There is a fortnight to go before the season ticket forms go out.
Before that happens there has to be some element of the feel-good factor returned to Celtic. That’s why the coming week represents the optimal time for our club to appoint its next manager.
Anything short of that will be dereliction of duty on a grand scale.
Anything short of us getting the man we want will have a devastating impact on what sales numbers we can expect.
The country has just entered a new critical phase in the war against the bug; the spread of the so called “Indian variant” has raised concerns about plans to have a small number of supporters at the cup final and even casts doubt over supporter at the Euros with Euro online betting set to come to the fore.
Let’s be honest; with ten in a row no longer available as a selling point – which would have been the case either way next season – and fans still not guaranteed into grounds, and that on top of the club’s brazenly arrogant position on the “extra value” promise from last season which has not been kept, selling the full allocation was an uphill battle anyway.
But the club could at least have gotten its business done in a timely fashion instead of offering the impression that we are a clueless organisation run by people you wouldn’t trust to organise a picnic in the park.
The very real impression that we are a club in evolving chaos mean that this is exactly the wrong time to be sending out those forms, and the word back from fan meetings is that the club’s arrogant and dismissive attitude towards the season just past and its impact, as well as the refusal to engage on the added value issue, makes major sales look very difficult indeed.
The club will attempt some form of blackmail, by pointing out that the manager’s recruitment plans will be affected by a downturn in sales; this hardly needs to be pointed out to the people who have funded this club for decades and are all too aware of what it means to refuse to buy season tickets until we’re treated with a little more respect.
But I think it’s worth pointing out that at Ibrox the directors would simply put their hands deeper into their own pockets and make sure the manager got what was required; it has always been too much to expect that our own directors would ever do such a thing.
Desmond sits on a fortune in the billions; I bet it’s never even dawned on him to offer the season ticket holders a £200 reduction on his tab; it would cost him a fraction over £10 million and his tax lawyers could write the whole sum off so that he never even missed it.
I guess we’d be “entitled” even to ask.
And no, I’m not suggesting that he does it, merely pointing out that our directors know how to take from the club but it’s just not clear what they actually contribute to it. Instead of showing some understanding towards the supporters the clear signs are that they will attempt to hit us over the head with a hammer instead.
I don’t think it will do any good.
If they send those forms out and we don’t have a manager, they are going to find out how angry the supporters are.
If they appoint a guy first thing on Monday, they have a short window in which to build some momentum towards the opening day of the renewals.
If they don’t, then they might as well close the upper tiers for the season, and perhaps even some of the lower ones as well.
That’s how serious this is.