There’s always time to ponder the ‘what next’ when it comes to our club of choice, if nothing else to be prepared when it arrives for as we know change is inevitable.
They say the past is a great guide to the future so if one were to pen a rough draft of our boardroom histories it would look something like,
Began with charitable intentions but turned to a business,
Control falls into the family dynasties,
Control wrested by businessman with capital and plan,
Remodelled club falls into wealthy investors hands, becomes a PLC.
The above tells us a few different things. It backs up the change is coming rationale, for we just do not stay still, and it also shows the fans have ever had no major boardroom involvement.
As we stand at the final hurdle of the ending of an era ie cementing the ten, there is little thought given to what is next, understandable given the unique situations on and off the field we all find ourselves in.
Once again there is no right and wrong answer here, and perhaps that’s the beauty of it. The 10 fans 11 opinions is very apt when it comes to the sensitive issue of plotting the clubs future, or at least the one you would like to see. The Tim abroad and the native matchgoer may differ a bit, likewise the fan in the poorest seat and the chap in the lounge upstairs, but yet we all must co-exist under the same banner and share the same space, so some sort of common ground should be sought out,, we all must try to meet in the middle and not foist our vision upon the masses ever.
I’ve yet to see a system or setup that really suited our club and or had the fans universally happy whilst in operation, not a criticism just a simple fact. None of the above is or was perfect, with Fergus probably winning in the popularity stakes yet ironically he ended up getting booed. We can’t go back to families controlling the show and as we read on these very pages there are fans unhappy with the PLC for numerous issues, despite the fact we have the on paper duo we would probably all select, an Ireland Scotland combination. I’m not sure a different PLC board would be the answer at all considering they must legally put money first, for as we have seen sometimes morals should trump the money.
The small shareholders certainly don’t want the same again on the basis that they felt betrayed on the Res12 issue, plus logic dictates that another fork in the road will appear at some stage in the future, driving a further wedge.
Seems to me there is one obvious path to travel, and a long awaited one at that.
Bring the fans onboard.
For starters it’s the one move we could all fully embrace and champion, as no one wants more years of ‘ffs are they still here’ and ‘how can you support that board?’. Putting that behind us all would be so nice.
The lurkers could return, as we are back bhoys!
Its lets get behind OUR club time!
While I believe all would agree with the goal of fan involvement, its the practicality and the specifics that would see clashes, which is only to be expected with folk whose instinct is to protect, plus change can be challenging and isn’t always wanted, ask the ex-controlling families.
While not pertaining to have the answers I do know what I wouldn’t want, and thats anything like a sugar daddy or rich fan getting involved.
Theres names go around of rich Tims who might get involved, and I just see problem after problem, with the only change a new face behind the desk, and the same course steered.
The clincher is that the fans must pay for this themselves, that is the only possible way that all could feel included and we could all truly see that shareholding as communally held with equal rights, as anything else is a waste of time.
As far as the capital goes well let me tell you that the level of support given to the club in normal times is incredible, truly magnificent indeed, the envy of many out there,, and now in uncertain times plus Covid-19 territory they have stepped up fully once again in numbers that defy logic if truth be told. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a shareholding fund would be fully embraced and subscribed to in numbers that would probably again defy sanity.
A fund is only one example btw.
As long as the fans know its a genuine sincere plan by true people that they can get behind, then the floodgates will open to wrest part control of the club.
The issue of fan involvement might vex many a suit, but the fact is it has been successfully navigated in the NFL and the German clubs model, so any barriers are purely mental or for protecting profits, somewhat understandable. As a recent study showed Scotland leads Europe in attendance per capita, not surprising to me but its great service that deserves some type of recognition, and would bringing fans closer not also help safeguard the future of the national sport? How could it hurt, as long as its a well administered process, of which there are example aplenty to follow across the globe.
In the Celts for Change documentary Fergus explained that the Tim’s stepped up in record numbers at the time and possibly still, thinking they were to have a say in the future. We know how that worked out but if the chance presents itself again we must grab it with both hands, and start the process of real change of mindset from within, plus there is no reason to be limited to small shareholding, getting the foot in the door is only the beginning.
When something is actually yours you tend to be more concerned and take more interest in it, much much more.
There’s a lot of pride in the team right now, looking at becoming history makers again, but when there’s also pride in the club, the people that are running it, the course that has been chosen, and the self esteem of ‘this is ours’, then we will have the platform to truly take on the world and see just how good we can be.
That’s the goal here, why not?
The above is by Mahe. As usual our mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.