IT has taken three weeks for the SFA to charge Rangers with not acting in “an orderly fashion” in games against Hibs and Celtic in December.

One has to wonder if, in some catch-22 situation, the SFA can be charged by the SFA’s SFA watcher for not acting in a particularly orderly fashion themselves.

The SFA have played a starring role at times in perfecting the art of making mountains out of molehills and in creating fertile ground for conspiracy theories to take root. And how Scottish football loves a conspiracy theory.

If you are a Rangers fan the four charges the club were hit with yesterday have been concocted to even up the scores. If you are a Celtic fan yesterday’s news that Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent escaped individual action following gestures made towards Celtic fans, was further evidence of a Hampden conspiracy to block their path to a history-equalling nine titles.

For more than five months there has barely been a peep coming out of compliance officer Claire Whyte’s office. So perhaps we were all due a hefty dose of shambolic nonsense.

There was always a feeling that Whyte made a rod for her own back by hammering Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie for his too-close-for-comfort tangling with Morelos in the Old Firm game at the end of the month while apparently procrastinating over the Colombian’s throat-slitting/end-of-game gesture.

Whyte put herself in a damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don’t position with whatever call she made liable to be viewed with suspicion by both camps. A charge for Morelos would have seen her accused of pandering to Celtic’s complaints and their public protestations from Neil Lennon and Scott Brown over Christie’s “laughable” punishment; letting him off the hook was always going to invite the old SFA bias complaints from the Parkhead side.

But few would have anticipated just how the resolution would play out this week.

And the reason for that would have been that on January 5, after Christie had been cited, there were media reports that Whyte was still considering whether Morelos had a case to answer and whether he would receive a summons to Hampden.

That the Colombian was actually booked in the Celtic Park dressing room for his gesture after receiving two yellow cards during the game now ensures that no individual action will be taken against the striker. It places the incident firmly in the rear-view mirror so far as the compliance officer is concerned.

Morelos’ conduct and that of Kent, who mimicked firing a gun after he had opened the scoring at Celtic Park, may well be considered as part of the wider charge against the club that was issued yesterday afternoon but 19 days for a booking to emerge into the public domain was always going to invite an upturned eyebrow. At best.

The Celtic support have traditionally needed little persuasion that the SFA and their in-house policing is set up to work against them. In a season in which the Parkhead side are going for the nine titles in a row there was always going to be a febrile backdrop to this campaign – and all the more so because of the way Steven Gerrard’s side are breathing down their neck.

There was a predictable reaction, then, as it was confirmed by the SFA that Morelos will not face further punishment for his petulance as he headed up the tunnel.

What comes next will be interesting. Celtic will nurse a grievance about how the matter has been handled. The cynics will conclude that Celtic fans turning guns on the SFA while things are heating up in a title race might offer some deflection.

But the SFA have made themselves look foolish with their handling of matters as the fallout of the game has been allowed to drag out.

The easiest thing to do in the days that followed the game at Celtic Park and the furore which engulfed Morelos was to make it known that he had been punished for the offence. It would have nipped all sorts of chat in the bud.

Rangers, too, were keen to offer a defence of the player by suggesting the gesture was common in his homeland as an end-of-game sign. It is doubtful whether even the author of that tale believed it but as they backed their player it might have been worth mentioning Morelos had been booked for the offence in any case.

Allowing it to ferment for the best part of three weeks has fairly put the cat among the pigeons.

And another thing

Fran Alonso’s CV suggests he is man who wouldn’t feel out of place walking into most of the dug-outs in the Scottish top flight.

The 42-year-old Spaniard was assistant to Ronald Koeman at Everton and Mauricio Pochettino’s technical director at Southampton. Having been appointed head coach for Celtic’s women team as the Parkhead side enter into the transition from a part-time to a professional set-up, Alonso’s arrival felt like quite a statement from Celtic.

If the appointment of a respected coach with vast experience at the top level for their female set-up felt like a change in keeping with the move towards full-time football, it wasn’t entirely reflected in the how the news was greeted.

A handful of broadcasters turned up at Celtic Park on Thursday and only two members of the written press ventured forth. With Celtic keen to elevate the club in order that it reflects what is going on in top leagues around Europe, it will be interesting to see if their achievements can capture the imagination and attention of what seems to be an indifferent audience.