I think you get to a point in your life where you realise that it's pretty short and you just can't be bothered doing things you used to. Gone are the days I'd be out every night or I'd be doing stuff in spite of any ailment (I once went to Dortmund by bus despite having the flu) I've reached that point now in my life, no doubt. There were always certain things you could rely on in life and if football was your life, then those things came from football. As life changes, so has football. I guess you are reading this saying "Whit is this auld dick going on about?"
If you take the life of a working class man right up until the 80's (I use this example because this is what I am) then it was all about routine. They went to work Monday to Friday (sometimes Saturday morning), went to the boozer on a Friday night, football on a Saturday afternoon, out with the Mrs on a Saturday night and a big Sunday dinner the next day. Gifts were reserved for Christmas and Birthdays only and holidays were taken in the same two weeks in July almost every year.
I'd guess the majority of you reading this are working class males so let me ask you, how much of this do you recognise in your own life now?
Football is the same. It's changed beyond all recognition. You only need to look at our opponents tonight to realise that. A lot for the good mind you, particularly the families which embrace football now and add to the culture of the game. My experience of Manchester City pre oil money was very limited. They were never a big club in England and probably the only time I even saw them in the 1980's was when Ricky Villa was waltzing past their defence in a FA Cup final replay. Yet here we are tonight, facing them with a massive disadvantage because of the way the EPL is run. Sam Allardyce lifted the lid on the kind of thinking that goes on within English football, where you have a guy from a council estate in Dudley talking about copping £400k for effectively doing FA.
How did it get to this point?
Very simple, like in life, where you struggle to get a contract of more than minute for a job, football is swamped by money, greed and corruption and it leaves a bitter taste. It wouldn't bother me in the slightest of Man City had an advantage over us because of the amount of money their fans give them (Which is why Celtic have a financial advantage over the rest of Scottish football) but they don't and so are expected to win and win well tonight because of oil money. The same oil money which props up the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG and Arsenal.
So in effect all routines of football are now completely dictated by money, no matter where it comes from.
Then again, I suppose that worked for one club in Scotland for 20 years.