explain that talking about this subject or even writing about it is not ‘point scoring’, which is something said by an alarming number of Celtic fans online. The notion that this is an unapproachable subject or that you only discuss it to stick the boot into Celtic is seriously distasteful to me.

That is all you see on Twitter, for example. The instant you stick a tweet up in an effort to discuss these crimes, there’s a hoard of angry Celtic immediately stinking out your timeline in order to deflect, deny and screech whataboutery at you.

I have to say, the concept of being told that I’m just as bad as the perpetrators of child abuse for having the audacity to attempt to speak about it doesn’t wash with me, nor anyone else I know.

There’s an element of Celtic’s online fanbase that genuinely believe if they shout about other incidents of these crimes against children, then that for some reason appears to put Celtic Football Club on a level playing field with everyone else.

It does not. Nor will it ever. This story where there are dozens of victims at least is so huge that no amount of whataboutery will ever deflect attention away from the East End of Glasgow.

If Celtic supporters are under any delusions here, let me remind them of the facts as they stand. Their club stands alone as the football club that has to face twenty-eight victims of child sexual abuse. Every single one of those victims believes that Celtic Football Club should be held responsible for the actions of at least six paedophiles that worked at Celtic Boys Club or/and Celtic Football Club. The logic is that there were way more than six predators over the course of almost thirty years.

Now, this is what grinds my gears about this. The assertion that no one is allowed to discuss, debate or speak of this disgusts me. It is abhorrent to suggest this to be the case.

If there are people out there that think they can suggest that this is a story, no, a truth that cannot be spoken of, then they are completely wrong.

The unspeakable truth is that this should and will be talked about. For some to have the audacity to claim otherwise are burying their heads in the sand due to rivalries or tribalism.

Let me try to be clear. I hope that those seeking reparation get their voices heard and that truth win over all evil, and that’s what this was. Pure evil. That’s all I’m interested in, justice for those so badly wronged as children. I have no interest in point scoring or getting one up on a rival football club. Particularly not with something so horrific and immoral.

That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be allowed or be able to voice my opinion on this historical, predatory wickedness. There are questions that need to be answered, stories that need telling and victims that need every bit of help they so desperately deserve.

This should be getting debated in Parliament, on TV, radio, online and by football’s governing body, all at once. This is a stain on our society, and it needs addressing immediately.

Here’s a question or two that apparently you’re not allowed to ask due to being told you’re point scoring or using this as a stick to beat a football club with.

If Celtic Football Club are found to be culpable and responsible for these sordid acts against children when damages and reparations are granted, what will be the repercussions for Celtic Football Club?

What financial damage will it cause? What ramifications will there be? Will sponsors pull out, advertising revenue damaged? Will Adidas want anything to do with this vile, tawdry episode in Celtic’s history?

Will the SFA seek sanctions? If they are found to have been covering up this terrifying era in their history, then what will our governing body do because doing nothing isn’t an option, is it? Surely not.

These are as pertinent questions as the impotent nonsense that was and still is being spouted some fifteen years down the line from Rangers tax affairs that led to financial meltdown, so these questions should be asked should be answered by the media, the SFA and Government itself.

This is as much a football issue as side letters, EBT and how a football club went about paying its taxes. To ignore is tantamount to dereliction of duty and responsibility.

Since 2008 those that would choose to harm Rangers have cast aspersions on an almost daily basis. The Big Tax Case, The Wee Tax Case and so on.

If that is a football story, then you can definitely say that this is bigger, more shocking and will ultimately be a worldwide story that will embarrass and humiliate all of Scottish football. It will leave a stain that lasts forever, yet here we are more than fifty years later, still seeking justice and truth.

Will our Government stick its head above the parapet here and actually acknowledge this enormous elephant in the room, the victims, children I might add, and demand responsibility for the acts of sexual violence that happened on their watch?

Celtic are an Institution in Scotland. They have spent decades ignoring the fact that the sufferers of these crimes feel and believe that Celtic both previously and now should have and should be doing more to help them.

For an institution, it stands to reason their inaction is for a reason. Who or what are they protecting other than themselves because it sure as hell isn’t any of those that feel so horrifically let down by Celtic Football Club.

The SFA have sidestepped this story for decades too. Let’s not forget the fudged inquiry they commissioned led by Martin Henry. Mr Henry formed LBGT Youth Scotland in 2003. This organisation was formed along with none other than Mr James Rennie, one of Scotlands’ most high profile paedophiles.

Mr Henry thanked Celtic on numerous occasions within the findings of that inquiry and alas could find no link connecting Celtic Boys Club to the parent club.

Well, if they couldn’t spot what James Rennie was up to while Rennie was using LBGT Youth Scotland’s computers to pass on sexually explicit content to other beasts then why would anyone have any confidence in this man Henry?

Having read the findings of the report from the SFA it appeared that this was an effort in tarring any and every with the same brush.

Is it all a cover up? My guess is the answer is yes, it is. The SFA should be held to task in the very same way that Celtic should be.

The honest truth is I have zero confidence in Celtic or the SFA to do the right thing for the victims. History had already proven these organisations have quite literally gone out of their way to cloud this issue as much as is humanly possible.

The SNP Government refused to include football in its inquiry into child sex abuse. In 2016 the then Scottish Labour Party leader Kezia Dugdale asked the First Minister to include football within the inquiry’s remit. Nicola Sturgeon refused.

Ruth Davidson, the then Scottish Conservative leader also urged that football should be included and that the government inquiry should investigate football also. Yet again, Ms Sturgeon ignored the cries of those trying in vain to help or aid child victims.

This is the country we live in. A country where Government prevaricates on this issue. Where institutions such as Celtic and the SFA actively seek to tell us that Celtic is a separate entity to Celtic Boys Club.

Here we stand with the Scottish Government saying absolutely nothing about one of the biggest institutions within Scottish society engulfed in a scandal of gargantuan proportions while the governing body responsible for ALL of Scottish football quite literally going out of its way to distance themselves and Celtic from this terrible story.

The question on everyone’s lips should be “why are organisations with such power and authority doing their utmost to use such sophistry?”

We have seen the Penn State scandal where Jerry Sandusky was convicted to thirty years imprisonment on forty five counts of child sexual abuse.

Penn State has so far paid €118 million in compensation and reparations to over thirty victims of Sandusky.

This scandal of the Celtic Boys Club is every bit as huge as the Penn State story yet here we are in Scotland, a country where it’s not ok to talk about this, where MSP’s refuse to talk to victims or the families of victims. Where the football club that says they’re not half of anything tells us they are a Separate Entity in order to limit the catastrophic damage it might do to them while ignoring the fact victims hold them responsible and have been made to jump through hopes in the hope of gaining some justice.

I love a good conspiracy theory, from the JFK assassination to the moon landings or Princess Diana or 9/11, I’ve studied and read up on them all but I’ll tell you what… this Celtic Boys Club abuse scandal is up there with the very best of them.

For me, there’s treachery involved here. It is an Establishment attempt to silence this sordid story with the aim of protecting those responsible for so many crimes against children.

I’m fully aware this is and will be seriously uncomfortable for many to read. This is not a scandal that will end well for anybody, but this is a story that needs telling and it demands to be heard by all across the globe.

Make no mistake. The decision in court last week to allow the twenty two victims to have their voices heard, to seek reparation and justice was huge.

The fact that Roddy Dunlop QC, representing Celtic FC PLC had the audacity to suggest Celtic would not receive a fair trial due to them having no proof that they are indeed a separate entity to Celtic Boys Club is lost on no one.

Mr Dunlop should consider that it is the victims of known and convicted abusers that deserve a fair trial, not an Institution mired within Scottish society.

Celtic will get more than a fair hearing. They are being politically backed, they have football’s governing body protecting them and they will hire the finest, most expensive QC’s, lawyers and investigators to protect themselves from harm.

The entire nauseating charade from them has only served to demean those that have been harmed.

That is what is important here, not protecting the name of a football club. The human element of this story is being lost due to obfuscation and deflection.

All in the name of Celtic Football Club, so I, for one, refuse to be kowtowed or pushed back from discussing the despicable acts at Celtic Park Barrowfield and other places by those placed within the sanctity of Celtic Football Club just because they and those that follow them find it extremely uncomfortable.

Demand to speak about it, whether it’s online or on phone-ins. The right to speak has been denied for far too long. It’s the very least those that were harmed by men with positions of responsibility and power handed to them by some of the most esteemed members of the Celtic family deserve.

I hope and trust that justice will prevail and those that demand their voices heard get the help they need. That is all that matters, not a football club or whoever is so obviously being protected.

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