Two Celtic fan groups used yesterday’s game to protest about the kick off time, unfurling banners which targeted UEFA over the decision to play the match on a Tuesday afternoon.
Looking around the ground it was obvious that it hadn’t affected the attendance much, but the decision was ridiculous just the same and fans should not be expected to take days off work and change their schedules to accommodate such barmy decision making by the European governing body.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a nice novelty element to attending a game at three thirty on a Tuesday afternoon, but then I was able to bring my work to the game with me and enjoy the match. That is a luxury not afforded everyone and for some it was a real sacrifice to attend that one yesterday, and others who would otherwise have been there weren’t able to attend at all.
The banners are likely to get us into a wee bit of bother, as happened the last time we told UEFA what they could do on a banner.
The European body doesn’t like hearing its wrong any more than the domestic associations do even when it is a stone cold fact.
Fifty thousand fans were in attendance yesterday so doubtless there are some at UEFA who will think that vindicates them and that after all it was no big deal but I know a half dozen guys who used annual leave days and others who were going straight from the game into night shifts because they organised their dates around Thursday evening fixtures.
UEFA’s failure to properly work this out has cost a lot of our fans and it’s cost the club many thousands of tickets for this encounter which remained unsold in spite of the excellent numbers we were able to bring to the ground.
That the club will probably be fined for this obviously will sting even more.
It will also stink to high heavens.
It’s coming anyway and we should brace ourselves for it, but the fans who unveiled those banners were right to have their say and they were right to remind UEFA who the important people really are; the supporters, and in this case it will be the first time they’ve been considered at all.