“I do think that there’s a lot of hypocritical people out there, a lot of people who took a huge sigh of relief in Scottish football that we were the one that maybe got caught”
Last Updated: 18/08/20 5:35pm
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says criticism aimed at the club after eight squad members breached coronavirus protocols is “hypocritical” because other teams have not been “squeaky clean” either.
The club confirmed over the weekend that it had “heavily fined” Jonny Hayes, Michael Devlin, Scott McKenna, Matty Kennedy, Sam Cosgrove, Dylan McGeouch, Craig Bryson and Bruce Anderson over their visit to a bar on August 1, after which two members of the squad tested positive for coronavirus.
Aberdeen’s games against St Johnstone and St Mirren were postponed, but some have suggested that the club should have faced sanctions, with Hibernian owner Ron Gordon having said this week that he would be open to a points deduction.
Champions Celtic also had two games postponed after their defender Boli Bolingoli broke coronavirus rules by travelling to Spain and failing to quarantine upon his return. Both Bolingoli and the eight Aberdeen players have been charged by the Scottish Football Association (SFA).
“It’s easy for people to say certain things, certainly from their position, but ultimately it could be any club that has to suffer this and he’s got to be careful with what he’s saying,” McInnes told Sky Sports News in response to Gordon’s comments.
“I think the individual behaviours is where we need to concentrate and focus on. Our club, if you ask JRG (Joint Response Group), if you ask anybody looking at us, SPFL, SFA, we have been at the forefront of doing things right here and we know that Cormack Park, Pittodrie, we are safeguarding every employee.
St J’stone vs Aberdeen
August 20, 2020, 7:00pm
“So in terms of any sanctions or whatever, I think we’ve got to be careful. I do think that there’s a lot of hypocritical people out there, a lot of people who took a huge sigh of relief in Scottish football that we were the one that maybe got caught and that we’ve had to take full consequences of that. But not everybody’s been squeaky clean in general and we’re aware of that.
“Right across the country, it’s not just footballers and people involved in football that have maybe let their guard down over the last few weeks, and we need to make that clear. Right across all walks of life, a lot of people making comment… ask them to look at themselves, people in high positions as well, they’ve not actually been squeaky clean.”
Aberdeen will return to action against St Johnstone on Thursday night, live on Sky Sports, with McInnes set to welcome back several of the players who were charged by the SFA over the bar visit.
The two players who tested positive have yet to clear protocols, but the other six returned to the club’s training ground on Monday. Cosgrove and Devlin are injured, which means four could return on Thursday.
“They’ve made a bad decision, they’ve been punished,” McInnes said.
“They’ve took a kicking from everybody, but they won’t get that from me. They’re back in the fold and we’ll look after them now.”