Today, Dominic McKay thanked the large numbers of Celtic fans who have renewed their season tickets just a day after the club sent a message out asking those fans on the waiting list to make sure that their details were up to date. It’s clear that the club is struggling to reach the kinds of figures for season ticket sales that they’d have wanted to.
What isn’t clear is whether or not they have fully understood what that means. It isn’t a vote of confidence, that’s for sure. Inside the boardroom some folk will be kidding themselves on that this isn’t necessarily down to the lamentable way they’ve run things, but those with an ounce of self-awareness will understand it pretty well.
The first thing they need to realise is that there are many tens of thousands of fans who have renewed their tickets with a great deal of resentment and anger.
They see supporting the team as different from supporting the board. If they were face to face with the directors today, I think those directors would come to understand pretty quickly the depth of feeling against them now.
These people are very lucky that there have been no fans inside the stadiums for the last 12 months, or they’d know this already and the truth of it would have seared them to their souls.
They will have to face that when they take their seats in the midst of the supporters when circumstances permit. These people will never again be able to bask in the warm glow of any benefit of the doubt. We all know what they are about.
Desmond sits in Ireland and he doubtless thinks he has our respect; he will be known, forevermore, as the guy who drove the club to the brink of the greatest crisis since the Whites and Kelly’s were in charge. I don’t think the wrong word to use here is loathed; it sums up how most of our fans feel about him, whether they’ve bought season tickets or not.
Lawwell at least knew the game was up, and he got out before he had to face raging supporters who would have made it clear that they held him accountable above all the rest. I have thought Lawwell was a big problem at Celtic Park for many years, but there is a part of me that has some admiration for his realising the gig is up and stepping off as a result of that.
Bankier ought to be ashamed and not so much because of the huge role he played in all this but because of the perception that we wouldn’t know the difference if he’d stuck to selling whiskey. He has been a thoroughly wretched chairman because he has been largely an absent one. It is impossible to imagine him as a key player in all this … and that damns him perhaps even more than if he had been. He is the novelty toy nodding dog of this disaster.
A lot of our fans are voting with their feet this time around, pig sick of the ineptitude and arrogance in our boardroom. Many – and I include myself – are not convinced by the Postecoglou appointment, believing it to be an utter disaster in the making.
Many already think he’s being asked to take on an impossible job made harder by the absence of action to strengthen either the team or his backroom operation.
We kick off our first game in less than 4 weeks and mind-bending incompetence has left us more woefully underprepared than I can ever remember us. Those fans who have bought their tickets already are doing it in spite of this shattered landscape … they understand full well that we’re in a bad spot here and they know who put us here.
The renewals are not a vote of confidence in these people, far from it.
Nor have the fans who have not renewed failed to do so in any great numbers because of external pressures. The global health crisis has been hard on football fans, but football fans have an incredible commitment to their clubs; if many thousands of fans aren’t renewing that means something and it’s something these “custodians” of ours cannot ignore.
The deadline expires the day after tomorrow, at 5pm. I don’t believe that we will get near the numbers we usually do, and if the directors continue to ignore the calls for reform at their level they are provoking the greatest crisis here since the 1990’s.