Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou backs SFA process and responds to £535k question

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has backed the SFA over the retrospective punishment handed to Callum Butcher for the Dundee United midfielder’s reckless challenge on David Turnbull.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou after the 3-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou after the 3-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The Tannadice club have accepted a two-game ban issued to Butcher under the basis of violent conduct for his tackle on the Celtic attacker in the 3-0 win recorded by Postecoglou’s men in Sunday’s Tayside encounter.

At the time, referee Don Robertson issued only a yellow card for the substitute’s transgression. However, under a change in the rules this season to deal with obvious sending off offences missed by game officials, the SFA issued a fast track notice of complaint to Butcher that his club have elected not to contest. As the player’s ban also took him past the points threshold for a further suspension, he will miss United’s next three games. Postecoglou chose to make no comment on the tackle immediately after the game and considers the outcome demonstrates he was correct simply to trust the process.

“It’s been addressed, which is the right thing to do. I think it’s a simple clear-cut case,” he said of a tackle roundly condemned by pundits and former referees working in the media.

“My view on these things has always been - and you guys will know this - that I don’t go in after games and highlight things. Things that need to get addressed are addressed, and this has been addressed. The authorities deal with them as they see fit.”

Meanwhile, Postecoglou believes he is right to select a team as he sees fit for the Europa League visit of Real Betis that has nothing riding on it competitively...Celtic’s fate in the competition sealed following the last round of matches that guaranteed they would drop down to the Conference League knock-out stages early next year.

The expected much-changed side that is poised to see such as Kyogo Furuhashi, Callum McGregor, David Turnbull, Tom Rogic and, possibly, Carl Starfelt and Joe Hart rested, as fringe players such as Albian Ajeti, Mikey Johnston, James McCarthy, Nir Bitton and Liam Scales are handed starts reduces the prospect of Celtic earning the £535,000 prize money on offer for a group game win. Postecoglou believes there is a longer game to be played in considering financial returns for the club, though, the Betis game one of eight Celtic face across 25 days that will shape their cinch Premiership challenge in a season where the league winners will more than likely gain direct entry to the £35m riches on offer in the Champions League group stages.

“I don’t have that [£535,000] at the forefront of my mind, to be fair,” the Celtic manager said. “Perhaps the financial controllers at the club might be thinking the other way, but it’s not something I’m thinking about. It’s about freshening up as we have some big games coming up between now and the break that are very important for our season – including the [League] cup final. I don’t know mate, you’ll need to do the sums. What is financially more important to the club, is it tomorrow night or what’s ahead of us?”

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