In many a Celtic fan’s heart there is a shard of cold cynicism in relation to our club. People inside Parkhead still have no idea just how brightly and fiercely the anger of the last 12 months still burns.
They can blithely assume that high season ticket sales confer some kind of passing grade on them, and that supporters will forever be “loyal” no matter how badly they are treated, but they are entirely wrong on both of those counts.
We are entering a critical period. At the helm of the club are two men who are new in their roles.
They have been left a hell of a mess by their predecessors. Lawwell left these two guys such wreckage that I haven’t even been able to write a review of his time at the club because if I did it now it would still be toxified by the current shambles.
To be honest, I think the state he left us in will be what he’s remembered for anyway, because it has its roots deep in the past and in decisions he was responsible for.
The state we’re in at the moment is awful beyond words, but it does not give those currently at the club a free pass. Reports today that we’re back in for Ben Davies, on loan, impress nobody.
Now this could be paper talk, and indeed I rather suspect that it is, because anyone who thinks it would be acceptable for us to go out and sign a one-year loan deal for a guy who hasn’t played in months because he was scouted under the last regime is nuts. We need players who are fit and ready to come into the team right now, our own players at that.
Celtic fans want to see signings who clearly represent a break from whatever tired nonsense was going on last year.
We want to know that the manager is getting his own people and not the cast-offs from Project Lennon. Davies on loan would not only be ridiculous considering that he’s nowhere near fit and the game is in eleven days, but it would do nothing to dispel the fears many have that the boss is only a placeman for decisions made above his head.
Celtic cannot afford even the appearance of that. Davies makes sense only in that he’d be available without quarantine. But that aside, I cannot see that it would be anything other than a backwards step which the fans would be entirely underwhelmed by.
Serious money needs to be spent here. We’ve brought in a manager from an unfashionable league, without the requisite experience to convince us that he’s ready for this level.
The problem when a club does that it is that it usually needs to overspend in order to cover for his lack of experience and other weaknesses. It’s the price you pay for a left-field appointment.
But to make an appointment like this and then hope the guy can do it on the cheap … that’s dereliction of duty on a grander scale than even this board seems capable of and the memory of that will last a long time. The club has benefited from the two men at the top being newly in post. Fans want to give these two the chance to see what they can do.
Nobody should think that our patience is infinite though, or that future failures will be forgiven if they are rooted in the same old policies and processes that got us here.
If this guy is allowed to go into this game in eleven days with the squad we have right now, then McKay’s own honeymoon is well and truly over and the heat will be turned up under his feet.
Promises have been made. The people who made them had better deliver, starting with the next six days.
They are massive for all involved. I cannot overstate that.