Monday, November 18, 2013

Supporters on board

Sid Vicious was once asked if he wrote songs with the "man in the street" in mind. Sid replied "No, because I've met the man in the street and he's a cunt".

That's a punk attitude designed to project an image but increasingly it appears to be the mantra from anyone paid by Scottish football. I followed the AGM on Twitter (I used to go, they drove me mad, I stopped it) and would have probably chucked the PC out the window had it been my PC or near a window. I'm used to the Lawwellspeak at these things, I've observed it for years, seen it up close and have banged my head against a brick wall trying to tell folk what he's like. You can't deal with folk like him because he will be your best pal and worst enemy whenever it suits him. I've not said much on the Living Wage fiasco because, a lot like food banks, I find it utterly staggering that it even needs to be debated. The fact that there where two resolutions at the AGM, one asking for employees to be paid what they can actually live on, and one asking for, effectively, more transparency with supporters, would have you believing you've unearthed a new George Orwell novel. The crux of this is something I am well used to when writing books or being on podcasts: Folk like you and me are not supposed to have opinions. This was beautifully illustrated by Ian Bankier who made a big show of breaking from his "prepared response" and answering a question directly. You may not realise how big a step this was for Ian because this is a guy who needed his speech for the 125th Anniversary do at St. Mary's written for him as he had no idea what to say. For me, this makes the impassioned speeches from the floor all the more poignant and beautifully fucking illustrates how many supporters feel with regard with respect to the fans and the club.

It's because of this, and other aspects, that we find our club under almost daily attack from the agenda driven pundits and press men that Sportsound wheel out. Our PR Dept (Stop laughing) appear to think their job is to kybosh supporters requests and stop calls getting to Lawwell. Now I know that guys like Ian Jamieson get all sorts of strange characters phoning them every day asking for comments on the most trivial of matters but here's a tip for them,  PR has gone pro-active. You don't just sit waiting for the phone to ring so you can react. We are Celtic, remember?

This kind of attitude allows the likes of Tom English and Keith Jackson the platform to say anything they like about Celtic. Now, I can't stand either of them but it's not because of any threat they pose to us, they don't, they are just not football men and never have been. With that being said, who is speaking up for us when they spout? I see precious little coming from the club and this brings us into that other area where the board have continually patted us on the head and told us to run along now, the "fan on the board" scenario. The stock answer from all the board is "Ah, but we are all fans anyway?" Which would be fine were it not for the fact that some of these "fans" never set foot in the club until they were paid to do so. Ultimately this is why they seem to spend half their lives saying things that make most of us wonder whatever happened to Upstairs, Downstairs.

I think it's clear that we, as fans, want to see our club on the front foot with issues, on and off the park, and would like our identity, our ethos, our dreams reflected any time the club do anything. Celtic was a standard bearer on so many ideas and production that we must think like that on all issues. We cannot allow a situation where the board apply a unionist type veto over anything they choose to.

Otherwise, the punks win.

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