Sunday Afternoon Blues
The football season is about to get underway,roll on Sunday! I had planned a visit to Chez SOLKITTS but the rail strikes put paid to that,unfortunately. And the announcement yesterday of more strikes on August 13th even screwed up our back-up option!
Even worse is that England Women won their semi-final on Tuesday,and with the final kicking off at 5pm,my chances of seeing it are pretty minimal. I’m sure I’ll find a way though. I could easily swallow my pride and watch it with the rest of Swindon Shamrock,but I barred myself over a year ago from the pub they watch it in due to the pub manager being an arse. Och,I’ll think of something!
Anyway,our first game is against Aberdeen,and they surely can’t be as bad as last season. We should be wary of going into this match in the expectation that three points is a given. Jim Goodwin may be a former Celt,and have our club in his DNA-but he is first and foremost a professional who must do his best for his current employers.
He is also a very competent coach,and I think he will have his team come at us early to try and stop us getting into our stride. It has become fairly obvious over the last year that we prefer to lock the game down early doors,as I once heard Bobby Murdoch say about the Celtic team he played for. If Goodwin can knock us off our stride early,has a game plan for it,he would be foolish not to put it into action.
And he is no fool,for sure.
But actually it is the match the following week which has been the one to hit the headlines. Our away game against Ross County. Now,I’m no great fan of the club,but I hold them no ill will either. They have been the grateful recipients over the last few years of some shocking refereeing decisions against us-but hasn’t everyone? The common denominator is the one we should be bearing any grudges against.
But this one,the statement released by them on Tuesday regarding ticketing issues at the game in question,is a strange one. After pointing out-quite rightly,in my opinion-that any Celtic fans trying to access the home end will be refused access or kicked out,they then add-
“We are cancelling numerous tickets bought by suspected Celtic supporters for the home end and refunds have been processed. No tickets will be sold on the day.
“Only those who have a ticketing history for home matches will be sold tickets. It is unacceptable our staff have been threatened and intimidated by individuals attempting to falsely purchase tickets. This will not be tolerated.”
Is it not possible,even likely,that people will want to go to this match who might have not attended a match for say,the last thirty months due to a worldwide pandemic? We lost a whole season of attendance,remember,when nobody at all was allowed in! We lost the end of the season entirely the year before-and even a year ago,attendance was severely restricted.
There is such a thing as the big-game supporter,and if you support the likes of Ross County but don’t have the funds for regular attendance-and remember,a lot of people have been seriously hit financially by the pandemic-this might just be the type of game you can justify attending.
And your own club are gonna tell you NAW?!!!
I’ll ignore the poor,even threatening,wording of the statement. I’ll even ignore the loud allegations that their staff have been victims of verbal abuse and even threats of violence. That is what the police are for,and I’m sure they can prove these allegations. In fact,I hope they can,and contact the police,for there is no place for that kind of behaviour.
But when every penny counts,can they really say that they have made the correct decision over their original ticket allocation? I reckon the answer to that will be seen in the actual attendance figures-which I trust will NOT include tickets sold,cancelled but yet to be refunded. I hope that they have got their metrics bang on with a near sellout,rather than being about 40% empty-as is usually the case against us.
And it isn’t only Ross County who do this,either. Maybe Hearts,Rangers and Aberdeen-in a good year-can fill the ground to 90% or more against us while giving us a meagre allocation. The others just give us a meagre allocation,to hell with the consequences. The financial loss,how that looks to the Sky TV viewer,etc. Piss off a good few Celtic fans,trebles all round,eh?
Above article by BMCUWP