“We said we’d all go down together …” – Billy Joel.
In making my list of the Guilty at Celtic, I’ve gone through Lawwell, Desmond and Lennon.
There is no question that each of them carries a huge share of the responsibility.
But so too do the players, and they cannot – they must not – be allowed to think they will escape an historic judgement over this because some of them deserve to be slated for it.
There are some in this team who were part of the greatest run of success in the recent history of the club. They should have been remembered for that. They made so much history. They won so many honours.
They were supposed to grab the next rung on the ladder, and pull themselves up and into immortality.
They didn’t do it.
The club at Ibrox has had first rate form in this league season.
Some of that is down to us failing to put them under pressure, but even so it’s been impressive.
Had we simply lost to a team which set its own standards, that would be one thing, something we could live with.
There wouldn’t have been this inquest and all this anger.
There wouldn’t have been so many recriminations.
But we watched a team that chucked it.
A team filled with players who had one eye on the exit door.
A team which opted to lie down and die rather than stand up and fight.
They went down meekly, like cowards and non-triers.
We, the fans, didn’t deserve that.
These people forgot, lost in their petty self-indulgences, that they carried the hopes of all of us.
What they did was heaped humiliation on the support. That’s the disgrace here.
That’s where their attitudes and lack of concern for their own reputations becomes truly offensive.
They are fully entitled to shred their own records out of whatever pique or frustration was eating at them, but they had no right to trash our dreams whilst they were at it.
They owed us professionalism at the very least and commitment if they were feeling generous. They gave us neither and I got so sick of hearing them promise to do better and swear they would turn it around only to turn in the most insipid displays.
They got paid, so how many of them really cared about us?
At lot of them showed us how little they even thought about those outside their own bubble. I’ve heard for years that players don’t play for fans but themselves and each other; this is the most blatant evidence of that I’ve ever seen in a Celtic side.
Immortality was there for the taken, they’ve opted for infamy instead; so be it.
But they better realise what it means.
Some of them, I don’t want to darken the doorstep of Celtic Park ever again. I know some of them are hurting, like Callum McGregor, but some of them won’t even give us a backward glance as they head for pastures new, and we’ll keep it in mind.
We know who the truly guilty amongst the collective are, but this is a team game and it’s clear that many of them betrayed that principle as well. No matter.
You either succeed as one unit or you fail as one unit, there is no middle ground for teams who are half in and half out.
To be disunited, to be a house divided, is to fail … and their inability to sort their shit out and come together and fight as part of a single entity is the worst failure of all.
They should be ashamed of themselves and their performances in this campaign.
Every time they look at their medals they will all be haunted by the knowledge that one more would have made the set and they couldn’t’ get themselves up for it.
What a disgraceful way for them to finish what should have been a march to triumph.