Celtic has today announced that standard season ticket prices have been frozen.
That means, so they say, that those tickets are still £50 cheaper than they were four years ago.
Presumably they mean when Rangers still existed.
I have no doubt at all that had we won the Scottish Cup semi-final that not only would Ronny Deila still be in the hot-seat for the coming campaign but those prices would have gone up accordingly, but when you’re selling a pig in a poke you can’t overcharge for it.
In many ways, this is just another example of the club’s fragmented approach to doing things.
Here we are, with season ticket forms about to be sent out, having no idea at all who is going to be in charge or what the product on the pitch is going to look like, and this is a wholly self-inflicted wound. You’re asking people to buy they know not what.
They shouldn’t be surprised if people decide not to bother.
If we had pulled out a box office style appointment already, we could have slipped those prices up £50 and the troops would have got right behind it.
Asking them to support uncertainty, you might as well lower them by another £50 … and good luck selling a lot of them even then.
Who told the people responsible for this decision that they had a clue?
Celtic can market this as a “thank you” to the fans as they like; a real thank you would have started with an apology for this dismal season and ended with the unveiling of Moyes or Rodgers or some other name the troops can get right behind.
This looks like typical contempt, presumptive, arrogant, pretending to give something back when actually the fans are paying the same price as last year for a shot in the dark.
That is not positive management. It’s a joke.
The writing has been on the wall for Ronny Deila for months, but I said as we headed into the Scottish Cup semi-final that I believed a decision had been taken to retain him for at least another year. I hoped I was wrong, because that meant no work had been done behind the scenes on a potential successor and how can you doubt that when we’re now approaching week three and still don’t have a clue who’s coming in?
To send season ticket forms out at a time like this – and when fans are angry over lack of SFA reforms, the club’s total silence on major issues and a host of other stuff – just doesn’t sit right at all. There’s nothing in “the package” that would entice a guy like me back and I know a lot of fans who are absolutely dead set against renewing, whatever the cost, until a lot of key questions have been answered about the direction the club is moving in.
I wrote an article when Sevco sent out their season book renewals, having jacked their prices up by between 20 – 40% depending on the seat. They had offered fans a lot of hot air and vague promises, and I thought they had some balls to ask for more money on the back of that.
Celtic hasn’t even bothered with the hot air.
If you’re considering buying a season ticket at this moment in time, do so at your own risk. We have no idea right now what the future holds and how the next campaign is shaping up. Are you really comfortable parting with your money before you know who’s sitting at the front of the house?
What if it’s Keane? What if it’s Collins?
You’re not going to be able to go and ask for the cash back.
There are two home games left to go if you want to let this board know how you feel about all this, but as one of them is a league decider they’re probably going to get a pass on that one. You have one more game, and this chance, this decision over whether to renew right now.
After that, your voice is silent for another 12 months.
Be careful what you do next.
Until we’ve got some answers, this is a risk too far.