The question as to why Celtic hasn’t acted yet is one with a multitude of possible answers.
But only one of those possible answers was briefed to the press today; that Desmond wants to hold off on the decision lest anyone think he was “giving in to the mob.” What a ridiculous basis on which to delay the making of a decision that everyone knows is inevitable.
But it’s worse than that of course, because the way this whole issue is being perceived outside of our own walls casts a dark shadow on the club that could do real, and lasting damage. In trying to deflect, even for a day, the board has risked more momentous harm to our reputation.
They really do behave at times like people absolutely lacking a clue.
Not one positive thing has come from this long, awful day, but the same could have been said for Friday as well when the club’s response to an absolute humbling in Prague was to call it “business as usual” with a sneer at the supporters for daring to complain.
What possible benefit do we draw from the perception that the only reason action hasn’t been taken today is that Dermot wants the fans to go and do one?
Who does that make look good?
It makes him look like a petty tyrant focussed on his ego above the good of the club.
It makes the manager look like one of those Russian prisoners in a gulag, waiting for the bullet but not knowing when it will come.
The players work under swirling uncertainty.
The media gets to speculate and our enemies are allowed to stir the soup, painting the whole club as in meltdown.
This delay is just plain stupid, there is no other way to put it.
Of course, there are alternative explanations … but this is what’s been briefed to the press.
One of the alternatives is that Lennon carries on, at least until the next disaster. Unfortunately for all concerned, that doesn’t look likely to be far away.
All this does is subjects that man to a certain dire reversal in Milan on Thursday.
Of all the places to be going, Lennon is being sent to a game we almost certainly won’t emerge well from in the state we’re in, with the high probability that, instead, we’ll be subjected to a further humiliating lesson in how far we’ve fallen.
So he gets more negative headlines. He gets more calls for his head.
I am angry with him for the way he’s digging his heels in when he has to know it’s over, but he does not deserve the certainty of more dire stories and another tweak of the dial increasing the volume of those calling for his head. What purpose can it possibly serve?
How does that help him? Or us? How does that not do more damage to our standing in the game? It is an absolutely crazy state of affairs.
Another possibility is that there are issues regarding his pay-off to be negotiated. All well and good, but wouldn’t it have been better all round to tell the press that talks were ongoing and that the fans would be told when there was something definite to say?
Or perhaps we’re sounding out other candidates; it is hard to think of a worse scenario for doing that than with the largest shareholder swaggering in the media and slamming the supporters and saying he won’t give in to them.
The headlines today have made the task of finding Lennon’s eventual replacement a thousand times more difficult, and increased the likelihood of us being stuck with an interim, internal, appointment, which will inflame the fans further, creating yet more uncertainty and without doubt, sparking the next conflagration.
Remember in days to come that this is what the board chose today.
These are the stories that the club itself put out there.
Whatever the reasons are for the delay, and there could be perfectly good and valid ones, this needless, reckless, macho posturing is the line they fed their media pals.
It is the sort of the thing the loonies across the city would have done.
I cannot think of a single thing that damns them more than to be compared with that basket-case board. I never thought I’d write anything like it, but that’s where we are, at 7:00pm on 30 November 2020, as this crisis gets set to spill over into another day.