Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Archaic Chaos

The saddest thing about the way Peter Lawwell operates is that, for many, far, far too many, it still works. I've been preaching for years that Celtic is a dictatorship run by one man with an occasional dip in the water from the toe of Dermot Desmond. People slag Celtic's "PR Department" (me included) but the reality is, it's just a token effort. Lawwell is the PR department. I've personally witnessed Iain Jamieson run through a week's events at Celtic only to be told by Lawwell "We're not doing that, that needs moved and I am now travelling that day" (Incidentally, the "travelling" excuse is well-worn by Lawwell. I've seen it so many times but one time it was used, I was actually hosting the Armageddon premiere at Celtic Park and saw him an hour after I was told he was "flying somewhere")

The use of old media is what really grinds my gears. I've personally challenged him on it and have been batted away with numbers of people who buy newspapers. Peter Lawwell actually thinks everyone still walks to a shop in the morning to buy a newspaper, reads it, then bases all their opinions on what they have been told by the newspaper. Indeed, recently, we have seen chief Celtic-hater Keith Jackson brought back into the fold just because his newspaper sells around 90,000 copies a day. No matter that Jackson despises us, has little to no relevance anywhere but if Peter brings him back in now then wee Keith won't write naughty things about him and ruin his Christmas.

It would actually be funny if it were not so serious.

By the same token, why do people proclaiming to be part of "Celtic Fan Media" (whatever the fuck that is now) appear on the media that hate us? I get that it massages egos and gets you 35 more followers and a bigger chance of a seat at some backslapping ceremony but really? We started our own platforms to provide alternative narratives. The old media had helped prop up things like racism, discrimination and Rangers (IL) Why then kowtow to them?

I'll never get that one.

(Incidentally, I've been on the BBC. It's the only one I would go on because it's a publicly funded broadcaster that I believe in the idea of. You also may be aware it's the one I berate. I couldn't care less about Radio Clyde, Sky or the newspapers, they mean nothing to me)

Remember your history. At the advent of fan media, the old guard called us "Internet Bampots" poured scorn on podcasts and laughed bloggers out of court. Then they immersed themselves in all that just to survive. What's happened in the last few years is that so many blogs and podcasts have popped up that simply replicate what the old media do. Let me tell you a couple of three things, the old media use you and Celtic will never employ you.

Getting back to Lawwell, the playbook remains the same. Any time he wants a narrative built, he gets his wee Nokia out, phones a few pet journalists and they start tweeting the line. Most of them don't even bother writing up a story, just tweet out, fuck you supporters, good night,

I've said on Twitter recently, that this is a hard fight but not impossible. Peter Lawwell doesn't run a slick, dynamic operation. He runs the whole thing on his thoughts and his feelings. He puts out the mirage of consultation but never listens (Someone told me he gathered all his heads of department in a room once and asked them what the price of a season ticket should be next season. All agreed on a similar price and then Lawwell told them what the price would be)

What Celtic need is a freshness to engulf the club. Out of the three tournaments already and hanging on with our fingertips is bad enough.

Not changing now would be catastrophic.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

This is The End

I was 19 when Celts for Change formed in 1993. I'd seen the seeds at the SECC in 1991 when, at a rally that was about supporters clubs getting less tickets, became an all out attack on the board. Previous to that there was a Save our Celts meeting which was well-meaning but, bizarrely, by invitation only. The first Celts for Change meeting I attended was in Candleriggs in Glasgow. It was the first time I saw Brendan Sweeney (now a great pal) and he said something that confused me that night. In the midst of talking about their position, Brendan said "This isn't a battle for comfy seats" I hadn't a clue what he meant. At that point I'd maybe sat down at Ibrox and Pittodrie but none of the seats were that comfy. Matt McGlone, also there that night, repeated this phrase in his brilliant book, Emotionally Celtic, when meeting with the Celtic Supporters Assoc. and he told one of them the same thing Brendan had said that night and the CSA guy had exploded,

Of course, I get it now.

I don't know what the current CSA position is, I'm not aware of any statements made (By any of the supporters assoc. actually) so I don't know where they stand (or sit for that matter) but I do know this the end. For me anyway.

People who know me regard me as a fervent Celtic supporter. Some folk I know see Celtic winning or losing and immediately think of me. Often people will ask me questions about Celtic as if it's me making the decisions at the club. (I once was chastised in Nairn for not doing enough for supporters who travel great distances to watch Celtic) Yet, lately, some people, ones I know and some I don't, have been telling me I am not a supporter. I've been told to "Fuck off and support Man City" I've been slaughtered for sharing Green Brigade statements (without comment) and I've had numerous folk telling me "nobody speaks for me" when I, nor the Green Brigade for that matter, have ever claimed to do so.

This weekend I was in conversation, separately, with two Celtic employees. Essentially we were supporters bemoaning the state of the club but within these conversations, both asked me to look out for my own health. It was only when I scrolled back that I realised what they meant. The anger pouring out of me was akin to a lava spewing Volcano.

My wife has been ready to strangle me for ages too. She's a Celtic supporter as well but, bizarrely, doesn't feel the need to argue about it on the internet 24 hours a day. (The look she gives me now when I reach for my phone is akin to the one Phil Leotardo gave in pretty much every episode he was in of The Sopranos) and now I spend the time when I am not arguing on the internet, well, arguing with her.

I'm not a special supporter, my views are no more valid than anyone else's and I know there are millions who feel it like I do. I would never, as James Sanderson would berate folk for, flash my credentials at you,  Defeats I can handle, bullshit from the board I am well used to but the fences and police presence this week was a line in the sand for me. No one will ever convince me they are justified (although plenty have tried) and, in all honesty, what has saddened me more is the glee that some have espoused at the club taking action against the protestors.

If you are like that, I have nothing in common with you.

The vitriol going round now, for me, is unprecedented. I've had my fair share of abuse and threats over the years. This stuff is different. Daily, I see Celtic supporters slaughtering Celtic supporters. Really awful and hateful stuff. I wonder why. What brings someone to abuse folk to the point of dehumanisation just because they have a different point of view to them? I've seen it from both sides and the very fact there are two sides is where the problem is really.

This fight, and it absolutely is a fight for Celtic's soul, is about the betterment of Celtic. I could sit here now and tell you why certain people hold certain views but it would serve no purpose but to divide more. My view is clear, I want Celtic to do well always and don't believe the people trusted with that just now are up to that job.

There's nothing really I can add to that.

I'll let you into a secret that I have been telling my circle for about five years. This season will be my last as a season ticket holder. I've been one since 1990 (save for 1993/94 for obvious reasons) and I held the belief that after clinching 10 in a row, there would be nothing left for me to see and it would be time to pass the baton on to someone else. (That doesn't mean I stop being a supporter or that I will never be at any games)

Bizarrely (I've used that word far too much in this blog) I now feel more drawn to the club now in adversity and will probably get a season ticket again.

Just not under this regime.

I've never had a comfy seat (I've been to corporate hospitality three times in my life-One I won and two I paid for) and have no interest in acquiring one. 

All I want for Christmas is a happy and united Celtic support, with a winning team on the park.

That's my wish, is it really that different from yours?

Saturday, December 5, 2020

New Rules

I've been trying to keep one step away from being taken away for my own safety. There has to be some New Rules put out there for the sake of  my and many of the supporters sanity (I'm doing in this in the way first Bill Hicks then Bill Maher did/do, for comedic value, so wind your neck in if you get triggered)

Rule 1- I don't give a flying fuck about the opinion of the high and mighty who see change at Celtic as an end to cosy wee arrangements and comfy seats. I've seen you all with your suits and cigarettes, milling about the main stand watching the rest of us like you've made it and we haven't. This is football. Heated lounges full of flat free beer and samosas have about as much to do with football as a Christmas jumper has to do with Celtic. (Apologies for the language but I thought I had to grab your attention)

Rule 2-If you react to a Green Brigade statement saying "They don't speak to for me" then you must provide evidence where they said they do. The histrionics of people when they see free speech is doing my nut in. It's ok to disagree but the way to react is to counter-protest, not bust a blood vessel on social media. That's just Bad Manners.

Rule 3-If you think Celtic employees have influence over Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond, you've not been paying attention. It's like thinking that Billy Jo Jim Bob in Alabama is influencing the policy in The White House....(Hang on, scratch that one)

Rule 4- When the club is going through its worst crisis since 1994, don't announce a Christmas jumper day. (Aye this Christmas jumper thing is a trigger of mine)

Rule 5- If you claim to be a "club open to all" don't put fences up to stop the people who pay the wages.

The last one was the whole point of this blog. With apologies to Bill Hicks and Bill Maher.

Stay safe