Ten Green Bottles
After a tumultuous and fractured start to the season,it was good to see us stringing a couple of victories together over the last week. Of course,one was in the dead rubber of our final Europa League group game so it hardly counts-well,it did to Lille who forfeited the place at the top of the table-while the other was a routine affair against Kilmarnock at home.
However there is no such thing as a routine affair this season for our Bhoys,and it was precluded by the first pre-match demonstration against the current board. Well organised by The Celtic Supporters Trust,it went off peaceably enough,with those in attendance making their feelings plain about the board while still showing their support for the team as they disembarked from the bus.
SACK THE BOARD,BACK THE TEAM!
Neil Lennon threw us a curveball after the match by suggesting that the youngsters who have stepped into the breach for our two successes wouldn’t be in line to hold on to the shirt for the Cup Final on Sunday,hinting that places would be available for those who got us there in the first place. This flies in the face of logic somewhat,as those are some of the players who have let us-and him!-down so badly thus far. Sure,there’s a time for loyalty,but that loyalty should be aimed at the players who have stepped up to the breach and given everyone a lift by their performances.
For instance,Barkas was dropped for a reason. He was replaced by Bain-also dropped for a reason. This can also be said about the likes of Elhamed,Bitton,Brown,Christie,and maybe a couple of others. In fact,it could be argued that a few other players have been lucky to retain their positions in the side. If the reward for success,for playing well and digging your manager out of a hole,is to be dropped as soon as the scent of silverware looms,then that ranks for me as bad man-management.
Ask Ewan Henderson…
Neil will have to get this one right on Sunday as there will be nowhere for him to hide if he gets it wrong. No club anywhere has won four successive trebles before,and no-one has won four successive Scottish Cups. There is a lot riding on this one,not least a Merry Christmas for some of us Tims.
The following day brought us the AGM,which is the subject of the article’s title. If NL needs lessons in how to hide,he knows who to ask,and he knows how it is done. Hold events via Zoom and refuse to take any questions. This was the very definition of anodyne sterility,and the main talking points were some creative or duplicitous accounting from Lawwell over transfer spend between June 2019 and October 2020 and the effectively unanimous re-election of our longstanding board members.
Some of these people have been around for so long in their position that they will shortly qualify for long service awards,and as I’ve frequently pointed out,this is against the principles of good governance. However,there’s not a hope in hell of getting them deselected on the current method of Plc ownership so we are stuck with them. I remain hopeful that each of them will fall by the wayside,like the green bottles on the wall,or all at once in a resounding Humpty Dumpty crash. And the clear contempt in which Bankier and Lawwell hold the fans makes attempts to force this more likely to succeed. Bigger businesses than Celtic have made that mistake,and few of those in charge at the time found themselves in gainful employment afterwards. Anywhere. They should be more careful.
I had held out hopes that Lawwell would have announced his imminent departure at the meeting,especially as his name wasn’t on the list for reselection,but that hope was dashed. So it looks as though the fans will need to get out their catapults to bring down Goliath-and those green bottles sitting so invitingly on the wall. There are two main routes to achieve at least some progress in this regard,and indeed the two might align at a later date.
The first is the resurgent Celtic Supporters Trust. I know some of you have misgivings about them for various reasons,so all I will ask is that you do your own research on them,and if you aren’t happy with what you see then take it no further. But they are led by David Low and Jeanette Findlay,two renowned and successful Celtic supporters,and ably backed by more of the same. Although they have a current plan,it is not set in stone and is hopefully fluid as events move on. Much of that is via a share purchase scheme,for example,but with the numbers railed against us in that AGM,it will be a long road and a long time before it sees any fruition. That’s not to say that it is not the correct idea,and combining the numbers and the contributions gives us a chance of finally getting somewhere.
The second route is the dreaded Bhoycott. I have to admit to being very wary of taking this path as the danger is in damaging the club beyond repair-especially if the board pursue a scorched Earth policy as a result,selling anyone and anything that isn’t nailed down. Don’t put it past them,they have proven to be no lovers of the club which has richly rewarded them over the years,nor of the fans who provided the income to do so. I’m also aware that I would find it very difficult to give up my season ticket if I still lived back home,and the good times that accompany us every time we head to a match. Because of course it isn’t just about the football,is it? There’s a lot more to going to see Celtic than that…
But this lot don’t have and may never have had the emotional attachment to Celtic FC that we,the mere mortals in the stands or in the pubs,have. Their attachment is green,yes-but it is a purely financial one,with a heady addition of power. Monday has shown that they have no intention of relinquishing their grip on either,and I think the time has come for us to turn their weapon on themselves.
Start with the merchandising. It’s a shame,because Adidas have pulled out the stops for us and given us some clean sharp designs,but decisions have to be made. Then there is the big one,and coming soon to a mailbox near you. The Season Ticket reminders. This will be a very difficult decision for anyone who declines the renewal,and I’m aware that it doesn’t sit right that a non-holder should be asking others to do this. But in the absence of any better ideas-and many have been tried-I think we have to realise that sometimes the unpalatable option is the only one.
In addition,it may well be that the CST will hold an EGM on the subject and formally request their members and ALL Celtic supporters to do the same. My take is that the very real prospect of this happening will focus the thinking of our major shareholders,and I sincerely hope that it does. Let’s face it,nothing else has worked,has it? And there is,of course,the precedent of 2016 where the replacement of Ronny Della was ordered,and not only because of losing a match on penalties. It was those empty seats that were the main driver in that. And that was when the individual fans made their own minds up! Think of the effect that an organised and sanctioned boycott would have.
Is that the sound of bottles crashing that I hear?
Above article by BMCUWP