In late November, I wrote an article in which I said that it was time the Celtic fan organisations stood up to be counted and showed some leadership.
What a let-down some of them continue to be.
Take the Association and Affiliation for example; as the biggest of the organised fan groups they ought to have real influence, yet what they do have appears to have been squandered over the course of this car-crash campaign by what from the outside looks like a vow of silence.
The standard excuse from their Executives is that that it’s up to the members to tell them they want change; it begs the question just what their own roles are actually for.
The one organisation which bucks the trend is The Celtic Trust, who have long been more vocal and radical than their two counterparts.
They spoke out on the Living Wage for staff.
They spoke up for the fans when the dreadful Offensive Behaviour Act was on the statute books.
They have long had concerns about the governance of the club.
Now, finally, they are putting together a plan and they have become the rallying standard for the whole of the support. Furthermore, they are asking the right people the right questions. They know that the rot has set in at the very top of the house.
Too many people have been inside Parkhead way too long.
The Trust believes it’s time for big changes.
The Trust has won support for their campaign from most of the blogs and the podcasts. The Green Brigade has gotten behind them. They are building a platform from which they can really start to put the pressure on.
They are also helped in that they have some outstanding individuals in their ranks such as Jeanette Findlay and David Low.
Low is particularly interesting as he goes a long way back and was one of the architects of Fergus’ 1994 takeover of the club. He is active on social media, responsive to the supporters and a critic of the SFA and the lack of reform there.
He is the President of the Trust.
This is a potential club chairman here, if ever it comes to that, although I’m not sure it’s a position he would particularly want. He certainly has the experience and the skill-set to do it very effectively, and would certainly be an excellent board member.
What I’m trying to say is that this is not somebody the Celtic directors can simply ignore and hope he goes away. Low is the real deal, a serious professional with a CV to match any of them.
He knows his stuff and has already brought down one board.
The events of 2012 made many of us take a sudden, and now permanent, interest in how the game is run and how it is covered by the media. The sport itself might not have undergone reforms but it radicalised the Celtic support.
I don’t think the Celtic board is as yet aware of how completely it has alienated the support and what the consequences of the last few months are going to be. For some, this is a rude awakening. For others it has put flesh on the bones of concerns that have been swirling around our heads a while in spite of all the success we’ve enjoyed.
The departure of the manager – when they finally muster up the courage to do what has to be done there – is nowhere near enough. This whole club needs upending and shaken out of its long slumber.
We made one outstanding decision in the last ten years – the hiring of Brendan Rodgers. He raised the standards so much that it took more than a year for us to fall from them even after he’d left and taken his whole backroom team with him.
That single moment of vision aside, our club has let us down time and time again when it has mattered most.
Lawwell can’t keep his nose out of areas which are none of his concern.
Reforms which were necessary haven’t been pursued.
Issues which should have been tackled were covered up with a blanket and left to rot.
This year, all the chickens are coming home to roost.
This campaign has revealed our board as out of touch and without a clue.
There is no going back whilst some of those responsible for this are at Celtic Park. Too many of the fans recognise this crisis as having been made inside our own walls.
There will be no return to what came before; the next time we have something approaching “normal” at Celtic a lot of water will have flowed under the bridge.
At long last, we’re in a second period of Celts For Change.