I’ve been following, with some dismay, all the goings on in the Westminster election this week.
Aside from being awful to behold, it is going to be an interminably long campaign, one of those ones which is going drag on and on and on.
All I’m grateful for, at this time, is that cup final weekend comes first. I would not want that occasion ruined by a newly minted Tory government preening and strutting across my TV screens, and that’s what it looks like producing.
I should, I guess, add the words “at the moment” to that sentence, because honestly I would not bet on the outcome of this one with Dave King’s dirty money. No outcome is so far outside the realms of possibility as to be considered outlandish or ridiculous. There is a reality TV star who boasted about sexually assaulting women in The White House and this country would have had a Halloween Brexit if much of the populace had gotten its way.
Nothing, at this point, can reasonably be ruled out.
Elections are a dangerous business. Even if you’re storming ahead in the polls and look unbeatable, they can find a way to trip you up. Ask Hillary Clinton. Ask Theresa May. Clinton, in particular, looked as if she couldn’t lose when you considered her opponent.
But complacency, bad strategy and the air of scandal that wafts around that family like body odour made that a tougher race than it needed to be.
Had either party run any other candidate in that race it would have been a landslide and the world would have a very different feel to it at the present time.
The current volatility in the electoral system makes this a singularly bad time, in some ways, for me to want to look at the old idea of putting a fan on the board.
I’ve heard every argument against this. Lawwell and his people will say the board is full of fans already, but they know what they can do with that hoary old guff. We’re not talking, here, about some prawn sandwich millionaire with a soft seat in the stand who’s forgotten what it’s like to sit on a plastic folding chair under a leaky roof in December.
We’re talking here about someone who puts their money into the club … as opposed to those who draw a salary or a dividend and take money out. One tends to give you a slightly different perspective from the other, and it may be time we had that balance.
The question as to how we’d pick the candidates, and where we’d draw them from, is a valid one. We already have fan reps, but a lot of them have been in place for years now and you wonder if they would have anything new to bring to the table.
Putting a fan on the board is, after all, a different ballgame from having someone represent supporter’s groups.
We all know that a fan would not have a lot of power to influence club strategy. Or we think we do anyway. I know for a fact that just having a supporter in the boardroom when major issues are being debated would be a game-changer.
Resolution 12 would never have been so easy to dismiss out of hand if there’d been an ordinary punter in that room at the time.
There would, naturally, be a lot of arguments about where said fan “came from.” That is, what organisations or groups would be vying for that place? The Trust has long wanted a fan on the board, but the CSA would stake their own claim and they’d have a good one.
On top of that, some of the bloggers have become quite prominent in the politics of the club. Where do they fit in? That’s not me recommending myself; the idea appals me, to be frank, and I’ll tell you why that’s the case; whoever ended up on the board would be seriously restricted in terms of what they could disclose about goings on inside Celtic … it would actually be the greatest hindrance to doing the job of writing about the club that I could think of.
But there would need to be some kind of mechanism by which fans could choose their representative. It would have to be fair, and transparent, and something everyone could understand. This is all supposing that the idea ever got off the ground.
I have to be honest, I no longer understand why certain clubs – including ours – are opposed to this idea. Oh I can see full well why Sevco doesn’t want a fan on the board; they are an embarrassment enough in the stands, and that club has a lot going on inside the walls that it wants to keep secret, even from their own supporters.
Is it time for Celtic to consider putting a fan on the board?
Celtic is well run. If there is stuff going on that the fans don’t need to know then fair enough, but I trust that it’s nothing that would jeopardise our future or anything that the fans knowing about would either precipitate or stave off a crisis.
I know a lot of fans would argue against this. A lot of them believe we need professionals running our club. But who says that the fans themselves couldn’t bring something special to the table? Who says they couldn’t make a contribution?
The AGM this year is going to be showdown between the board and fans over Resolution 12 so, the issue is moot as far as the coming meeting goes.
We would need to play the long game here, and push this onto the agenda over time. It won’t be the first time folk have tried to put it there, but our board is dead set against this proposal … it is high time, though, that some of our fan groups came together to think this through and lobby for it properly.
It is high time this was given the consideration it deserves.
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