Ange Postecoglou insists he will always put Celtic’s reputation front and center as he reflected on a week of controversy that has seen football dragged through the gutter.
The Aussie’s team face a Raith Rovers side that has been forced into a groveling apology after the signing of rapist David Goodwillie sparked outrage across the country and saw sponsors and fans desert the club.
That, and the situation in England where West Ham’s Kurt Zouma was filmed kicking and punching his cat, has seen the game hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
And Postecoglou insists that he is acutely aware of his and his players’ responsibilities to shine a positive light on their club.
“I think we are all aware of that responsibility,” said the Parkhead boss.
“I’ve spoken about it a lot of times that every time I speak and every decision I make… it’s not mine, it’s representative of this football club.
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“So what I say and do is obviously going to be reflective in respect to the values of the club and its supporters.
“I think we all understand that and we all carry that. I certainly do tackle that responsibility seriously.
“All football clubs and all people involved in football clubs these days know that you’ve always got to be very measured and understanding of everything you do.
And Postecoglou insists the need to uphold his club’s good name doesn’t start and end with the referee’s whistle.
Asked if the club’s had a duty to act as moral guardians, he said: “I wouldn’t want to generalize it like that. I’ve always sort of felt that way about the role that I have.
“I’ve never felt that when I speak that I speak on my behalf. Not that I don’t have my own thoughts and values but I always know that when I’m in a role, particularly as the manager of a football club, even if I meet someone in the street, what I say and the way I behave is going to reflect on the club I represent.
“I’ve always carried that as a responsibility. That’s never been any different for me.
“It’s not necessarily guided by the repercussions if you get something wrong. It’s just stuff that I live by. I need to understand the club’s values because I’m representative of it.”
Goodwillie won’t be anywhere near Celtic Park for tomorrow afternoon’s Scottish Cup fifth round clash after Rovers finally saw sense in the face of mounting outrage over the former Scotland striker’s signing.
They’ve now confirmed he won’t be picked for action and are in talks about settingtling the two-and-a-half year contract he penned just two weeks ago.
That’s done little to placate seething fans, with Kirkcaldy boss John McGlynn forced to beg fans for forgiveness after admitting he’d made an “enormous error” recruiting the 32-year-old, who was ruled to have raped a woman in 2011 by a judge presiding over a civil court case.
But Postecoglou has paid no attention to the furore as he focuses instead on steering his side another step closer to a sensational treble at the end of his first season in Scotland.
“It’s impossible for me to comment on it because I know if that was a club I was involved with and it was going through a situation like that, I wouldn’t like other clubs or managers commenting on it,” said the Celtic boss, who saw his side dump the Fifers out of the Premier Sports Cup quarter-finals back in September.
“Not because of any other reason other than you’d never have the full information. Each issue has to be dealt with by the people who have all the information.
“We’re preparing for Raith Rovers in a football sense. That’s where our focus lies and where my focus lies.
“You always feel that if you start thinking about things outside the football club, that’s going to distract my players as well. So our focus is on expecting a tough challenge from them.
“It’s a cup game, we’ve already played them this season in a cup and it was a decent contest even though we won and we are looking towards a similar type of contest at the weekend.”