Let’s talk for a moment about cognitive dissonance, which is a mental disorder which involves having to hold and being unable to separate two wholly contradictory ideas in your head at the same time and believing them both. There’s a lot of it going around today.
Last night, when the BBC reported the unhappiness in the Celtic boardroom about what Brendan said at a press conference the day before, the reaction on Sevco sites was unbridled joy. They see cracks in the Celtic superstructure.
They see trouble forming, and they believe that they will be the ultimate beneficiaries of that trouble.
They are completely wrong, as per usual.
Because there is no crack in the Celtic superstructure.
There might be a split opening up between the management and those who sit on the board, but Sevconites would be absolutely nuts to think that was the same thing. Celtic is fundamentally sound; that is what these morons have failed to grasp time and time and time again.
When Ronny Deila fell in the aftermath of the Scottish Cup semi-final of 2016, Sevco fans were delirious. They were “on the way back” and Celtic was in decline. Look back over the record; they genuinely believed it, and so did their media acolytes.
The last two years obliterated all their delusions about somehow overtaking us.
The problems at Celtic then, and those which seem to be troubling us now, were not a matter of weakness, they were a matter of will.
Our club drifted off to sleep, but once awakened and in gear it proved unstoppable. If the club is dozing again, it only needs to be shaken into wakefulness once more and we will motor off into the distance and leave their pitiful club in the dust.
Let me put it this way, if the worst possible scenario came to pass at Celtic Park – the worst possible scenario, not the delusional wet-dream of a yahoo support which believes, as their chairman said, that we’re one bad year from total collapse – it would make exactly zero difference to the balance of power in Scottish football; that’s the reality here.
Say worst comes to worst.
Say we go out of the Champions League next week.
Say, in fact, that we go out of Europe entirely in three weeks time.
Say that forced Brendan to a confrontation with the board and he decided to leave, scorching the Earth behind him.
What would happen next?
Celtic fans would be furious, yes, but our club would be forced towards dramatic changes.
Some would be in the boardroom.
We would regroup.
We would analyse the situation.
In the meantime, our interim manager would still have the strongest squad in the league with which to work. The players would still be driven to want success, perhaps even more so knowing a new manager would soon be at the helm.
We would still be sitting on a surplus somewhere north of £15 million in the bank. We would still have a half dozen saleable assets who could fetch transfer fees in excess of £10 million apiece. We would still be the champions, still able to depend on the name of Celtic to attract players. We would be a good draw for any number of good managerial candidates. Don’t suppose that the circumstances of Brendan’s departure would change that.
Fundamentals are what count.
Celtic’s remain strong.
Understand this, it is not that our club is unable to spend money … it’s that it has gambled on not needing to.
Do not mistake that for weakness.
Stupidity is not weakness.
Lack of vision does not hinder the potential of Celtic.
Lack of resources would, but that’s not an issue here.
What I find most amazing about this moronic belief in Sevconia that these little signs of trouble are good news for them – I’ll explain in a moment why they might, in fact, be very bad – is that many of them genuinely believe our club is panicking over their own latest moonbeam, the so-called Gerrard Revolution.
If we’re panicking about that we’re handling things in a very bizarre fashion; not signing players, not replacing first team footballers who’ve gone.
It sounds an awful lot like the complete opposite of panic.
It sounds to me like we view them with such contempt, with such disdain, with such complete lack of fear that we believe we can literally stand still and not be caught. Call that ego gone mad if you like, but it’s the exact opposite of what you would expect if we were suddenly afraid of being overtaken.
The bare fact of it is that Celtic barely considers Sevco worthy of consideration.
Brendan was certainly not thinking of them when he sat at that press conference the other day and outlined his concerns over the club’s failure to close deals; he had his eyes on Europe and the bigger stage of the Champions League.
He is not looking over his shoulder on the home front.
He knows the squad we have will be more than enough to take care of business here.
Brendan has had this out with them.
They have expressed their displeasure at the way he’s done it.
Providing there is still mutual respect and trust all round this is nothing that cannot be resolved, and one would suspect that it will be resolved in a way that satisfies the manager’s ambitions as well as the board’s sense of what’s right for the club.
And as a consequence, it is not difficult to conceive of circumstances where this has a positive impact.
We may well be headed for Europa League group stage football this season, and if so I trust that a valuable lesson has been learned by all at Celtic Park and that the same mistake, the same colossal mistake, will not be repeated.
But for this to be resolved, Brendan has to get in some of the players he wants, which means that the club is going to have to bite the bullet and go out and bring him in some signings. If that happens, we’ll move past this in short order.
If that happens, Sevconia’s confidence in our imminent collapse will go like piss down a trouser leg.
At the end of this morning’s article I wrote that, “These things can be positive for a club because they clear the air and clarify people’s positions and respective roles.”
In other words, this might not prove to be catastrophic as much as galvanising.
There has been a feeling of slow, steady drift all summer long … sometimes an argument, even a public one, is just the jolt, and provides just the impetus, a relationship needs for those in it to refocus, to rediscover the passion, to put things right and to move on better than before.
Sevco fans should not be celebrating this.
They should be scared by it.
The Chinese ideograph for crisis is made up of two separate symbols … one is for danger, the other opportunity.
This could go either way, but as I believe very strongly that there is unity of purpose at Celtic Park, if some tension over the means, I suspect this one will give everyone the shake that the whole club has been crying out for. And that is not good news for our so-called rivals.
Yet even if I’m wrong, and worst comes to worst, one solid fact will remain; Celtic is a brick bunker of a football club, built solidly, on strong foundations.
With all respect (aye right) to the Peepul across town, theirs is a shit-house built on sand, and sinking even as I write this.
Last night, our Champions League future hung in the balance. If they go out of Europe in this round it’s not difficult to imagine circumstances where their own future in measured only in the months they have left.