Bo'ness United boss Max Christie fears of restart delay if Premiership stars don’t obey Covid rules

Bo’ness United manager Max Christie believes further misdemeanours by Scottish Premiership players could have significant repercussions for the whole of Scottish football.

Thursday, 13th August 2020, 4:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th August 2020, 4:54 pm
Boness United manager Max Christie is worried that further indiscretions by top flight footballers could see restart dates for lower leagues put back

The Newtown Park boss hit out at the latest indiscretion by Celtic defender Boli Bolongoli, who flouted coronavirus safety guidelines by failing to self-isolate on returning from Spain, before playing in the Hoops’ 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock on Sunday.

This behaviour was blasted by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who issued football stars with a “yellow card” warning, with the threat of a suspension of play across the board if the rules are flouted again. Aberdeen and Celtic’s next two games have been postponed.

“Absolutely do I think further behaviour like that by the Celtic lad could delay the return of football in Scotland below the Premiership,” Christie – whose club is in next season’s Lowland League – told the Journal and Gazette. “I’m worried.

“His (Bolongoli’s) behaviour was laughable. There’s no excuse there.

“Going to Spain, coming back, not quarantining and then playing for Celtic, that’s a complete lack of respect.

“You’ve got to be responsible and Nicola Sturgeon is the boss. I think everybody is behind her.

“I think we’ve all got to be training by the rules, playing by the rules, everything or she’ll just say: ‘No, stop’.”

When asked if he would show Bolongoli the exit door if he was Celtic manager, Christie replied: “It depends how good he is.

“Alex Ferguson never showed Eric Cantona the door when he jumped into the crowd at Crystal Palace and kicked the boy in the head. If it was (Odsonne) Edouard doing it, I think he would maybe be fined and kept at the club, as he’s worth X amount in millions.

“But if he’s just a squad player, I think his days are numbered.”

Although he thinks Bolongoli was in the wrong, Christie thinks the eight Aberdeen players who also breached guidelines by going out drinking in the city centre ahead of a local lockdown being imposed were “a bit unlucky”. Two of the players caught Covid-19.

Christie said: “They made a mistake that young men make. So I can give them a wee bit of a pass, but not an entire pass.”