The club has today published details of their plans for the Virtual Season Tickets, and they are very impressive indeed, showing all the professionalism and commitment to excellence which are pretty much the hallmark of our marketing department.
The one area where we have consistently let ourselves down in the marketing and the multi-media are the poor quality (at times) of CelticTV. Those running this operation have clearly taken a lot of the complaints on board and are going for something with real quality.
Sutton, Hartson and even Michael Stewart will feature here; this is the BT Sports team, brought to the club to make this as good an experience as possible for the fans. You cannot have asked for more. The club has pushed the boat out for the best.
No-one wants this little experiment to last long, but Celtic are determined that as long as it does they will treat it as a premium product, and that is excellent. Off the field, we have a level of professionalism which no other club in the country can come close to matching.
We’ve spent real money on this too; it won’t be properly appreciated, but hiring professionals and going into partnership with a top production company like this is by no means cheap. Good analysis is hard to find, as BBC Scotland found when they casually tried to replace Michael Stewart himself with far less intelligent “pundits” when he was on suspension for daring to criticise the operations of the Sevco media department.
Stewart, of course, is the real coup here. Anyone who’s watched him on the BBC or on BT knows that he is by far the most articulate commentators on the scene. He is a genuine pleasure to listen to at times, and knows his football inside out.
Sutton and Hartson are always a treat to listen to as well, and they will give the more partisan view of our team and our games, without ever becoming sycophantic.
Gordon Strachan will be there as well; he’ll be one of the subjects of an article I’m going to do for tomorrow.
I like listening to him and I always have; he is funny, smart and has a clear love for the club. He can be a bit arrogant at times, but that goes with being a very good manager and a keen reader of the game. Even when I disagree with him he’s interesting.
None of these guys will be boring, that’s for sure. All will provide an honest – in the cases of Sutton it can often be painfully honest – assessment of every performance. This is what fans want to see if they can’t be at games.
I was guilty, once, of saying that BT Sports was guilty of “talking down” to Scottish football fans; the truth is, they paid the game more attention and showed it far more respect than Sky ever has. Over time their commentary and their pre-and-post match analysis grew on me to the extent that I couldn’t bare Sky’s contemptuous attitude and casual preference for even the most low-ranking game from the EPL. BT never treated us with that disdain.
When Sky won the TV contract I didn’t believe we’d get this excellent team together again, and this time minus eejits like Kris Boyd. It won’t be the same as being able to attend games, but this will be an outstanding way to watch the team in the period whilst fans wait for the grounds to be open for business once more.
All credit to the club for being to pull this together.
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