Yesterday we had a national newspaper go after our captain when he had been the victim of numerous vicious challenges on the pitch and had not responded negatively to one of them. The newspaper attacked Brown for responding afterwards, at full time, when he was reacting to an entire afternoon of provocation.
It is the latest in a long line of attacks from that outlet.
Yesterday the national broadcaster decided our achievement in a national cup final didn’t even merit a mention on the evening news.
The same outlet employs a bitter ex-pro who couldn’t even disguise his frustration at the weekend.
Today we found out that the SFA is not going to take action against Steven Naismith, who’s elbows and stamps on our captain will result in no sanction and effectively declares that it’s open season on our footballers.
This comes after a vicious challenge from a Motherwell player earlier in the campaign received a yellow when it was clearly a straight red.
It is tempting to suggest that there is nothing we could have done about these things; we know what the atmosphere in Scotland is like against us and we know what our club has dealt with throughout its history. It would be easy to pretend we are helpless.
But in fact, we didn’t put up with some of this stuff for years because we reacted against it. John Reid’s infamous statement that we would no longer sit “at the back of the bus” was, to many of us, a transformative switch in attitudes that empowered us to go on the offensive and fight back on the club’s behalf.
The club itself didn’t take stuff lying down.
Whatever you might think of Reid –as a former Labour member who left over Iraq I have very strong views on everyone who was part of that sham – he was the sort of chairman who aggressively fought our corner. Which is more than you can say about the gutless wonder who currently inhabits the role, a guy so anonymous nobody even called for his head last month.
The club’s policy is not reactive; it is not to react at all. It makes us look weak, which makes us vulnerable.
The media comes after us with impunity. It makes up stories about our players and stirs up trouble behind the scenes. If you believe the CEO some of them invented quotes from senior Celtic directors calling our supporters “entitled”.
Yet we do nothing. We let these same outlets sit in our press room.
Our players are kicked all over the pitch, and we allow this because we won’t question referees or the governing body that protects them. Even when incidents are captured in all their gory majesty by the TV cameras we stay silent and let “due process” proceed … and then we sit in mute silence when it doesn’t proceed at all.
And our board tells shareholders at the AGM that it is satisfied with the way the game here is run.
It talks about changes which have been made, none of which is ever named or publicised.
We all know the ones which haven’t been made – this site and others write about them constantly. But changes we’ve actually seen go through? Come on Celtic, name what they are. Tell us how things are better or even different than they were in 2012?
To many of us, nothing is different; a financially doped club at Ibrox is breezing around at the top of the league. They even pretend to have the same name and they talk about how they are “going for 55” when their entire existence spans eight years.
If we won’t even openly challenge that brazen fiction, what chance do we fans have of seeing the club take on some of these other issues? The whole thing makes us look spineless and that’s dangerous because we are surrounded by enemies who smell weakness on us and will react to it accordingly.
The people responsible for our club leave us exposed.
Celtic needs to stop cowering in the corner.
This is a singularly bad season to leave so many things unsaid and undone.
There was never any doubt that all of our enemies were going to come after us this season, and our board has left us woefully unprepared for that onslaught. In any other season it would be bad enough, but everything is on the line here.
When do our so-called leaders stop cowering in the corner?
When it’s too late to effect the outcome of this campaign?
When it’s all crumbling to dust around us?
It is time they got busy defending us. And the first and best way to do that is to go on the attack.
God knows, it’s not like they’ll find it hard to find avenues to open up our offensive.