If Celtic released their “open letter” to fans yesterday in some expectation that it was going to calm fears and ease the tensions then they badly misjudged the situation we have here, and it’s not for the first time this season.
It went down, in some places, like a lead weight.
There is a horrible truth that this board needs to reconcile itself to; fans aren’t buying this nonsense of theirs any longer. Fans don’t want to hear talk of trust and prattle about ambition.
The club ceased to be taken seriously on those fronts after the Shower Scene From Hampden, and especially Lawwell’s unprofessional statement to the press where he talked about sticking CV’s in a drawer as if he was an Ibrox director dealing with an unpaid bill.
Talk is cheap, and from this board especially.
Frankly, we’ve heard it all before. The last “update” was not too different to this; it was months ago. If there’s been progress none of us has seen it. If there has been forward momentum it is not evident.
The fans will not take this board on faith, not anymore.
Only action will satisfy people. Only by getting the job done will they convince fans that they know what they are doing … and because they have been silent all this time they’ve created expectation over Howe and a top drawer director of football, and so failure to deliver on either front will be seen as another disaster.
Yesterday’s statement was ridiculous.
These people genuinely believe that they can get by on this, and that they can have some open meetings, tell folk nothing and then send out season ticket renewal forms. Some of the fan reps might well tell Lawwell what he wants to hear sitting around the table with the tea and biscuits but the reality will be different.
The reality is reflected on dozens of blogs and in thousands of fan comments on forums and social media, and I know the anger is just as real amongst people who’ve never posted on Twitter in their lives.
There has never been a more complete break in trust between the fans and the club, and there is no way of fixing it with anything other than a major demonstration of intent.
This club has to get these appointments over the line and quickly.
They cannot, they must not, insult fans by asking fans for money until the fans know what they are buying. That would be disgraceful considering the enormous show of support last season, which was rewarded with sneering contempt.
Because of that sneering contempt, I think it’s highly unlikely that the club is going to be fully trusted again until certain people are no longer in the building. Dominic McKay can go a long way towards restoring trust, but only within an entirely new setup.
This crisis isn’t going away with talk. It’s not going away with wishy-washy sentimentality and appeals to the same.
Fans will not believe until they are given something to believe in, and an unsigned letter asking us to wait a little longer is an insult after the season we’ve had. This club really needs to do better, far better, than this.