Danny Simpson should be in jail not offered a Celtic trial

Following Celtic’s 5-2 aggregate win over FK Sarajevo in the Champions League last night, it was announced that former Leicester City defender Danny Simpson is to join the Scottish champions on trial with a view to signing a permanent deal.

It is common knowledge that Celtic are on the hunt for a number of right backs, but their pursuit and offer of a trial to Simpson that leaves a bad taste in my mouth as well as many Celtic fans mouths.

Convicted Domestic Abuser

In May 2015, Simpson was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, after Police found him with his ‘hands around the throat’ of his ex-partner at a house in Manchester.

The defender faced the prospect of jail time, but with his ex refusing to give evidence during the trial and withdrawing his statement to police, the former Newcastle and QPR full back was handed a mere 300 hours of unpaid community service by the courts.

The judge, Alexandra Simmons, labelled Simpson’s version of events as ‘unworthy of belief’ while Female safety campaign group, Women’s Aid, condemned the sentence saying it did not reflect the crime.

A spokesperson at the time said: “Men who abuse should feel the consequences of what they have done, even if they are a Premier League footballer.

“If sentences like this are given to perpetrators, the extremely serious nature of domestic violence is diluted and women are devalued yet again. This means we will never see the culture change needed to make domestic violence history.”

i’m sorry but even on this incident alone, without looking at his football record, Simpson should not near any football club let alone Celtic - he should be in the jail.

A Player in Decline

The 32-year-old defender left Leicester City at the end of last season after his contract expired, following five years at the club.

He had been the regular left back for the English Premier League side and was part of the Leicester side that were crowned Premier League champions in May 2016 - but last season he made just ten appearances in all competitions with 22-year-old England international Ben Chilwell now the mainstay at left back.

His potential signing is seen merely as a stop gap to plug a hole in the Celtic defence - which has actually been filled perfectly by Kristoffer Ajer during the two games against FK Sarajevo, and while Ajer is more suited as a central defender alongside Simunovic or new signing Christopher Jullien - I would rather have the Norwegian played out of position at right back than bringing in a convicted domestic abuser in Danny Simpson. No matter what his Premier League pedigree was.

In fact, there is more scope to develop Anthony Ralston as a player than bring in a player looking for one last pay day before retirement.

A lot was said by Celtic fans and pundits alike about Rangers signing Jon Flanagan after he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend - but Celtic’s decision to offer Simpson a trial let alone contemplate giving him a deal, will make those Celtic fans eat their words.

No matter how desperate Celtic are to sign a right back, the potential signing of Simpson is not right and sets a bad example to the next generation of Celtic players coming through the ranks and young fans alike - who will see a convicted criminal rewarded with a lucrative contract at the club they play for and/or support.

Celtic, Neil Lennon and Peter Lawwell must think twice about continuing with this clusterfuck of a decision. Especially since they refused to sanction a two year deal for the departed Mikael Lustig, who is the same age as Simpson.