At the end of the last piece, I said that Celtic would relegate all those season ticket holders who fail to renew for the next campaign to the bottom of the waiting list.
This is something I wanted to explore a little bit further, because I don’t feel that the current system takes into account the circumstances a lot of our fans are currently in.
Many thousands of our fans are not going to renew their tickets for the next campaign.
That will be true whether we fire Lennon or not.
Those supporters have, for the most part, been faithfully following the club for years beyond counting. They will not fail to renew because they don’t have faith. They will fail to renew simply because they don’t have the money.
The club has no way to separate those who can’t renew from those who won’t.
Whilst I sympathise if you’ve been on the waiting list for years to no avail, I don’t believe the club should be penalising anyone who, for whatever reason, chooses not to buy his or her own ticket for the next campaign. The club should recognise that for some this is simply a non-starter and act in a manner that is both appropriate and fair to loyal supporters.
Celtic should abolish the deadline period.
They should announce that current season ticket holders will retain the rights to their seats pending the return of fans to the stadiums.
The should declare, right now, that the club will offer match tickets to all fans on a game-by-game basis in the coming year.
Obviously, those who can afford a season ticket and who wish to renew will be entitled to expect a lower overall price across the course of the campaign, but game-by-game ticketing is fair and just and at this moment in time it will be a godsend for fans who are operating on limited budgets.
The club uses the season ticket waiting list as a weapon; right now they wield that weapon with contempt in the most disgraceful fashion, expecting supporters to spend money they might not have on the basis of vague bullshit. At the best of times this approach would be shocking. In the context of our times it is flatly disgraceful.
You cannot punish people for having no money at this time.
You cannot tell those fans who have spent years and many tens of thousands of pounds that failing to do so again at this most critical time is a crime punishable by banishment.
This club should re-assure season ticket holders right now that they will not be subjected to this draconian measure, not whilst fans aren’t allowed in grounds, not whilst livelihoods are at risk, not whilst this country reels from the economic effects of this disaster which was nobody’s fault.
Offer incentives to get people to renew … that’s fair and appropriate … but this club must not lash out at those who don’t, or can’t, or won’t.
With all this uncertainty in the air, the club has to take all things into account.
Everyone should be contacting their supporters rep, or the SLO, or Celtic itself over this as a matter of urgency, and the club must be quick at issuing a response. It is the least they can do.