Uefa's treatment of Dundee United was appalling
George Peat must go head to head with Uefa over their shabby and shoddy treatment of Dundee United.
The Tannadice club were dealt with appallingly this week in Athens, and it falls to the top man in the Scottish Football Association to fight their corner.
Uefa treated United and their fans with contempt in procrastinating over where the Europa League play-off game against AEK would take place.
Six hundred United supporters, spending their own hard-earned cash to make the trip, arrived in Greece not knowing where the game would be played.
Uefa swore United to secrecy until around 6pm the day before the match, and in a surreal scenario, a grim-faced Dundee United chairman walked out of a meeting with Mr Been, the Uefa delegate, only to tell me that he had been told to tell me nothing.
Riot police at United's match against AEK in Athens, wary of trouble because the game was switched from AEK's ground to that of their rivals, Olympiakos. Photo: Getty.
So, just over 24 hours before kick-off, the BBC and the media could not inform fans where they should be heading or how to get there.
Some United directors were apparently so angry at their treatment that they contemplated not playing the match.
In the event, United's dignity in the situation was greater than that of either Uefa or the Athens club.
Uefa appear to operate double standards when it comes to Scottish football teams.
On Rangers' European adventure in Kaunas a couple of seasons back, I interviewed Walter Smith pitchside in a stadium which was a dilapidated dump, wondering how top-flight football could possibly be played there.
The same season I was at the home of Panathinaikos with the Gers and the Dons, and stood slack-jawed at surroundings which would never have received a safety certificate in Scotland.
While the home of Olympiakos, where United's tie was finally played, is a fine modern stadium, some of the venue's proposed to host the game evidently left much to be desired.
And the original venue, the Olympic Stadium, had a pitch which was unplayable.
Currently, minnows Brechin City face a six-figure bill to comply with regulations to widen their pitch by a few yards, just in case they ever enter European competition.
No disrespect to the fine Angus club, but there's more chance of Scotland winning the World Cup than that happening.
Yet a small Second Division part-time club are still being forced to find money which could threaten their very existence, to prepare for something which will never happen.
For the Tannadice leg of the Europa League play-off, Uefa made United jump through various expensive hoops.
On top of a near £300.000 bill from the previous season to bring their floodlights up to the required lux standards, United had to fork out for various other items on Uefa's wish list.
For example, 2,200 new plastic seats at £25 each to replace wooden ones which had an up-to-date safety certificate from Dundee Council, but were a few millimetres too short for Uefa's liking.
And updated wi-fi for media and the Uefa delegates (ironically United's own media staff were provided in the Athens stadium with wi-fi which did not work).
The life of those in Uefa appears to be gold-plated.
Ferried around between top hotels and fine restaurants in chauffeur-driven limousines on their fact-finding stadia visits, perhaps it's no wonder they are out of touch with the ordinary supporters whose cash allows them such a privileged existence.
Even our English brethern have felt the hot breath of hypocrisy from Uefa president Michel Platini.
The Frenchman may have been the master of a football, but as an administrator his mastery of the facts is slovenly.
His recent berating of top Premiership clubs for their financial imprudence sits awkwardly with his silence on similar problems at top Spanish and Italian outfits.
And his suggestion this week that the English FA's World Cup bid could be hampered by the temporary lack of a chief executive smacked of a cheap shot and a distinct sneer in the direction of natural justice towards English football.
It appears that here in Scotland, perhaps in England too, we appear only too ready to acquiesce with the Caesar-like demands of Uefa, an organisation which appears answerable to no-one, and which, like Roman emperors, confers favoured status on some but not on others.
United's treatment this week proves that in Uefa's eyes the Scots are not among the favoured, so we need our own emperor to fight the good fight for equal treatment.
George Peat as president of the SFA has never been a man slow to speak his mind.
This week he has a duty to tell Uefa that Scottish clubs will not be treated like second-class citizens any longer.
If he does that, and in the strongest possible terms, he will win plaudits from all Scottish football fans.