Happy Friday folks.
It’s totally understandable that despite a few victories, there remains the waft of disappointment in the air given the prize on offer and more than likely finishing position.
I’m well aware misery loves company and that whilst at a lower ebb it can be easy to forget how good riding the crest of a wave can be for us Tim’s who truly do have something special here.
When all are on the same page, amarch, it can truly be spine tingling.
So with the hope of changing the record, I would be delighted to read your opinion on a topic that seems to be on repeat recently between the mates and myself.
And that is the potential of Glasgow Celtic.
For starters a chap I’m delighted to call friend has asked me a couple of times to sit and ponder a hard question.
That question is,,
If every Celtic fan that wanted a ticket for Seville was guaranteed one, how many would have went?
This opener digs into the very heart of the issue in a different way, how much potential is there not just emotionally or financially but physically if possible?
It’s a great question and my first answer was theres no stadium built could hold that crowd.
Stadia themselves can for safety reasons only hold so much which does limit them, in our case by a huge amount.
My honest answer was a quarter million to which the chap agreed that as a good starting point. His rationale being every single Tim would want at least two, himself and the next generation of Celtic supporters.
So automatically 100k who.would always wish to go, around the number that travelled by all accounts, would have at least doubled, if capacity were available.
It’s such a shame nowhere exists that would let us gather in such numbers, the Stadio Azteca perhaps the last great bastion in that respect.
How many tickets do you think we could have sold yourself?
Second, while we are talking fans and numbers, I put this to the bhoys the other night.
We have one world class asset.
Yourself, hopefully one day myself, the fans in the stadium, the faithful.
‘That’ atmosphere which all the greats rant and rave about, you know the one.
Some might say weve a world class history and while it is to us, many teams have had quite a journey with the Busby Babes a stark reminder that history while wrote by the victor, can be very cruel. So I will stick on one world class asset.
And that biggest asset is free!
It’s ironic the club receives a pittance for said atmosphere btw, and a miracle that what I believe to be the most corrupt league in Europe can produce such a unique experience.
You, me, footballers, broadcasters, literally cant get enough!
Any business person worth their salt would not need to be told, maximize your biggest asset.
In that respect it should not be rocket salad to determine some things.
First of all, the more the merrier.
Everyone gets into it, everybody either enjoys it or participates.
More bodies, more atmosphere. It looks that simple.
Which leads to the question,,how big should our stadium be?
Well, look at the above fact, more bodies, more atmosphere.
62k is a strange number and I would love to hear how is became settled upon, but given that the stadiums coming 50 now, half a decade of history under her bent, when the refurb or rebuild is considered, the capacity number really needs to be examined.
Given the Seville question was settled on a quarter million give or take,,given that many would take an extra or two along to the big games if that possibility where available,,given that many simply settle to watch those famous European nights on telly because they have ‘no chance of a ticket’,,and then factor in the International Supporters Clubs who would indeed travel en masse to the big games together IF the twenty thirty block of seats needed to accommodate the clan were actually available.
I think our stadium number needs looked at, bigtime.
Now you’re probably thinking ‘Mahe we get a tuppence in a backwater, cant afford the rebuild and what happens when theres only 40k in this huge stadium as was happening?’
The pittance we accept from Sky and BT should stop tomorrow.
Is the best atmosphere IN THE WORLD not worth more than the mere pittance tossed out way als the appetizer before the biggest league in the world?
Whilst a full price VST is not the answer, a larger stadium with tiered season ticket for example a minimum wage worker tier and of course an elderly and youth tier, with the stadium then filled by the unemployed as soon as the ball kicks off is my dream, and we dont sell out to Murdoch or whoever, but those who arent attending can stream for 5 pounds or another decent flat rate with deals galore to entice interest.
Barca hit the hundred thousand, still couldnt match us.
Imagine us with at a ton capacity,,,the last minute corner yell would wake my wee one up 😉
Build it and they will come I reckon.
And finally as three is the magic number, Supporters Clubs.
Either joined or founded one everywhere I’ve roamed, whether the happy landlord but bleary eyed staff, or the organically grown garage turned shrine which sums up my own over here, shout out to Calibhoy and the crew.
In the countryside the smaller ones are needed fullstop.
However, having cut my teeth in the hospitality trade, I believe the club are missing a trick here.
Around this date 17 years ago yours truly was a regular in a rugby teams official partner ‘outlet’ or something similar.
Positioned somewhere central with footfall, the designer then maximized the exterior space by filling it with those beautiful green and white hoops and the rest on display just drawing you in. That ‘superstore’ was small but equipped, a bored teenager when I had a butcher’s, but can you imagine the Hoops on display in the bigger USA cities saying come in and get me right here right now?
The establishment was the pre home game meeting point, with two big buses coming to take all those with cash,card or a season ticket to the game and back.
A large menu was always on offer, reassuring the just awake or the straight in after work supporter he could grab something substantial.
There was a bar of course.
However in my humble opinion the establishment’s jewel in the crown was its mini stand. Against a wall facing a roll down screen sat a mini set of bleachers that had the teams colors etc so you could actually sit shoulder to shoulder stadium style. I thought it was fantastic, it actually tended to be used be the elder fans for the better view and the younger ones seemed happy to give it up.
Transferring such a vision to our beloved club, such a place would be the perfect pre travel staging area within the isles surely, if not traveling the perfect CSC or as close as we shall get.
and I would have one in NYC, Boston, and SFO etc.
I would have a big hot box full of pasties, sausage rolls, and Scotch Pies full at all times and smelling great at the front beside the foot traffic. Take home packages for the expat.
The existing city based supporters clubs who have always been judged attendance vs opening costs by host bars can be left behind.
The ‘hardcore’ that watch live would see the establishment benefit from not only their attendance but the 3pm delayed recording crew (as we do) plus the shirt sales, pie sales, beer sales, all food sales.
I would have Official Glasgow Celtic Supporters Clubs in all the globes major cities where everyone knows they can catch the game live or replay, hear a friendly accent, grab a good fry (because I wouldnt accept anything less) or sample the hotbox,,grab haggis or black pudding etc to go, then all profits flows towards the club, employees being paid the average wage in that sector plus tips and bonuses.
A chunk of profit to local charities for the cherry on top!
Oh, on tops,,,why aren’t the local homeless and recovering vulnerable making them in an friendly workplace and even if a lesser quality we would buy if they actually help and support the community .
But that’s for another day.
What about you? Ever thought we were ‘missing a trick?’
I would love to hear below.