Smith Fires Parting Shot Across Celtic's Bows

17 May 2011 11:34
Wlater Smith, among others, is glad the season is over. He wants to talk about football on the field not issues off. Walter Smith insists he is "ready to get out of Scotland" as he pointed the finger at Celtic for setting the tone on a controversial season.  Smith left his job at Ibrox on Sunday after guiding his side to a third successive SPL title but it has been a campaign of confrontation off the field. Smith insists he is glad to see the end of the season but believes Celtic's ongoing contentious relationships with both match officials and the SFA prompted the tone. Smith said: "After the season we have had here, I am more than ready to get out of here, out of Scotland. It has been a fraught year for everybody, I don't think there has been any doubt about that. The season got off to a bad start, in that respect, when Celtic put up a challenge to referees and to everybody else. That got the season off to a bad start and it went downhill after that. From my own point of view, I hope everybody would realise that people who work in Scottish football, referees included, are always under terrific scrutiny. It was an unfair circumstance they were placed in this season and I just hope that now everybody gets on with it. And I hope Celtic realise that, if their team is good enough, they will win. If they're not good enough, they'll not win. They can't look at anybody else, whether it's referees or any other influence. I don't say that in a smug way. I just felt that the challenge Celtic put up to referees set the tone for what has been a poor season for our country, in terms of publicity overall. As I said about three weeks ago, it seems as though I've spent a whole season answering questions about everything except football. When it gets to this stage, it seems to me that all of the focus has been deflected from what it should have been on, which is football players, what they do, who wins, who loses. We've not been talking about that this season."