There is a fantastic book by the author and journalist Michael Lewis – the writer of Moneyball – called The Fifth Risk, and that book is literally about the chances you take when you entrust powerful and important institutions to people who aren’t fit to run them.
Written at the start of the Trump administration, Lewis was especially concerned that cronyism might be putting the hands of vital organisations into the hands of people who could not think strategically, or even sometimes rationally, and who in a major crisis would be completely unable to make good decisions.
Speaking, at length, with people inside three key government agencies, Lewis wrote about the sense of fear, from all their staff, that a crisis would turn into a national disaster.
The book preceded the global health emergency. Everything in that book turned out to be shockingly prophetic. It all went just as you might expect.
Imagine you needed a babysitter for a couple of hours.
Imagine you called all your usual people, all those upon whom you’d normally rely and none could do it.
Every time you crossed a name off, you would know that you were getting nearer to the bottom of the list, the kind of people who under normal circumstances you would never want to be watching your kid.
And after even they have cried off, do you really want to chap the neighbour’s door, ask him to put his devil dog in the room and turn down the dance music and look after the wee one for a spell?
Most people wouldn’t even think about it.
But it’s not like it will definitely end in something going wrong … but it could, it’s not out of the question.
And most folk just wouldn’t take that chance.
Because life doesn’t run smoothly. Even with the best will in the world, things happen, and calm waters give way to stormy weather. That’s why you start at the top of the list and try to get those on whom you can definitely rely.
The question is this; who do you want running things in a crisis?
To a lot of American voters the answer was Donald Trump. To a lot of British voters it was Boris Johnson.
But when you have the ship of state being driven like a clown car that rarely ends well even if things are going well. It’s when things go badly that you find out how dreadful these people really are.
Which brings me to the Celtic board and the AGM.
What we’ve learned in the last 18 months is that this board is dreadful in a crisis. They panic. They take short-term decisions. They act recklessly. They cannot be trusted.
Amongst the hacks, they have a word for how the AGM went.
And yet most Celtic fans who were there, most shareholders who got up a question, most of the online community and many, many others are not in the least bit embarrassed.
I always find it fascinating when the media so completely fails to understand something which is pretty obvious to any thinking person.
This was the first gathering of shareholders and board in the aftermath of a failed season. The fans were always going to have questions, and hard questions at that. The board proved by their own conduct that they have no answers.
It was a shambolic performance from our directors, another one in a long line of them.
Bankier is far and away the most out of touch Celtic chairman of modern times.
Whatever planet he lives on in his own head, there are no Actual People on it because he attended apparently believing that they were owed thanks and praise and being surprised not to get it.
How disengaged from the world do you have to be to think that way? Or that throwing a few easily digested snacks – on refs and on the Scottish government – would suffice to win people over.
I mean, the refereeing “concerns” haven’t manifested themselves in any kind of action or plan for reform, so it’s nothing but empty chatter. They were so convinced that the Scottish Government had treated us more harshly than other people – totally untrue by the way – that they did absolutely nothing about it.
He stank of weakness and that weakness permeates the whole upper echelon of Celtic.
Nothing about his performance was impressive.
At one point he said “Don’t write off Celtic after one bad year in ten.”
Well, it rather depends what your definition of a bad year is … when you’re shutting the upper tier of the ground because fans won’t come that’s a bad year whether you’re winning things or not.
Winning 3Treble should have been a glorious day in our history; I remember it for the hiring of Lennon in a Hampden shower.
So when you have the ability to turn triumph to disaster that’s pretty bad in itself.
And nobody at that meeting was “writing off Celtic” anyway.
And none of us ever have.
We know that our club is the most powerful in the country. Its problems are about leadership, not structure. We were writing off the so-called directors who have jeopardised that strength.
There is a crucial difference which is going to become clear over the course of the next 12 months, because wounds have been opened here which won’t be closed.
We have seen these people tested by fire and found wanting; it’s impossible to forget that and carry on as normal.
It is the responsibility of every fan who cares about our club to make sure it is run by people who are competent, who have a plan and who do more than hope for smooth seas.
The AGM was just the start of it. By the next one, some of these people need to be going or gone.
November 21, 2021 at 5:49 pm
Michael McCartney says:
November 21, 2021 at 7:02 pm
Absolutely disagree with you on the point about our treatment by this Scottish Government. The evidence was there for all to see. It wasn’t the sole reason for last seasons disaster. Time to get the yellow and black specs off James and see what most Celtic fans saw. Players being made to self isolate for he hawNo actions against Sevco for their breeches til the league was won. Need I go on
Twice we put ourselves in a ridiculous place on Covid by our own stupid decisions ie bolingoli in trip to Spain then by NL and PL in decision to go to Dubai. The disaster of last season wasn’t down to the Scottish Government it was down to complete mismanagement at Celtic Park.
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