Outside of the Parkhead bubble we hear so much about, you would find it difficult to find anyone, any person at all, who thought the Dubai trip was something our club should have done, or that it should be trying to defend.
Outside the bubble most people can see this clearly for the utter folly that it was, and they are cognisant of the insult to the public as well.
Inside the bubble, there is no such wisdom.
Not even now, when the trip has blown up in our faces, when governing bodies, politicians, public organisations, former players and fans are torching the club with criticism. Not even after the trip has cost us, for last night and Saturday, 14 players, the manager, the assistant manager and two points (so far) in the league.
The club feels it has to defend itself; I understand that, up to a point. It’s a very human reaction to a crisis like this. It’s also the wrong reaction.
This is just another version of the machismo strategy that has the board clinging onto the manager when it’s evident what has to be done. It’s plainly self-defeating.
Over the last 24 hours, David Turnbull, Gavin Strachan and Scott Brown have all tried variations of the theme. But there is no contrition. No apparent realisation that it was just wrong to take the trip.
Indeed, some of the comments out of Celtic Park have simply made matters worse and poured fuel onto the fire. It’s as if they just aren’t hearing the rest of us.
Gavin Strachan defended taking Jullien on the trip saying that it was important that the medical team worked with him during the break.
The break lasted less than a week, much of it on the plane.
Who really believes it was in Jullien’s best interests – medically – for him to be treated in Dubai? That’s an explanation that doesn’t even attempt to engage with reality, it’s an insult to our collective intelligence.
“I can understand the frustration from everybody, because we end up playing with a weaker team tonight, but that could have happened if we were training at home as well,” Gavin Strachan said, as if he has no idea that our concerns go far beyond the positive case that it resulted in.
There are other issues around that trip, perhaps even bigger issues.
How can people inside Celtic Park still not be getting this?
If anything, Scott Brown’s comments were even worse; I read these this morning in utter disbelief. Utter disbelief.
“We got the okay from the government and we made sure we followed the guidelines from there. We went out and worked hard on training – that’s what the whole thing was for us. People don’t see our training daily or see how hard we worked. Sometimes you’re allowed to sit on the sunbeds and have some down-time as well.”
Except, no, actually … because nobody is allowed to just sit on the sunbeds and have some downtime right now, unless they do it in a protective bubble in their own back garden.
What part of this are people inside Parkhead not understanding?
The average working Joe or Joanne – the people who pay Brown’s wages – don’t have the luxury of being able to get on a plane to sunnier climates. We all work hard. We all graft every day. We would all like to be able to sit by the pool and sip a beer at the end of it … but we’re not able to. None of us.
Which apparently people inside our club haven’t twigged yet.
Brown insults millions of people with those remarks, people who aren’t involved in elite sports, one of the most cosseted and protected industries in the world.
Honestly, I’ve just about had it with the people inside Celtic, all of them, everyone who thinks this was okay, everyone who thinks that because we got “permission” that it was okay to do this.
They really don’t get it, none of them do.
These guys are awfully damned lucky they don’t have to appear in front of supporters right now.
Every word that comes out of our club at the moment makes me wince.
I wish to God this season were already over.