2013 should have been a year of mass celebration for the Celtic family around the world, much the same as 1988 when we famously celebrated the centenary year double and had street parties around the globe. We may yet celebrate another league and cup double this year but it is unlikely that there will be celebrations to match those in ’88. We have probably topped anything that we were able to achieve back then with our awe inspiring victory over Barcelona as well as our qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League, made more astonishing as we were there via the pot 4 route.
So, in spite of these incredible achievements, why do I and many other Celtic fans both at home and overseas, feel that something is not quite right at Celtic Park? The events of the past few weeks have been viewed with quiet dismay by many Celtic fans, first the absolutely ludicrous outcome of the Nimmo Smith fiasco. Let me put something out there for thought and discussion. In the workplace, it is quite normal for competitor companies in similar (make that ‘identical’ if you wish) industries to be across what each is paying to their employees, broadly speaking, not to the pound or pence but the structure. If company A is paying 50K plus pension, plus 10% bonus, plus share package, etc then company B may pay 55K plus pension, plus 8% bonus, share package, private health, etc. Now from a competitors view and in a very incestuous industry such as Scottish football with only 12 teams in the SPL and many of the players moving between member clubs, it would be reasonable to assume that most club CEO’s would be very well aware of the payment structures at each of its competitor clubs. These CEO’s would be well aware of the gates, sponsorship deals, TV money as well as other income generated. For this reason, I find it almost impossible to believe that not one of those SPL clubs did not have any knowledge of what was happening in Govan. If it happens in your own office or shop floor, the guys are on to these kind of things in a second, if Big Andy just got a 10% raise this morning, most people know about it somewhere just after lunch time. I believe that most of the SPL clubs would have been aware and if any of the other 11 thought they could legally have gotten away with it then they would have at least asked the question. The fact is, none of the other 11 or maybe 15, given relegation and promotion over an 11 year period, even tried to take a shot at this ‘non-sporting advantage’. What I now want to see, is my club Celtic stand up and be counted. Ask the straight forward questions that fans around the world are asking, the media in Scotland sure as hell are not going to ask them, they are already too busy with their next agenda to ask any kind of pertinent question of what is quite possibly the biggest scandal in Scottish sporting history. Rest assured, Fergus McCann would not have sat idly by issuing bland statement about being surprised at the outcome, he would have had the bunnet on and been out seeking some kind of redress for our club.
Fast forward to last Saturday and the events that unfolded on the Gallowgate, clear for all to see on the web. Kids being corralled, bystanders being threatened not to film with their mobile phones, the usual flannel from the usual suspects. I don’t have a position on the Green Brigade but I am aware that they bring a bit of atmosphere to the ground which I experienced in December. I also understand that their songbook is described as dubious by some. Regardless, what went on last weekend was a complete over reaction from Strathclyde Police and for their ‘spokesperson’ to claim that they got a call about a crowd and responded with 200 officers, horses, dogs and a helicopter is frankly an insult to the populations collective intelligence. It is hard enough to get one of these officers to attend a housebreaking never mind a gathering of 80 or so kids on a Saturday afternoon. The fact that there was a need to roll out the likes of Les Gray and others shows that even those in power at Strathclyde Police probably think that they scored an own goal.
But what off the reaction from Celtic Park, yet another lily-livered general statement from no-one in particular, followed up with the Celtic Trust confirming that the club have indeed been handing over supporters details to the police despite previous protestations that this was not happening.
All of this nonsense is in danger of causing a deep division between those who run the club and the people who support the club. We may be customers but first and foremost we are Celtic supporters. Those old enough to remember will recall Desmond White telling us that we wanted to stand when in fact many people wanted to sit. As those families then running the club struggled to adapt to the changing ways, we the fans became malcontents as we looked to change the structure of Celtic. This happened and Fergus McCann became our new leader and defender, not universally appreciated at the time but defend Celtic to the hilt he did and knocked over countless fools who stood in his way.
Compare and contrast with the present incumbents, these folks are not Celtic any more than you or I, we pay for the privilege of supporting Celtic, the club will be there long after they, you or I are gone from this world. Getting us to the last 16 of the Champions League is a great achievement but not at the expense of watching years of blatant cheating and further missed Champions League opportunities because no-one has the balls to call it out. It is my opinion that the time has come for the present board to unequivocally stand up for Celtic, the fans and footballing integrity. Unity will return as soon as this happens, season ticket numbers will rise and the Celtic family will be content once more, ready to party!
I have lost faith in the Celtic board and i’m cheesed off that this has happened in what should have been a great year for us. I think they need to show the Celtic support some of the support that we the supporters have showed the club. I wish some of the songs were not sang by some of us, but our support is quite clearly unjustly being victimised.
The board are doubg an awesome job! We still exist! More than can be said for another outfit who used to exist in Glasgow, and who becae like the dinosaurs, extinct!
I’m not saying that the board are not doing a very good job of running the football side of the business but I am very disappointed with the response to at least 11 years of blatant cheating, cheating that cost us several league titles during this period. I am one Celtic supporter who will never move on from that “bastard” verdict called Nimmo Smith, nor will I accept that Campbell Ogilvie remains a pivotal member of the SFA hierarchy. I expect our club board to either challenge both of these realities or at the very least, tell the fans why the will not challenge them.
The board are in a bit of a difficult situation. On the one hand you have a section of the support who have brought vitality and colour to Celtic park on a scale possibly not witnessed before(See Barca at home).
On the other hand you have the same section of the support who have an altogether unhealthy obsession with Irish Republicanism which continues to baffle as it is likely the majority of the Green brigade hail from Glasgow.
The idea of the Celtic board handing over season ticket holders details to the Police is pretty despicable and should be condemned by every right thinking Celtic supporter likewise the heavy handed response to last weeks march.
The Celtic board need to give an assurance that they will no longer provide fans details to the Police and condemn last weeks police intimidation in the strongest possible terms.
They also need to establish an appropriate line of communication with the Green Brigade and attempt to resolve the difficulties in relation to somewhat dodgy songs being sung on away days. Only then will the widening distance between the fans and the board begin to shorten.
Not getting at you Debaser with your ‘dodgy songs at away games’ but who do you think sings these ‘dodgy’ songs? The GB do not get an allocation for away games & in all my 40 + years of following Celtic, it’s supporters clubs who get away tkts (as well as us indies) & the CSC’s are in the majority who sing the ‘dodgy’ songs, be true bhoys we’ve all done the buses we. Know what’s sung. Before the GB which group out of all the Celtic fans sang reb songs home or away?
The GB are so easy to be labelled/targeted for everything by everyone. I was in the ‘kettling’ by the cops last week at the Gallowgate last week. PS I don’t agree with reb songs being sung at Celtic football matches even though I consider myself as a republican, in my early years in the Jungle it was what we did, no GB in jungle, so please don’t think this is a new thing.
So who did it all before then GB started?
i agree joebhoy i sit in the jock stein stand exactly opposite the GB and there’s wee and big tubes singing the whole repatoire from time to time, but like you say we have all at one point or another been guilty of it. that being said its obvious the songs are just the stick’or baton’being used to beat the GB its the atmosphere they create that is feared they just hate tims !!!
Welcome to Scotland !!! But not if you have an Irish background or even worse an being an Irish Catholic !!!
lots of are support have an Irish back ground,many have long Scottish Irish roots. The Gb sing some historic Irish Rebel Songs at Celtic matches and its like an EVIL SIN ???
Please open your eyes and look at what’s really happening in Scotland, the anti Irish ,Anti Catholic SNP , the SFA, the SPL have let us all see the kind of Scotland they want to have !! tThe bigotry from them is not a suprise . But I find it strange that some of are own support tail the Scottish media , police, assault on the GB , just look that what’s happened in Scotland over the last couple of years !!!!!
The SNP aren’t ‘anti-Irish’ or ‘anti-catholic’ any more than Labour are or were. Macaskill was exactly the same over the question of Mehgrahi’s guilt or otherwise – closing ranks to avoid embarassing the police and judiciary. it’s the establishment versus the people: same old, same old, period.
do you believe everything the loyalist labour party tell you????this has nothing to do with the SNP and they are not “anti catholic”
What bigotry have you ever seen from the snp???
Very good stuff AR. Let’s hope the board come through but, I won’t be holding my breath.
Hail Hail n God Bless
So can you tell me what you expect the board to do to make you happy then?
It’s absolutely nothing to do with the Celtic board regarding The Lord nimmo decision. When a criminal gets away with something at court despite being guilty do you run down to the court and start telling the judge he was wrong? No? Why? Cos you would look mental? There is nothing we (Celtic fans & board) can do about the nimmo decision so don’t blame the board.
What do you expect the board to do about the police treatment? The Celtic board hold no authority over the police. In fact the only place that the board are obligated to comment is if something happened in and around the stadium. Sure the board know that the fans were treated badly but all they can do is release a statement declaring this.
People blaming the board is pretty ignorant.
Look at the club just now. We are in the most financially safe state that I can remember with many assets (players). Some people are never happy…
If you read the article, I’m not blaming the board for anything, it is my opinion that they should be more strident in their statements on both LNS and the policing of the incident in the Gallowgate, the board made statements on both issues.
On the Nimmo Smith enquiry, we had a guy who was the secretary of the company who allegedly did not declare EBT’s and side letters that gave said company a “non-sporting advantage” of 47 million pounds over 11 years, he is now the president of the appellate body. This is the equivalent of having an accomplice to a crime on trial and then when the sentence is passed, the same accomplice is now one of the judges who will decide on any subsequent appeal of the sentence. That is just plain wrong in any circumstance and should be called out as such. What I believe should also have been called out is what we’re the terms of reference given to LNS and his team to report back on. Do you know what they were?
On your second point, if Celtic fans were attacked by police on an away European trip without provocation, would you expect our board to make comment to UEFA or the local authorities? I certainly would and I don’t see why it should be any different in Scotland.
Well said, A-Red!
Totally agree with ur post, as has happend to often this season the Celtic boards silence is deafening, its a very risky gamble that the board look to be playing, to ignore your fan base, especially 1 as massive as Celtics is one u do at your peril, healthy balance sheets can soon turn very unhealthy balance sheets when thousands of season books get handed back, merchandise starts to tumble, all Celtic supporters are asking is they stand up for the club we all love, stand up for the supporters who are most definitely being victimized, Celtic are the only football power in Scotland now, Celtic are representing Scottish football in Europe and world wide and we should be treated with the respect we deserve. Oldco Huns shamed Scotland for years,sevco are following in there footsteps yet are treated like some kind of fkg fairytale story, ask the questions lawell that every Celtic fan and ripped of supporter of other clubs want asking, Celtic are the only honest show in town now and will be for a v long time… Hail hail, GOD BLESS THE CELTIC+
lord nimmo smith verdict.
I spend 45 million more than my opponents(money I know I cant afford)why would I do that if not to gain an advantage!.
only in oor wee country lads,what a joke.
The board really do need to grow a set and start defending the people that pay their wages, the fans. The spotlight is fixated on Celtic Park and the GB in particular for the political chanting. Maybe the board should highlight that, at least two, SPL clubs advertise political parties at there stadia and another club prints UVF slogans in their literature and announces them over the PA, Surely these are worse offences as they are not commited by the fans, but by the clubs themselves. Will the SFA and the media highlight the CLUBS that, knowingly, break the rules or stick with trying to criminalise a few hundred Celtic fans? I think we all know the answer to that.
Some Celtic fans need to wake up and start to appreciate the integrity and quality of the current Board from including Dermot Desmond Peter Lawell and others. The same people criticising the present Directors were booing Fergus McCann unfurling the league flag. The club is in good safe hands and needs ongoing protection not only from outside but from a bunch of half-wits claiming to be fans.
If the plod want fans details then celtic have to give up that information be it through a pishy SNP legislation or through a warrant they have to do it…..I don’t agree with it but it pisses me aff when fans go on about the “Collusion” FFS GIT A GRIP…do you want oor club tae break the law & have MSM aw over us way the negative PR…They have no choice!! HFH
there’s a massive difference between the plod going in with warrants and demanding details and the club calling the police in and offering the details. next you will be saying it was the plod with warrants that made the club call in the other Celtic supporters associations to show them the videos and give them the pressure to turn their backs on the GB too
Why not just get on with the job of going to games and cheering the team on, i.e. being a football fan, instead of turning yourselves into some form of workers revolutionary activists?
Why are so many stressing out and obsessing with what’s going on in Govan, or why the authorities are clamping down on illegal and offensive actions at football matches?
What do some of you want – anarchy? Nil accountability?
As your heading says: “Grow a pair of bawz” !!!
It’s less than two years since a jury in Edinburgh gave a not proven verdict after an assault on our team manager that was witnessed live on national television by millions and subsequently replayed around the world, including here in Australia, a verdict that had most of Scotland cringing in embarrassment, should we just move on and cheer our team?
In the early nineties, a group of committed Celtic fans put their lives, families, jobs and marriages in some cases, on the line to organise the protest movement that brought Fergus McCann to Celtic Park. What would have happened if we had just moved on and supported our team? Easy answer, we would not have had a team to support, we were fed pie in the sky Cambuslang nonsense and we even had so-called national daily newspapers sending hearses up Kerrydale Street ripping the piss out of us. Sometimes just turning up and cheering is not enough!
Next season, outside of any big European games, any Celtic fan or anyone else for that matter, will be able to walk up to Celtic Park and buy a ticket for virtually any part of the ground, that is something that should and most probably will concern the Celtic board.
The club do have a choice – the data protection act stops you from using information for any purpose except that for which it was gathered for.
If the police wanted the information they would have needed to get a warrant and to do that they would need to have a good reason to convince a judge / sheriff to grant said warrant and I don’t think the GB, even for all their supposed misdemeanours, have given them enough reason.
Yes the club is in good hands at present, but how long will that last?
I know supporters who intend giving up their ticket at the end of this season, sickened by the fact that the cheats have gotten away with it again.
The bully (billy) boys are talking about being found innocent and the media are abetting this lie. I’ve been listening to them on the phone-ins proclaiming their innocence, wallowing in the perilous state our game is in and threatening everyone who doesn’t agree with them and who won’t agree with them being fast tracked up the divisions in order to save scottish football.
rangers / sevco killed scottish football with their behaviour aided and abetted by the SFA / SPL who refused to treat their crimes with the powers invested in them. Spartans got kicked out of the scottish cup for a simple clerical error as did stenhousemuir – neither team attempted to cheat the system but were found guilty of maladministration over 1 player. Contrast this with rangers who deliberately misled the SFA / SPL for 11 years involving 54 players – does anyone think the punishment fitted the crime?
The Celtic board needs to ask questions of the SFA / SPL – Nimmo’s judgement was open to appeal by the other member clubs – none did so for fear of the backlash that would follow from sevco fans – the only team in a position to question the judgement was Celtic – why haven’t they seeing as they lost most during thise 11 years.
are Celtic fans happy to just accept the judgement?
will Celtic fans be happy if sevco are fast tracked into the SPL?
will Celtic fans sit by and watch the GB being disbanded and the atmosphere at CP returning to the way it was a couple of seasons ago?
I hope to god they won’t and I also hope (expect) the PLC to stand up and do something about the police behaviour and the nimmo judgement otherwise CP will become as silent as a morgue again and sevco will continue to bully their way to success.
Well said, Andy.
So,fellow Bhoys of the Green Brigade, instead of Lord Nimmo Smith, who would you have had in charge of the enquiry? Gerry Adams? Martin McGuinness?
I agree with you Red. Until recently, I have said “why would the board sell out its own supporters?” But I have seen the evidence with my own eyes. The fact that they accepted the Nimmo verdictwith no more than a raised eyebrow was no surprise to me. They accept the tainted Campbell Ogilvie in the SFA, They accepted the paltry fines and token punishments given to the oldco in the run up to their liquidation despite the weight of evidence that only those of a blue nosed persuasion could deny. We have a board of cowardly hat tipping nonentities, too afraid of themselves to rock the boat. It is worrying for the future.
I hope fans are never on the board at Celtic F.C. after reading some of the tripe espoused by Andy Docherty and others on here. I totally agree with truetim and others like him who have spoken against this criticism of our board and are very much in the majority.
I like the fact that our board have steered a steady ship financially – I reckon the real inheritance of Fergus McCann was the infrastructure he left at CP – getting Brian Quinn on board was a master stroke, however, I don’t want to sit in a soul less CP – I don’t know what the issues are between the GB and the PLC, but what I’ve witnessed causes me real concerns. Not just the demo last week, I have also witnessed fans being harassed trying to get into CP because they are young and heading for 111 / 112 (my sons are in 112 and I often walk the youngest round – teh way teh police behave towards the fans going into those turnstiles is completely different from the way they behave towards the fans going into my turnstiles – why would that be?
As for the nimmo decision – even the PLC (and Neil Lennon) found the findings baffling (I’ve even read scottish journalists quetioning the decision) – the question is, why aren’t the PLC asking questions of the SFA / SPL about the decision – why just issue a press release questioning it?
However, if you’re happy to accept that the GB are all troublemakers and the nimmo enquiry came out with the correct decision, you’ll probably also think the PLC are infallible – maybe you need to grow a pair as well.
Thanks for your responses, it’s easy to just rubbish an argument with the usual two line response but I believe that there is a serious danger of a schism developing between the fans and the board on these matters. I now live far away in Oz but even after many years here, Celtic is still the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I look at before bed. Some of the stuff that has gone in in Scotland in the past couple of years have been incredible and will damage the game for a considerable time to come. The governing body was asleep at the wheel while this scandal was unfolding but there was one guy sitting in the back seat who could and should have put the break on and turned the engine off, instead he told the driver to go faster, he’s now sitting in the front with his hands on the steering wheel. Time to hit the ejector button.
Keep the Faith
I see we’re still having the same anarchistic claptrap espoused on here by certain posters? Why do they believe that there should be self-appointed vigilantes challenging every man and his dog if anyone dares breathe a word about our club which THEY disagree with?
Not only that, but they also continuously obsess and stress over that mob in Govan – why??? We should be celebrating our running away with the SPL and, hopefully, also adding another Scottish Cup in May. Who cares what a thoroughly discredited and humiliated Div 3 outfit are about?
Why do we have a Board of extremely competent individuals if not to look after the interests of CFC and its fans? And that’s exactly what they do – within the laws of the land, of course.
I agree wholeheartedly with everything you. Why are we looking for problems when then the gap between ourselves and “what’s it called”? Sevco could not be greater. Let’s be Celtic supporters and support The Club throufg and through. Well said truetim.
So did you support the White/Kelly dynasty in the early 90’s? Or were the guys who were responsible for bringing Fergus in to save the club anarchists as well?
Ballybough and Truetim, when you’ve finished patting each other on the back perhaps you’ll start to think and maybe ask questions: why, despite our success are crowds going down? Why are fans vowing that they won’t renew their season tickets this summer? And why does our board accept the LNS judgement wiht little or no comment? On the last point I’m 100% sure that many of their counterparts in the past wouldn’t have reacted in the way the present board has.
crowds are going down for a number of reasons but primarily because of lack of competition which is not caused by the board.
That answers your first 2 questions. If you had any brains you would realise that the LNS judgement was a legal one and did not involve Celtic. They have better things to do keeping Celtic’s affairs in order than pursuing anything and everything connected to a club that no longer exists. On your last point, when did you last give your support to a Celtic board. I have stood on the slopes of Celtic Park for over fifty years and never in that time has there been a stronger or more competent trustworthy group of people tasked with the proud job as custodians of our great club.
I think the guy who paid off our debt in 1994, put the club on a secure long term path to success, put together a very successful share issue, organised extremely low cost loans to allow many ordinary Celtic fans to buy shares in the club and then built a new stadium from scratch might expect to be included in the group you refer to as “a stronger and more competent trustworthy group of people”. If not for Fergus McCann, none of this group would have had the privilege of being custodians.
ok, I have not read everyone’s comments so I apologise before and if I go over old ground. First things first, Fergus McCann was running the show for h fist few years of the EBT’s down govan way. Celtic were fully aware of these as the clown who took it to the mint also too it to the bunnet. Celtic decided not to adopt the policy as the were unsure of is legality. If the club thought there was anything unsporting we (run by Fergus) SHOULD have spoke up about it then.
As for the treatment of the Green Brigade, I’m glad this article has not done so, but the hijacking of this by the loyalist Scottish labour is disgusting. This is not a political issue no matter what your local labour lire is telling you. It is Celtic Football Club that is behind this, NOT the SNP.
This behaviour by the club started under Fergus McCann who started by taking season tickets away from anyone in a supporters club with a republican name, and its continuing with the present board trying to get rid of the green brigade.
Now I will put my card on the table, I sat in section 112 for 10 years, I have sung every republican song in the book, but when the club say it has to stop of you will get banned, then you HAVE TO STOP. this is not rocket science. we can argue all day about whether or not we agree but we cant complain when we are told if we continue to do something we will get banned, then we continue to do the same thing and then get banned!!!!!!
the hijacking of this by the loyalist Scottish labour is disgusting though, but what else do you expect from low life like them, happy to mouth off in the press to look good, but making deals and working with the orange order to get us all to vote no in 2014 to make sure we stay british and keep the union flag flying high over Scotland.
Antipodean Red–I think I said the best “group” of individuals, and I believe Fergus himself alluded to this being the case for many years after his great work before he left. A minority of fans by the way gave him a big thanks by booing him after winning the league. Reading some of the comments on here this minority is still with us. I believe he is second only to Brother Walfrid in Celtic’s great story and we should have a statue erected in acknowledgement of his work.
Eddie Hart–I have never read a more distorted or warped view in my life. I do despair when I see and hear such nonsense from people claiming to support Celtic, but then I know they are and will never be more than a MINORITY and the views of those who have the Club at heart will always prevail. I mean, “working with the Orange Order”, such words only serve to make you a laughing stock. If you believe this the you are seriously in need of help. This is 2013 mate.
Ballybough, if you had any brains you wouldn’t have to rely on cheap insults to try and make a point.