Celtic were on the receiving end of a heartfelt message
Andy Walker has delivered a heartfelt condemnation of Celtic following their controversial trip to Dubai.
The club’s trip to Dubai was shrouded in controversy from the get-go, with no other Scottish clubs flying abroad for training.
Some felt that a trip to sunny climes was not a great look just hours after the 1-0 defeat against Rangers at Ibrox and, more importantly, many expressed concern about a non-essential journey being made at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
It was confirmed on Monday that defender Christopher Jullien, who was already ruled out for three to four months, had tested positive for Covid-19.
The club also confirmed that 13 players were now self-isolating, with manager Neil Lennon and assistant John Kennedy also having to self-isolate.
Celtic’s match against Hibs went ahead regardless, with six changes made to the side and the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Kris Ajer and Leigh Griffiths missing out.
Former Celtic striker Walker was damning in his verdict as he spoke on Sky Sports prior to kick-off.
He said: “We’re seeing some dismal governance from this club. It is unbelievably arrogant to abuse your status as an elite sportsman.
“That was only brought in for international, for European competition. Not for a jolly in Dubai, and I don’t know of any club in Europe, any top club who are thinking of going to sunnier climes to get some warm weather training.
“So i think what the Celtic supporters deserve is a bit of contrition from someone, anyone, with a bit of backbone at this club, preferably Dermot Desmond, because he’s the one that makes the big changes.
“He’s the one that can knock some heads together here.
“You’ve got to remember that Celtic supporters are paying their season tickets to see all the big stars. They’re not seeing them tonight. That’s not their fault.
“They are being short-changed, and it’s completely unacceptable.”
He later added: “The whole makeup of this club is social responsibility. A bit of understanding of what the supporters are going through.
“They can’t see their families, and Celtic are jetting off to Dubai. And they still think it’s the right thing to do.
“Dermot Desmond needs to get on this case and make things happen. It’s completely unacceptable the way that Celtic have behaved here.
“I want them to show a bit of contrition. I want them to show a bit of understanding that some Celtic supporters can’t see their grandchildren. Haven’t seen them for 10 months.
“Others can’t see their families, and Celtic are being so arrogant. This is not the club that I played for. There was no arrogance, and that is what is underpinning this whole debacle here. Arrogance.”
Asked by host Eilidh Barbour if he thought Celtic would have been surprised by the negative reaction to the trip from many fans, Walker replied: “I don’t think you’ve got anyone at the club who understands the supporters, who understands what they’re going through.
“And I’ll say again, they are paying good money for a season ticket to watch virtual games. They can’t get into the stadium. You want to see the best players available.
“They’re not getting value for money tonight. They are being cheated.
“Are they going to get a refund? It’s extraordinary. There is no contrition at this club for what is happening here.
“It’s a complete disaster.
“I’ve spoken to so many people who have made enormous personal sacrifices, and I think we’ve all struggled to see some loved ones.
“And I think we’ve all struggled for money, and I think to see this extravagance. No other club is criss-crossing the world to go for warm weather training.
“We’re talking about all the big clubs in England, all the big clubs in Europe. None of them are going, but Celtic, I think, showed extraordinary arrogance. ‘We’ve done this before, we’re doing it again. We don’t care what anyone thinks, because we’re going to do what we want’.
“It’s not right.”