Who speaks for the ordinary football fan?
The blogs, perhaps, as they are written by the supporters themselves.
But we represent one strand of opinion – usually our own haha – and a fan-base is made up of many.
The fan organisation maybe.
But there, too, you get as many different viewpoints as Heinz has flavours.
And all within individual clubs.
That’s part of the problem. The tribal nature of football supporters makes it difficult for them to come together in a common cause. Look online at the forums for sterling examples; even when two clubs aren’t bitter rivals, there is a reluctance to form partnerships and strive towards a single goal.
Multiply that by ten here in Scotland.
Celtic has a huge problem trying to bring other clubs with it when we push for reform.
As the biggest club in the country, there’s a jealousy factor that comes into play when fans of other sides look at us. There’s also a kind of unspoken assumption that everything we do is based on self-interest, that we’re playing an angle or making a power grab.
And look, without wanting to get into a song’s debate – not going near the subject at all, my views on that are well known – we’re positively loathed by a lot of people in this country because of the Republican stuff. That’s just a plain fact that can’t be ignored.
Building alliances is murderously hard for us, and the great shame about that of course is that we are the only club in this country that is remotely committed to reform in the first place. But we have to take others with us or it’s all for nothing.
Celtic would lead this agenda if we had allies on the road, but the simple fact is that we don’t.
If the clubs aren’t going to lead – and they aren’t; yesterday’s fiasco was hardly a surprise, everyone knows the game here is run by jokers not fit for office but they only occupy those offices because the clubs can’t be bothered acting against them – then the supporters will have to.
It’s long overdue, to be frank.
When is it enough?
When do we reach the end of the line?
When does the collective patience of our fan-bases snap?
Yesterday’s SPFL decision treated the fans with utter contempt, and especially the fans from Edinburgh and the north of Scotland. The two clubs have already expressed their disbelief over it, but that’s nothing compared to the anger their fans feel. But many tens of thousands of them will still travel to this city for those games. They will grit their teeth, bury the angst, and go and support their teams. As Celtic fans would have too.
This is the problem.
The governing bodies play on loyalty.
They know Hearts and Aberdeen fans, indeed Celtic and Sevco fans too, will want to see a semi-final. It’s why our own board can treat the manager with such cavalier disrespect during the transfer window and then pose, all aglow with their own genius, when the accounts are published.
There have been moves to start some sort of cross-club fan association, but they do not have the profile they should and the average fan wants nothing to do with them. The activist supporters have no problem getting involved, for a while anyway, but they don’t carry much weight amongst the fan-bases as a whole.
Most fans just want to watch the football.
And those fans are the ones we should feel sorry for, but I’ll be honest; it’s hard to do.
Because they are the first people to complain about decisions like yesterday’s, but they are the very last people to act.
This is why the game is run the way it is.
When they start taking reform seriously then we might, just might, get somewhere.
You can discuss this and and all the other stories by signing up at the Celtic Noise forum at the above link. This site is one of the three that has pushed for the forum and we urge all this blog’s readers to join it. Show your support for real change in Scottish football, by adding your voice to the debate.
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