Well, it didn’t take long for the announcement that Celtic will have 18,500 fans at the game at the weekend to send the Crazy Peepul into a tailspin. We should have expected it, I guess. Indeed, most of us probably did.
It would have been harder to imagine them not going nuts.
The problem – as they see it – is that they’ll be allowed just 8000 into the “glamour game” with Real Madrid reserves at the weekend, and 17,000 for their first home game of the season against Livingston.
In contrast, Celtic will have nearly 25,000 in the ground for our first league match when it is played against Dundee.
And they are wailing about the unfairness of it, although the differing timeframes and the fact that Celtic has been working on this stuff far longer than them, and we have a bigger stadium to boot, are clearly factored into the thinking.
We just played a Champions League match with 9000 fans in the ground.
Their friendly at the weekend will have 8000.
We are not complaining. We got on with it.
The thing is, we took this seriously right from the start and have been in consultations with the Scottish Government all the way through the crisis. We helped the SFA devise the protocols which now apply at every club.
We accepted a paltry 2000 at the recent friendly, not to mention that 9000 crowd for a critical fixture last night … all to test the systems and see they worked.
That’s what we were doing when their directors were demanding that the league be completed in front of full houses. That’s what we were doing when they were using the crisis to secure any narrow advantage they could, even if it only existed in their own minds.
Throughout all of this, Celtic has been a model of professionalism, putting public safety above each and every other consideration.
We weren’t the club who let a B match go ahead without having back verified test results. One of our players committed a breach and was crucified in the media.
Their players were responsible for two lapses that we know about involving groups of footballers, not to mention the encouragement they seemed to give their own supporters to violate public health and safety protocols at the end of the last campaign.
If it looks like we’re coming out slightly ahead here it’s because we’ve earned the trust of the authorities.
Frankly, I’m amazed that after George Square that the council was willing to greenlight their support returning to their stadium at all.
On this one, nobody in Scotland wants to hear their incessant whinging.