SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL
Sometimes you see something that just jumps out at you and you know what your next article is going to be about. The statement from Celtic FC about the Scottish League Cup Semi-finals fiasco is one such item. The sort of manna from heaven that allows the blog to damn near write itself,you might think. Like shooting fish in a barrel.
Well,yes and no. The fans had been demanding some action from the club over this for some time,and the latest suggestion of a late switch to Murrayfield for one of the ties-we still don’t know which one,what time,or even whether Murrayfield will agree to it,ffs!-finally saw the club moved to action. So kudos to them for listening.
It was as toothless and pointless as their last statement,which I think was about the Lord Nimmo Smith stitch-up.
But this is where the article stops writing itself,and some thought has to take place. My opinion of the Celtic board is well-known,so a diatribe will come as little surprise to anyone,but…
What else could the club really say about this? Their hands are tied by the ineptitude and mendacity of the governing body-ineptitude in scheduling the semis straight after a European week,and in the initial scheduling of two games on the same day,and mendacity in the way that Doncaster immediately stated that the scheduling had been done via agreement from all four clubs. Yes,he should be out the door for his latest screw-up,but he’s survived so many of them by now that you just know he’ll still be around when his haircut comes back into fashion.
Then there is the wording of parts of the actual statement. Some direct language being used,pointing out that there was no discussion over which game took place where,that the decision was already made. This was “both irrational and discriminatory”. All that was asked for re a difficult decision was “equity of treatment”. The decision is “lacking logic or reason”.
These are strong words,and I hope it heralds a new beginning in the relationship with the authorities,where our interests have not been well served in the past. I’d like to borrow some words from my friend MIKEINTORONTO over on CQN.
“The statement is a good start … but two thoughts:
1. A statement alone is simply a sop to the fans. If we were discriminated against, then action must follow.
2. If Celtic can issue a statement about this, it seems to put an end to the excuse that Celtic could not speak out about various issues in the past (on which Celtic have stayed remarkably silent) for fear of retribution, etc.”
If I may,I’d like to offer for debate the followings suggestions of action we could take.
We could refuse to handle tickets for the semi,or only a token amount.
We could refuse to handle tickets for away games in future,or only a token amount.Remember,at a number of grounds we are already badly served.
We could tell the SPFL that we will not be entering next year’s competition,or alternatively that we will play our development squad.
These would take some considerable discussion and agreement with supporters groups,and might lead to some friction in the short-term. But our revenge will be the laughter of our children,we know how to play the long game.
For too long,we have been playing it with one hand tied behind our back,and our legs strapped together.
To more immediate things,and tonight’s match. Those basturts at UEFA have in for us too,what with the draws we are given these days! Red Bull Salzburg may well be one of the best teams in the competition,and are 100% domestically this season.
I couldn’t find any figures giving their total losses since Red Bull took over,but they clearly pay no heed to Financial Fair Play,and have an expensively-assembled squad who are obviously gelling well together.
This will be a very difficult game for us,even without the injuries piling up,as bliddy usual. I don’t do predictions any more-my Saturday coupon is testament to the sense in that!-but I’d take a draw. A defeat,well,it won’t kill us in the group,other games are probably more important. And I’d like to see us in Europe after Christmas-maybe even in Europe longer than the rest of the UK!-as it will give us a chance to give our myriad of new star signings from January some game time together.
A draw and no more injuries is probably as big a dream as my previous sentence,but I live in hope!
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