Noel Whelan has blasted the “arrogance” of the Celtic board after Peter Lawwell issued an apology for the training camp in Dubai.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United and Aberdeen striker insisted the Bhoys knew they had done wrong travelling in the midst of a pandemic and that there was no excuse for their “selfishness”.
Speaking on the club’s official YouTube channel, chief executive Peter Lawwell apologised to supporters over the trip and admitted the club had made “a mistake” jetting out to the UAE.
The Hoops came under fire from all quarters for choosing to travel despite the global situation and their issues were further compounded when Christopher Jullien tested positive for Covid-19, forcing 13 first-team players into self-isolation.
Whelan has blasted Lawwell and the Celtic board and insisted their apology was nothing more than empty words.
“They knew straight away, before they went, that they shouldn’t be going but the arrogance of them, and that’s all I can put it down to, is arrogance, it’s not naivety,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“It’s just the fact that they didn’t bother, knowing what was going on in the world, to protect their players and the selfishness of having to go out there, somewhere warm – no one else has done that, that’s the problem, no one else has done that so why should they?
“The apology is too late because it’s already been done and the consequence of that is you’ve got one player now with Covid. They’re going to get a backlash, they were going to get a backlash whether they came back with no Covid among the players or not.
“It doesn’t really make any difference to me. When you run a club and you look at the way the world’s going, sometimes you’ve got to make sacrifices and that’s one that should have been definitely stopped and sacrificed.”
In his statement, Lawwell said: “In reflection, looking back, looking with hindsight, and looking at the outcome of the trip, clearly it was a mistake, and for that, I profoundly apologise to our supporters.
“The rationale for the camp was very much the best intentions. Things haven’t gone the way we wanted to and the outcome is clearly very regrettable.”
In other news: ‘He didn’t fancy Celtic’ – Hoops dealt transfer heartache.