Celtic Deals In Reality. Craig Gordon And Other Critics Can Snipe From The Sidelines All They Want.

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I am already sick and tired of the Craig Gordon saga. I want it over with.

He’s going to Hearts; good luck to him there, in the second tier of Scottish football.

His other choice was St Mirren.

You know what wage bracket I’d put a 37-year old goalkeeper in who had those options?

About £2000 a week. Which is half what Celtic is offering to him.

To me, our club is being generous.

If he really expected ten, to sit on our bench most weeks, then he’s delusional.

We deal in reality at Celtic, as Simunovic and Hayes have already found out.

The global health emergency is biting down hard.

Anyone who thought we would survive this without trimming a little fat off the squad hasn’t been paying attention.

Celtic is acting reasonably and responsibly.

At the same time, we’re offering Eddie and Christie new deals and probably Ajer as well.

We have – or we had – a surplus. What we do not have is a magic money tree.

The number of our fans complaining right now about the “attitude of the club” … really?

The club is facing up to the situation we’re in. If season ticket sales fall significantly then the cuts we’ve already made will be nothing compared to those we do make.

And we’re going to have to suck it up and accept that. Lennon has spelled this out, not that anyone with a modicum of intelligence couldn’t already see it clearly. We are not Sevco. We will not pretend that everything is peachy when it might not be.

Whatever some people evidently believe, our club does treat us with a modicum of respect.

Of course, the complaints within the support are low-level … I believe most fans understand where we are.

That does not stop our enemies from amplifying those voices, and trying to paint their own picture.

The BBC was at it over the weekend; I wrote a piece about it.

And why do you think Sevco loudly trumpeted its own season ticket sales? The war’s already raging.

Already the narrative is being established in some places that Celtic is “downsizing” in this window; you know what?

You’re damned right we are, in a modest way.

The people running our club are smart, intelligent, good businessmen. They can see the writing on the wall. They can look at a cash flow chart, compare it to prior profit and loss statements and pretty clearly work stuff out from it.

Not every director of every club can apparently do the same.

I am comforted by the knowledge that our board isn’t just acting as if everything’s alright here.

I am comforted that they are not kidding on that nothing has changed.

The club should be flying right now going into the ten in a row season; we’re limping instead.

It’s a measure of the seriousness of this thing, where there are no guarantees at all.

The club announced yesterday that there’s a week to go until the season ticket renewal deadline is up.

And that has been greeted by an outpouring of anger in some quarters.

What exactly are we meant to do though? Not bother selling any?

We have the biggest wage bill of any club in Scotland. That’s plainly not an option.

Look, nobody at Celtic can force anyone to buy one of those tickets.

People are struggling right now, and that’s a fact. All of us have made sacrifices, but some have lost more than others. To some people, a season ticket is the very last thing they can put on the list of priorities. And yes, I understand that the club doesn’t know yet what it’s selling.

That, too, is an acknowledged reality. The club knows this. We all know it.

Anyone buying one of those tickets knows that in advance. Some have done so because they want to pledge their support to the club come what may. It’s a gesture not many can afford, though, but the club does not hold a gun to anyone’s head either way.

This is a choice. To complain about having a choice is just daft. The club is not out of order for offering that choice. The club is dealing with this situation in the best way that it can. Celtic wants fans back in the ground as soon as possible.

It might not be for a long time though. In the meantime, the club needs the support to keep on supporting.

Some will see this as pretty brazen from the directors and leaders at Celtic Park; I see it as a realistic assessment of the situation we’re in.

If the fans had decided to vote with their feet, then yes we’d be seeing some pretty drastic stuff already; major players would have been sold, or we’d be looking for buyers for them. Ten in a row would have been a secondary consideration … the general health of the club itself would be at stake.

Our season ticket sales are going to be down on last year.

We’ll miss out on a lot of big European home games in full stadia.

These things are going to hurt us, and badly.

Who even knows when this crisis will fully abate, and fans will be allowed back in grounds the way they used to be?

Celtic needs to think not just about one campaign but what the next one might look like.

Things have changed. Our club has to adapt to that. It’s not just one season here, this will have knock-on effects into the next campaign as well. We’re facing a couple of years of modest pain at the very least here, before things return to the way things were.

Celtic will survive all this. We’ll survive it as the biggest club in Scotland. I can say that in the full knowledge that Sevco is going to take an even bigger hit because of this, and that there’s no club in the game here who will not feel the cold wind blowing.

But our survival does not come without a cost. We’re all going to pay that cost together too, and it’s right that we do because we care about our club and Celtic will not get through this intact – absolutely unequivocally will not – unless we do our bit.

We don’t operate in a cash-rich environment like the EPL. I look at those clubs down there and I often wonder; how do they maintain any community links at all? Those which aren’t built by the largesse of the TV companies are subsidised by wealthy owners. Where are the clubs that the fans built? Where is that sense that the success belongs to the ordinary punters who pony up for season tickets and shirts and everything else that used to keep clubs running?

We built Celtic. It’s as simple as that. Every penny that comes in through the tills comes from the pockets of the ordinary fans. We have no sugar-daddies; we have no big benefactors. We survive on what we make, and what we make comes from the folks in the stands and the CelticTV subscriptions and the shirt sales and the DVD buyers.

Celtic supporters built the modern club. We made nine in a row a reality. And if ten in a row and everything that comes after it is going to be a reality we’re going to have to get the club there. That’s how it works for us. Without us, there’s nothing. Without us, those players don’t get paid and the lights don’t stay on. Without us, Celtic is nowhere.

The club is doing its best in a difficult environment. Those who run Celtic didn’t cause this crisis, but they take seriously their responsibility to deal with it and make sure we’re as strong as we can be at the end of it. They are asking us for help … because the club needs it.

Craig Gordon can cry the blues about not getting his £10,000 a week. He was kidding himself on that Celtic would make him an offer like that at a time like this. Listening to him bitch about not getting paid such an astronomical sum for sitting on his arse is shocking at a time when real people are struggling to pay even the most basic bills.

Some of the expressions of sympathy for his plight are actually quite sickening. Those suggesting we’ve been disloyal can take that one and stick it where the sun don’t shine. We’re behaving responsibly. We’re behaving as a club should at a time like this.

Celtic will get no criticism from me as those in charge try to make the best of a dire, unprecedented situation.

There has never been a more important time to be faithful through and through.

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In the 1951/52 season, SFA chairman George Graham tried to stop Celtic from flying the Irish tricolour flag over Celtic Park, leading to a bitter stand off between him and the club. Which Scottish club backed Graham over his stance?

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