You wouldn’t think something like a shirt launch would be weighted down with significance and meaning, would you? But this one is different.
This one is truly special, as our club celebrates the 50th Anniversary of that day in Lisbon when we won the European Cup. That day still rings down through the ages. To commemorate it we’ve released a beautiful new strip, complete with a redesigned Celtic badge, in homage of that day.
This is what we do so well as a club right now, these big set piece moments which make us look professional and splendidly organised.
The manufacturers and sponsors must be over the moon. The campaign is already all over the internet and will be the lead sports item in the evening news. There are people predicting already that it will be the best selling strip in the history of the club. Everyone involved must be chuffed, and proud of their mutual association.
At the back of all this, of course, is money and the more shirts we sell the more everyone involved will make. Rudimentary stuff, right? As such, a huge roll-out across the Celtic stores and other outlets will happen almost at once, like a well-oiled machine.
The club is in the midst of a feel-good season like no other. Unbeaten, a double already in the bag, a treble beckoning, five-one wins home and away against Sevco, putting them out of both of the domestic cups … does it get any better? Oh hell yes, a lot better. If we can close the deal with the treble and secure the unbeaten campaign that’s history like no other.
I expect the shirts to fly off the shelves, I really do. They should. This is an epic time to be a Celtic supporter and that ought to be reflected in the figures.
Across town the contrast could not be starker.
Their own new shirt will go on sale soon, maybe.
That’s still up for debate. But there will be none of this fanfare. Aside from the difficulty in trying to muster enthusiasm for their club right now there are a bunch of well-publicised problems There will probably not be an official launch. The board of directors has scorched their own brand.
Have you ever heard anything like this in your life? A football club telling its fans to boycott its own jersey? The consequences for their relationship with sponsors and manufacturers alike will be catastrophic. Those partnerships will tank on the back of such unprofessional behaviour, and they should.
Puma and 32Red will be watching closely as Dafabet and New Balance get their names and logos out front and centre. To be part of the Celtic Family at such a crucial time in our history is as good a piece of publicity as they would have dreamed about and they had Champions League football exposure on top of this. The best is yet to come.
Across town they don’t know what might be next. Puma and 32Red have every right to sue over the nonsense they are being expected to tolerate here. The contracts that were signed are worthless; the retail deal still has six years to run … that obliterates the value of those agreements and guarantees that their next negotiations will be abysmal. They will be lucky to get half of what those organisations paid them.
Everything that happens at the two clubs right now is reflected, and the quality and professionalism of our dealings contrasts with the utter dysfunctionality over there, and even as this is going on a steady stream of revelations from the Whyte trial reveals that the club Murray ran was even more corrupt and dreadfully run than we ever knew.