People often ask me why I spend so much time writing about Sevco and not as much writing about Celtic. The answer is surely obvious; we don’t generate nearly as much news as the basket case club across the city does, and as the media constantly refers to them as our rival – and they constantly reference us and claim to be coming after us – it’s only natural that they should come under scrutiny. Our club stands apart from them, but not alone.
As long as we are in Scottish football, their fate will impact upon us. If they fall into administration like Rangers did we will see effects across the game. Ultimately that will affect us. Also, as a club that crawled out of the grave of the liquidated OldCo they carry a lot of the same baggage and that, too, has an impact upon us.
It is important to keep our eyes on goings on over there, and especially with how the SFA constantly bends the world to suit them. Anyone who thinks that’s not important really hasn’t been paying attention for the past five or six years.
Celtic doesn’t need me writing details of every event that happens inside the walls. Other sites do that, and they do it very well. The Celtic media department is also very effective in keeping the fans informed with goings on in and around our game. Frankly, I am amazed at the output from some of them. In comparison to the other lot, we are boring.
It is a tribute to the people inside our club that we do not generate this constant stream of embarrassing stories. It is a sign of how well run we are that whenever you read about us in the press it is invariably positive, even if the media doesn’t dress it up that way. The most they get to write in a negative light are all those stories trying to unsettle our players. We do not serve up scandal or crisis. We do not make inflammatory statements.
Celtic is thoroughly professional.
But you know what? We’re hardly unique to the game here. Aberdeen have been our biggest challenger these last few years, but they do not get the same scrutiny on this site, although I have a story about them coming later which a number of their fans are not going to enjoy reading one bit and which I did not enjoy writing.
The reason Aberdeen don’t get the same scrutiny is that they are not a shambles. Neither are Hibs or Hearts or Motherwell or Kilmarnock or any of the other clubs in the SPL. None of these clubs is run like a mafia family, by a board of madmen.
Pedro has been sacked today. Where the money’s coming from I don’t know, but that’s a problem only for those inside the Ibrox walls. But the people who appointed him are still there and it’s clear from their having done so that they know the sum total of nil about how to do their jobs. The chairman couldn’t wait to leave the meeting this morning, and so anyone who expects leadership, of any sort, from him can just forget it.
The way this has been handled by their club, I didn’t think for a second that there was a way they could spare him and expect the lid to stay on the pressure cooker. They walked up to the edge of the cliff and if they’d backed away then the whole thing would have been even more farcical.
With all this going on, you wonder if all the white noise might prove to be a distraction for other clubs. Not a bit of it. And in particular, it has not distracted Celtic. It is certainly a source of great amusement inside our walls, but it has not diverted attention from people doing their own jobs. Our win last night was simply beautiful. It was as committed and professional a display as you could have hoped for; it’s no secret that I didn’t expect such a performance.
Our commercial department has hardly missed a beat; indeed, combined with the PR team we’ve not only won every battle but we’ve prosecuted the war with ruthless efficiency and total disregard to the poor wee hurt feelings of the other lot. A case in point was our decision to buy ad space all around the city upon reaching the Champions League groups … there was a time when we would never have taken such a major step. That time has passed.
Brendan’s new deal shows that he is not concerned with the “lack of a challenge” as the media is so fond of putting it. He doesn’t talk like a guy who wants to see us pushed harder; this team is focussed on doing its own thing and making its own history. We take one game at a time and we want to win them all. It takes incredible discipline to stay this focussed even when we could easily afford to take our eyes off the ball at times.
There is no sign of that. The drive at Celtic Park is all about making us better, and the circus act elsewhere has not changed that. Everything we have got going right now – the hotel project, Brendan’s team building plans, the record breaking run – continues apace, without one single faltering step. This is how it feels to be Celtic.
Nothing stops this train.