The club should apologise for a Dubai trip that has disfigured a season already notable for toil on the pitch and mess off it

Celtic: The Implosion. The imagination of a scriptwriting genius would have been necessary to piece together a chain of events which are now far enough removed from fiction as to fatally undermine what was billed as a history-making season. Grand plans relating to a 10th title in a row are long gone; instead, Celtic’s collective decision-making has reduced the club to a laughing stock. Their supporters, normally so fiercely defensive of reputation, have been united in horror at the unravelling of a setup which appeared untouchable 12 months ago. It really didn’t take much to topple this plasticine empire.

There are dismal multimillion-pound transfer episodes, the case of the left-back who breached travel rules for a holiday in Spain without the club’s knowledge, rows from Nicola Sturgeon, European embarrassment at the hands of Ferencvaros and Europa League teams who rattled in 19 goals in six group matches, even before we get to rampaging supporters outside Celtic Park as domestic dominance began to disintegrate. Just when such noise had calmed to the point of acceptance – Rangers’ win in the Old Firm game of 2 January secured the title in all but name – came a trip to Dubai and fallout which renders ‘ill-advised’ as understatement of the year.

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