Last month, when all and sundry – and myself included – were slamming the club for not speaking to the supporters, I heard that in fact this was not the case and I wrote about it.
That story was confirmed today when a Celtic fan meeting was told that, in fact, the Association did indeed have five or more meetings with Celtic during the period where we all believed that there was no communication happening at all.
Furthermore, the Association and other fan groups appear to have gotten together and taken a decision, at the executive level, not to communicate the results of these meetings with their own members because – wait for it – the details were likely to appear online.
Their specific “concern” seems to have been that blogs like this one would write about it.
In short, they were concerned that the wider Celtic fan community might have been kept informed about what discussions were taking place.
We’re all entitled to ask what in the Hell these folk were playing at.
They claim that the discussions yielded no major information and so their decision not to inform us is defended on the basis that there was nothing to inform us about, but this seems incredible considering what was going on at the time.
Five separate meetings took place; that’s a lot of meetings to have in which nothing of note was being said.
For one thing, whilst these meetings were going on, unreported, the club was clearly “consulting” with these groups over the season ticket launch and the “added value” issues, some of which were the focus of a campaign from The Trust … who, in contrast to these other groups, have been entirely open and transparent about everything they’ve done and are doing.
It’s not good enough by a long way.
Part of the reason why it isn’t good enough is that all through our winter and spring crisis, sites like this fumed over a lack of communication between the club and the fans.
It’s pretty clear that people were talking to the fan representatives the whole time, and so senior club officials are being maligned over something that isn’t their fault and a schism was allowed to open up between the club and the fans over a complete non-issue.
I am astounded that anyone could have believed it was in the best interests of Celtic itself for these matters not to be known.
I cannot fathom how anyone could have thought that it was right for fans to believe the club was closing its doors to them when in fact those doors were open the whole time.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s indefensible.
The very knowledge that meetings were taking place at all would have relieved a lot of the pressures that people inside Celtic have felt in the past few months, because supporters would have known that their concerns were being heard rather than simply ignored.
The perception that this club has been ignoring the supporters has grown to such a level that it has probably affected season ticket sales.
At a time when Dominic McKay and others inside Parkhead are working tirelessly to improve the level of communications between the club and the fan-base it is almost beyond belief that some of the organisations which exist to represent the interests of fans have been having cosy chats with people inside Parkhead this whole time … and they kept it a secret.
I don’t know who’s interests were being served here, but they weren’t Celtic’s and they weren’t those of the ordinary supporters who were – and are – entitled to know what discussions were being had with our club, in their name.