Neil Lennon spoke to the fans tonight on the impact the global health emergency has had on Celtic, and he was as straightforward and honest as any man could be.
I have read a lot of chit-chat about how our club has handled things right now, and I believe a lot of it is grossly unfair. If we’re going to get through this as a Family, we all need to do our bit … but the people running Celtic have to level with us and talk to us straight.
Fortunately, we’ve never had a problem with hearing the truth, no matter how unpalatable.
Lennon did not hold back. His words appear on our official club site. Nobody at Parkhead is hiding anything or minimising here.
“Celtic, as a club, are not immune to the financial damage that it’s done to, not only the sporting arena but also the social and cultural as well. So we have to cut our cloth accordingly. It’s not going to be easy,” he said. “Financially, it’s certainly had an impact on the club, no question of that.
The longer it goes on the more it eats away.”
He’s right, of course, which is why Celtic needs us all more than ever.
Even with the total support of the fans though, we’re not going to come through this without changes. That’s inevitable. It’s why I’ve said that if we can maintain the strength of the squad in this window I’ll be confident enough. We look as if we’re going to try to.
At Celtic, there is a real sense of realism about where we are and what the consequences could be if the season doesn’t start on time, or if this situation becomes critical again. If we have another spike in cases, especially if it combines with flu season, football might be brought to a halt once more with no clear indication as to when the sport might resume.
Even if this is not the case, we’ve certainly eaten into our surplus and that will disquiet people at the club who realise that it offered us some measure of protection from a football related calamity where we crashed out of Europe too early to make the Groups.
Our surplus was our insurance policy; this is a good time to have such a thing, but football itself is unpredictable and we’ve always wanted to be prepared for that eventuality too. This is smart, it’s the right thing to do. Other clubs are not so lucky.
Indeed, some of those clubs are behaving in a fashion that is flagrantly dishonest. We all know which one is foremost in that category. We had the surplus to fall back on. We have the strength to endure this thing, yet our club is levelling with fans that it will not be easy.
Across the city their club wants to act like nothing has changed. Gerrard is in the papers today boasting about their recklessness, talking about the players they want to buy; what in God’s name is wrong with the people who run that club?
Alone of every club in Europe, they are going to get through this without a single scar?
When a recent study pointed out that they are the most vulnerable of the top 100 teams?
The people running Sevco know that this is a pure fiction they are spinning their fans.
They know that it’s a lie. But they are going to keep on telling it anyway, even when full disclosure would be seen as a responsible act and the bulk of their support would understand it fully. They disrespect their own fans so much that it bends the mind.
The media lets them away with this. Wait until you see the negative headlines Lennon and Celtic get tomorrow for facing up to the facts.
Sevco gets positive headlines for ignoring and denying them.
Shame on how gutless and subservient our media are.
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