You have the keys to the building. You have your seats in the stand. You sit in the restaurant before every game like the lords of all creation, waiting for your opposite numbers at other clubs and those who flutter around you to pay homage.
Yet nothing that surrounds you actually belongs to you.
You have the power to hire and fire, and that’s a power you have used, especially in the past week. You have control of the purse strings and you guard the surplus fiercely. You wear the official ties and your office doors have your nameplates on them. You have prominent parking places, and you come and go with pomp and assuredness even amidst chaos.
Yet Celtic remains bigger than your egos, even accounting for their swollen nature.
You have the smug confidence of those who are untouchable, as if history itself were something within your control. But history is full of examples of those who ruled unchallenged for years only to be brought crashing down. You have the arrogance which comes with complacency and an all-encompassing sense of entitlement, as if this were all yours by right.
Yet any such belief is nothing by an illusion.
You are, as Ange pointed out, transient figures in a long and unbroken history which stretches out behind you and continues to evolve in front of you. The future is already happening, and it will happen whether you are at Celtic Park or not.
Yet you labour under the misapprehension that you can do with Celtic what you will.
But Celtic belongs to those who built it, and that wasn’t done by you and those you share space with in the stands or the restaurants or the boardroom. We are not dependent on the whims of a sugar-daddy. Nor are we some minor club elevated above our station by a gush of temporary TV money.
Yet you treat us with contempt, as if you don’t understand this.
But Celtic belongs to the people who buy tickets every week, who fund the transfer pot and your own remuneration. When you look around you – and I urge that you do – you may be under the mistaken belief that because you currently have “control” of some shares or the “confidence” of those who do that Celtic depends on you.
Yet the people Celtic depends on are those you treat with such disdain.
So be aware, if you weren’t already, and that I feel we have to remind you is not a good sign. You are merely custodians. You are not special. The club should come before everything, but too often you seem to forget that and act on your own whim.
Yet Celtic is not yours.
Celtic belongs to us.