'Demote Celtic' - Adrian Durham claims Scotland has 'had enough' of 'disgraceful' club
The Hoops drew criticism from many for their decision to go ahead with a mid-season training camp in Dubai, despite the recent surge in Coronavirus cases in the UK.
Things were made worse when the club confirmed on Monday that defender Christopher Jullien had tested positive for the virus, meaning he and 13 other members of the first team squad, as well as manager Neil Lennon and assistant John Kennedy, had to go into isolation.
As a result, the Bhoys were forced to field a weakened side for their 1-1 draw against Hibernian at Parkhead on Monday evening – a result that left them 21 points behind Rangers at the top of the table.
Celtic made headlines again later in the week when it was reported that they have taken the decision to place their entire U18s squad on furlough to help handle the cost of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Given the timing of the update, however, as well as the cost of their controversial trip to the Gulf coast, Durham blasted the club for their insensitivity, and called for authorities to enact a radical punishment.
Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “So out of touch.
“And if you don’t think you’re not hearing correctly, it is correct. After a 200 grand trip to Dubai, for a bunch of losers to laugh in the face of a Scotland that has been decimated by Covid, Celtic are now getting the taxpayer to pay for their youth squad.
“In the meantime, Rangers have opened up Ibrox as a vaccination centre!
“Am I right in thinking Scotland has had enough of Celtic Football Club? In the whole scheme of things, what Celtic are doing now is far, far worse, far more insulting to the fans and to football and to the whole nation than anything Rangers did nine years ago.
“So wouldn’t it be just fitting, wouldn’t it be right, to demote Celtic to Scottish League Two after all this nonsense?
“Punish them for bringing the game into disrepute, showing contempt for the very people whose money keeps the club going in normal times.
“Who’s with me? Demote Celtic to Scottish League Two, are you with me, Darren [Gough, Durham’s co-host]? It’s disgraceful behaviour from what’s meant to be a big football club.”
In the aftermath of Jullien’s positive test, Celtic initially defended their first team trip to Dubai, writing in an official statement: “The reality is that a case could well have occurred had the team remained in Scotland, as other cases have done in Scottish football and across UK sport in the past week.”
Since then, Parkhead chief Peter Lawell has issued a video apology to supporters, saying: "It’s been an extremely difficult few days and on reflection, looking back and looking with hindsight and looking at the outcome of the trip, clearly it was a mistake.”
Former Celtic forward Andy Walker subsequently branded the apology as “baloney” during an appearance on Sky Sports News.