Before the snarking starts, let me open this piece by repeating what I said last night; I am not in any way trying to defend the scenes at Celtic Park last night.
There was no need for things to escalate to the point they did, although a couple of questions naturally dawn on me like this one; if there were “missiles” thrown at the players, where did they come from? Are the environs of Celtic Park littered with spare bricks?
Were the fans ripping out those paving stones with the names on them?
Or did the club’s official statement exaggerate things to demonise our own as we know other clubs have done in the past, namely Dundee and Hearts?
I allowed myself a rueful smile at the way the statement was framed at protecting the staff.
Amazing that it’s suddenly a priority now, when some of us have been screaming out for the club to press for refereeing reform that might stop the same staff being kicked from one end of the pitch to the other most weeks.
Any word on when the statement regarding the lack of a red card for the vicious tackle on Frimpong in the Motherwell game might be coming?
Look, if players and staff were shaken by the response last night that’s obviously very sad, but if you’ll allow me an observation; a lot of those players have played an active role in putting the club in the dire position it’s in this morning.
It seems clear to most of us that they have issues with Neil Lennon as their manager, so some of them are complicit in his impending sacking and that is simply not on.
They forget that players are not supposed to pick the manager, although I’m sure many of them would do a better job of that than the CEO.
The man in the dugout is entitled to their best efforts and I don’t believe that some of them can claim to have given him that.
A few of them stole a wage yesterday, and have been for weeks.
They owe us all an apology.
The statement reminded us of the record these players have behind them; we didn’t need reminding of that, thanks very much.
We aren’t the ones who imperilled that record and ultimately brought it to an end.
That was the board itself, in their deplorable failure to act … and they’ve had weeks to act now and are thus complicit in what comes to pass.
They most certainly take the blame for that disaster yesterday, for letting the manager carry on.
Our board is complacent and arrogant.
I’m sure that Lawwell, in particular, would have been raging last night and spitting venom at the fans outside.
But a lot of his anger will have been misdirected; the truth is, for all the talk of him being the smartest guy in the room, Lawwell has made huge strategic blunders and appointing the manager is only the most obvious of them.
Lennon’s utter failure has made him look like a mug and it’s only been compounded by their giving the manager full backing in the transfer window for once.
Some of the club’s pet hacks are “speculating” this morning that the scenes outside might have only hardened positions inside Celtic Park, and given the board even more determination to stand by their man; I would hate to think our club was being run on such a moronic basis that those inside it would leave a failing employee in his post to spite the customers.
No reputable CEO would do a thing like that, surely?
But then, no reputable CEO would collect CV’s for a major managerial role in a company and then boast, after making a third-rate appointment, about how he never bothered to read a single one of them.
It is fitting that the club finally broke its silence last night to attack the fans.
The same fans have been betrayed on massive issues such as SFA reform and Resolution 12 and only the success of the players on the pitch has kept those issues from coming to a head; this is a perfect storm of the board’s own making, the culmination of mounting fury over a range of issues, many of which have nothing to do with whether the team wins or not.
On this board’s watch, any hope we had that the game here might be reformed and cleaned up has been in vain.
The historical opportunity has been well and truly squandered.
Our indictment of the board runs much deeper than whether we lose some titles or trophies.
No board, in the history of our club, ever had so easy a ride with the lack of a major rival … and they completely failed to turn it into a long term advantage.
The entire model at our club was built on staying one step ahead of Ibrox and no more.
It has reached its end, along with the manager they appointed on the cheap and who Lawwell thought he could control.
For years we have put up with all manner of nonsense in the media and at the SFA and the club has remained silent.
For two months this club has been on the brink of a major reversal like we saw yesterday, and we all saw it a mile away.
The club didn’t give us the time of day.
I’ve been doing this for nearly a decade now. In that time, there’s barely been a month of the year where I have not decried our directors for their silence when they should have been bringing the fans onboard with a long-term plan, which included a public pronouncement of what our goals were for changing the SFA.
The club has never bothered.
The supporters get the odd congratulatory message in the accounts, but really, the only time our board really communicates with us is to chastise us like naughty children.
After more than a month of ignoring fan opinion, they finally broke their silence last night to offer a stinging rebuke and to deplore the behaviour of a handful of folk driven beyond mere frustration at the escalating disaster which is unfolding before our eyes.
But read the statement carefully and you’ll see that it wasn’t aimed just at those outside but all the rest of us too, the ingrates, those who dare to complain even as we watch historic mismanagement.
I no longer want to hear from any of them; the only thing they have to say to us now is that they’ve acted, removed the manager and are committed to getting the very best successor they can.