Days of Future Past.
That Was The Week That Was,eh? It is not always easy being a Celtic supporter,but it is always worthwhile. Those were the words spoken by Fergus McCann over two decades ago. We always hoped he had a plan for the future,but few of us foresaw a week like last week.
Famously,George Best was lying beside the current Miss World in a rather plush London hotel when he ordered room service. Now,the room service may have been champagne,the Miss World may have been Mary Stavin or it may have been Marjorie Wallace,but the story is always the same. That the waiter arrived with breakfast,looked at his famous guest and his partner,goggled at the splurge of banknotes lying all around the room-for George had won around £50k in a casino the night before-and asked the simple but legendary question…
“George,where did it all go wrong?”
And so it is for Celtic supporters these days. And possibly for the board too. For there can be little doubt that we have rarely had it so good,although that depends on which side of the fence you are viewing it from. As a business,we have record amounts of cash in the bank,a squad which has never been worth more in cash terms,turnover in the last two seasons of approaching £200m. We have investors falling over themselves to join the gravy train whether that be boiler room scam artists or the hard-nosed sharpies at Lindsell Train-no pun intended-who currently own around 20% of a company that they clearly believe in.
I think that it is fair to say that Celtic Plc is regarded as a well run company with a clearly defined modus operandi and a plan for its direction in the future. But like every business with one core product,it is highly leveraged towards the continuing success of the business plan.
And of public sentiment towards it.
You might remember that around the same time that Fergus was changing everything at Celtic Park,Coca Cola,another business with one core product-though highly diversified since-decided that it needed to change the recipe in order to propel it still further. And that is what it did-it literally changed the recipe! Now,nobody can deny that New Formula Coke was a success-after all,it still was clearly outstripping the competition in terms of sales. But it is nevertheless regarded as a signature tale of corporate failure. And of hubris,one of taking your demographic for granted.
Much like the Labour Party in Scotland,though that is a tale for another day…
Coca Cola customers,faithful through and through,demanded a change. They wanted the old days back,they didn’t like this taste of the future and they certainly didn’t like the aftertaste of New Formula Coca Cola. They got their way too,by mobilising the tools then available to them. Public opinion via the media,a united front,a mass boycott. Not big enough to significantly damage sales in the short term,but the company wasn’t prepared to take the risk of the medium term turning out to be worse. Nor was it prepared to accept being front page news for all the wrong reasons. Personally,I thought it tasted great,but it just wasn’t Coca Cola. But then,what could I do about it? I didn’t like its competitors at all,so I was stuck with it.
So,back to Celtic Plc. And its one core product. It too has a customer base which is faithful through and through,and which doesn’t like the competition. And it too seems hell-bent on a New Formula,one which discards the past in favour of its plans for the future. Like Coca Cola,those plans are bringing a success which its competitors can only dream of. Nine successive trophies and a treble treble,another Cup Final next week,a tremendous European run with some notable scalps on the way. Record income and profits and…
A mightily pissed off customer base which isn’t impressed by any of that. That’s us,that is. That’s us,that is,oh yes. Never had it so good,don’t know when we’re born,don’t you remember the Famine Years,or what happened when yon deid club,yada yada…
Celtic Plc has one core product. It is called Celtic FC and the people who support the Plc by buying that product are a fractured and unhappy lot. And one with,it seems,nowhere else to go. For the board of Celtic Plc are employing the time-honoured strategy of divide and rule,in this case by having a go at everyone to the extent that each complaining faction can only concentrate on their own problems-instead of looking at the bigger picture,one where a united front might bring success. To me,it seems that the Plc-in particular,the public front of Bankier and Lawwel-are running the strong possibility of whipping up a perfect storm of opposition through their attack on so many fronts at the same time. They tell us to behave ourselves,that they don’t think that it is in the interests of the club to right an 8yo wrong,that our best supporters are an embarrassment who have cost us the equivalent of a player-or two month’s bonus to PL-that the snipers in the blogosphere Timternet are but a bunch of ingrates who know nothing. Surely it is time for all of the disaffected to unite behind one banner? None can do it alone,that’s for sure. But if we can get the backing of the older crew via the resolutioners,the younger crew via The Green Brigade,the social media via the bloggers,all that the board have left in their favour is the despised MSM and a few other lickspittles. Each has tried in their own way over the years to take the battle to The Man,and each,though confident in their search for justice,has been batted away.
It is time for change. If history has proven anything to us,it is that the rebels CAN win. And win,we must. Or our club is gone forever,replaced by a soulless New Formula with no interest in our past,only in a future driven by a fast buck.
Above article by BMCUWP.