The Celtic Supporters Association has sent out an email to its member branches today in which the executive committee makes the quite incredible claim that it has only received one communication expressing displeasure at the current state of the club.
Who knows if this is true or not; I know at least one supporters bus whose members have complained and furthermore requested an emergency general meeting.
Still, if the Association is playing it straight then it does reveal a shocking atmosphere of apathy amongst the fans, which in many ways should be more worrying to the club than all the protests and banners are.
This is the moment when you are looking for people to lead.
The Trust has good leaders and has already started digging trenches.
They have opened lines of engagement with their members, and they didn’t need to have their backs put against the wall.
They realise that the board and the fans are now pursuing divergent agendas and, furthermore, that damage has been done to the fundamental relationship between the fans and the club that cannot simply be undone.
There need to be changes at Celtic Park, and not just in the manager’s office.
The Association and the Affiliation leaderships are putting the onus onto their members.
That may well be constitutionally sound, but some might also call it a dereliction of duty. It reminds me a lot of the quote often attributed to the French revolutionary Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin; “There go my people, I must follow them as I am their leader.”
In the absence of them blazing the trail, it will be left to the members to decide whether or not the time has come to take control of the agenda. These are democratic organisations, and if the membership speaks then the Executive committees have to listen.
Individual buses, individuals on those buses, have to start grabbing this by the balls.
There are two ways that this can spin out, folks; we can leave it to the guys protesting outside the grounds and have that expression of fan anger tainted and spun against them by the handful who aren’t capable of rational behaviour – such as the object throwers and the authors of last night’s grotesque “shoot the board” banner – or the fan groups can come to the fore at this moment of great crisis and give the anger a focus and a structure and a coherence which it presently lacks.
Right now we’re all just individual voices shouting over the top of each other … and believe me, that’s the way Lawwell, Desmond and Lennon want it to stay.
If the Association, the Affiliation and the Trust are all conveying the same message – that it’s time for change, the kind that lasts – then I have no doubt that change would come in very short order.
Otherwise I really do suspect that this is going to end badly, anarchically, in something that our club will be mightily ashamed of in times to come.
Fans are angry, and that anger needs to be properly, and constructively, channelled.
The Trust has come to the same conclusion and stepped up to the plate.
It is high time that their lead inspired others, whether in executive positions or not, to do the same.