Celtic Gets On With Things As Scottish Football Descends Towards Anarchy.

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I’ve spent much of the last fortnight ill, and the last week has been a particular joy.

In that time, the transfer window has shut and Celtic’s squad shape is now clear to us all.

The new players have been integrating themselves.

The manager has had time to work on his tactical plans.

The injured stars are a step closer to fitness.

Work goes on behind the scenes.

It has been a good week for Celtic, which is odd considering the result in our last match. But the closing of the transfer window felt like the end of a dark chapter. It has given the manager new tools to work with and a new-found purpose and unity to the squad.

A lot of ghosts have been laid to rest, and a lot of stupid assumptions with them, the most obvious of which was that the Celtic fans would “turn on” Ange if he didn’t get a result across the city. Fans won’t accept a title race where we don’t put up a fight, but we can tell already that tangible progress has been made and on another day we’d have taken the points.

Things at Celtic are calmer and more peaceful than they have been in a long time. The club seems to be heading in the right direction. Changes are afoot at every level in the structure. We’ll find out soon enough what that means for the overall strategy.

Yet even as we grow and develop again, we are surrounded by chaos. Scottish football continues to be mired in controversy and one club continues to be at the centre of shameful events as the conduct of a large section of its fan base comes under scrutiny.

That club remains at war with the league over sponsorships.

It remains a war with the media, a war that has escalated in the last 24 hours in stunning ways, ways which show their fan-base in the very worst possible light.

How horrific must our game must look to outsiders?

None of this is Celtic’s fault, but we exist in this depressingly negative environment amidst all this darkness and lunacy, and it will continue to cast a shadow on us as long as it goes on.

There are things we can do – must do – as a club in recognition of that.

First, we have to keep on hammering the message home that we are not “one half” of anything.

We must stand on our own and make it abundantly clear that this is how we see ourselves and that we want nothing to do with the toxic rivalry so many in Scottish football want to lock us into. It does us nothing but harm and it is despised by the fans.

Secondly, we have to get it right on the pitch and make ourselves the pre-eminent force in the game, because that reveals our rivals in their proper light; an over-blown hype machine funded by debts.

This is important in taking the third step.

Thirdly, we have to take the lead in bringing real reform to this sport and that might mean embracing ideas we don’t actually like or support at the moment; not only domestic financial fair play and fit and proper person tests which have some teeth but perhaps – and a year ago I wouldn’t have believed I’d be writing this – maybe even some kind of strict liability.

You know, we have nothing to fear from any of these changes.

Indeed, we have much to gain from embracing them and seeing them pushed through.

The game here is a mess because certain things have been allowed to go on too long.

Our club doesn’t have the issues that others do, but we continue to be dragged into the morass … that has to end.

Dominic McKay has a lot to do right now, but he must look at the swirling mess around us and know that our association with all of this – however much we might dismiss it – is causing us problems and concerns.

It is time to take reform seriously.

In the meantime, the manager and the players are working hard to do their bit; taking back our title and giving the fans something to cheer for.

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  • Justshatered says:

    It all really depends if the ghost of Peter Lawell is still thire dragging all his and their baggage with him.
    We also need rid of our Chairman who’s quicker to criticise Celtic fans than he is to defend the club.

  • Ryan Ellis says:

    Strict liability will only be applied to us though. The mob across the city will, as is usual, get away with murder and we’ll be hammered at every available opportunity. Better to wait for them to go breasts north than tie us in to something that can be used against us. No?

  • Michael dore says:

    Pleased to be kept up to date with everything that’s going on at celtic. I’ve been a supporter since the early fifties mon the hoops

  • SSMPM says:

    The theme of your article is absolutely correct James. I’m not sure however what outsiders of any significance or influence are looking in at with regards to our game, our society. Viewing the outburst of disgust in the British national media/press after the England/Hungary game, not forgetting the Kamara racism, then comparing that to the continuous ongoing violent abuse in Scotland from one section of people attached to the rankers there appears to be considerable silence and indeed a lack of interest. The major media/press outlets barely mention it as its not compatible with their nationalist alliance with the rankers and if you look at the post Kyogo shame the rankers have received nothing but positivity for their actions in that matter, totally masking the noises from their nationalist racist fanatics.
    You are right though we are not part of or associated with the rankers but that is not loudly advertised or promoted enough by our board, our our representatives. They are a big part of the problem here. in interviews with the media/press Celtic representatives should be continually dispelling this connection at every opportunity and promoting ourselves more vociferously as one club 1888. HH

  • Brian says:

    Exactly as said above. I tire of hearing how we are not part of the old firm, the reason rangers are still here as the rangers international football club is because our club wanted them in some shape or form. That is mr. Lawwells legacy he saved them in one way or another and our board are just as guilty

  • Gaius Gracchus says:

    Unfortunately the light hearted support and friendship offered to Catholic Utd through CCV signing couldn’t be left alone by them. Sad that they have found such willing naive accomplices with Catholic Utd neighbours White Ensign. Like the appropriation of Orange kits in ‘tribute’ to their Dutch players, this is being played out as banter when we all know how sinister the motivations are. I feel sad that we have inadvertently dragged a couple of wee clubs into their pot of hate.

  • Seosamh says:

    What offensive banners?

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