Losing The Sense Of Community
Today sees a guest article from AULDHEID. An excellent offering,as you might expect,and our apologies for the delay in its publication due you admin difficulties last week.
Football clubs are merely the totems around which different communities gather to sing their songs and dance their dances, but in trying to become big business this essential point has been lost. Football as a business has grown too big for its boots.
At the end of the chapter “The Worst Business in the World” in their book Soccernomics (2009) Simon Kuperand Stefan Szymanski say
“Soccer clubs need to know what they are. They shouldn’t kid themselves they are Titanium Metals (a small company in Big Business Terms but a behemoth compared to any soccer club – https://www.timet.com/about/ ) . Rather they are like museums, public spirited organisations that aim to serve the community, whilst remaining reasonably solvent.”
Few would argue that Celtic have managed the latter in laudable terms that has led to long term football success and long may it continue, but in becoming a PLC has that aim of serving the community not so much been lost as reversed?
Celtic started as a community club and, I would argue still are, but that community has spilled out from its origins in the east end of Glasgow to become global. Wherever you go in the world you are likely to bump into a fellow Tim and a friendly connection is often made. We make friends easily, we commune. However is the current PLC model the right fit for the global Celtic community of today? Has the PLC model caused Celtic custodians to have grown apart from its community rather than being a part of it?
The most recent issue caused by the CoVid Virus has been the sale of season tickets for games that at the outset fly in the face of the very reason for buying a season ticket which is To Be There when the team runs on to the park. Celtic’s approach to the problem caused by CoVid19 is constrained by the very model that has sustained Celtic as a solvent, indeed very profitable business, which is the degree of reliance on actual match day physical attendance that brings the sense of community back to the place where it first began.
However that community whilst metaphorically and emotionally lives in the shadow of Celtic Park physically it does not. In having to offer regular match day attendees the opportunity to watch from afar ,will that be a cause for many to rethink the current model in a world where we are being reminded nothing is certain , so be ready to change?
In that respect I looked into my crystal ball (a spreadsheet actually) that can be viewed here for an alternative model that recognised not only how widespread the Celtic community has become but also offered a path to a place where the lost sense of community at one with itself could be reborn.
It is one of life’s cosmic ironies that as I was developing the new model last night the same idea of giving the community a greater say via a Membership Scheme had emerged on CQN on Tuesday
that BMCUW pasted on Sentinel Celts and if you have not read it everyone should. It makes the very valid point, particularly in light of the lessons Resolution 12 has taught us , that the PLC model not only does not reflect the values that the Celtic community hold dear but prevents any changes to that model happening and is prepared to go to unacceptable lengths to do so.
The great thing about a spreadsheet is the ability to ask“What if?” and each answer offers a potential new realitythat might be attractive enough to try to create call it Back to the Future.
The model at this link contains various assumptions thatare challengeable and the purpose in presenting it is solely to get us thinking about what about Celtic is important to us?
That will obviously vary according to each individual’s experience, but hopefully in sharing those thoughts a consensus might emerge as to the direction the community rather than the PLC wish Celtic to head.
The spreadsheet model has notes to reveal the thinking behind the figures but this bit of text from the model is worth setting out here to provide a bit more context.
Ditch Sky and form SPFL TV as streaming channel
Celtic matches played either Sat or Sunday fixed KO and not in competition with other SPFL games. The Rangers FC Ltd do same
Other clubs keep income from their supporters viewingbut are guaranteed a bottom figure.
To make Celtic a recognised well run NOT For Profit GLOBAL COMMUNITY CLUB that truly reflects the ethos of that community
To pave the way to giving all Membership Scheme participants a single vote on Celtic business policy based on Celtic’s greatest resource – its supporters and their values as a community.
Apologies again to Auldheid,as there are some accompanying tables which won’t scan into the article. I’ll try to post them separately.