We’re going to prefix this article by letting you know there has been no official word from the club over an Andy Walker Celtic Park ban.
However, it’s been widely reported in the press that Celtic and their Glasgow rivals have locked the former Hoops player out of their stadiums.
Charlie Nicholas, a former Sky Sports employee believes the two clubs are majorly in the wrong and the lack of backing by Sky Sports is shocking.
Quoted by the Glasgow Times, Nicholas said:
“It is an absolute disgrace how Andy Walker has been left exposed by Celtic and Rangers.
“I haven’t spoken to my old friend in a wee while, since I left Sky.
“The Old Firm duo have banned Andy from their grounds. They are two of the least helpful clubs in the world.
“They are happy to take the money from the television companies yet they want to tell pundits what they should and shouldn’t be saying.
“It’s a shambles the way Andy has been treated.
“Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher are hard-hitting about Manchester United and Liverpool in their roles as pundits, but do they get banned by their old clubs?
“No, they don’t. I am as critical of Arsenal as Celtic. Arsenal don’t like it but they still treat me the same way at the club as the day I signed.
“What concerns me is the lack of support that Sky has shown Andy.
“They should be saying to Rangers and Celtic, ‘If you don’t let him into your grounds then we won’t be paying you for those games’.
“Celtic couldn’t wait to jump on the bandwagon because of Andy’s criticism after they heard Rangers had banned him.
“We had Neil Lennon on Soccer Saturday the other day – the same man who demanded an apology from Sky for Andy’s comments.
“Neil Doncaster and the SPFL must step in to sort this out because, if they don’t, they could end up jeopardising any future television deals.”
Let me put my cards on the table; I’ve never been a proponent of banning pundits from stadiums for a shoddy and negative opinion. The only time I would advocate any sort of ban is if the pundit in question was spreading falsehoods about Celtic.
In this case, it appears Andy Walker’s rant about the Dubai trip would have set this ban in place (if it even is in place). Banning a pundit for correctly calling the club out over the trip to Dubai signals the Hoops hierarchy still believe they were in the right over the trip.
They weren’t, and you didn’t even need to have hindsight to know it was a horrible idea.
I don’t often agree with Nicholas but he’s correct here.