There are times when you wonder to yourself;
“Are the people inside Celtic arrogant, incompetent or just colossally stupid? Is their disdain for us simply tin-eared ignorance or contempt?”
This is one of those occasions, and it really does blow your mind.
Ange Postecoglou’s return to Australia with Celtic should have been a celebration of the man and his achievements both at our club and in the wider game.
It should have been an occasion for allowing all the strands of this Family to commemorate him on his home soil.
The whole trip over there should have been a triumph for Celtic, particularly as there’s a chance that he returns as a title winning – maybe even treble winning – manager. The whole trip should have been built around warmth and friendliness and should have been a magnificent showcase for him and for our club and the relationship between the two.
This was a scenario with absolutely no negative connotations or downside.
And it’s in ashes because people inside our club actually decided that his victory tour was the moment to do something that the support has been vocally opposed to for years.
What in God’s name goes on inside Celtic Park?
Think of the kind of meeting that must have taken place to come up with this.
The manager is one of the most beloved figures in Australia. Our club’s profile over there has never been higher. The man is returning there in triumph, quite possibly as a treble winning boss.
What an occasion for a celebration of everything good about us.
Now think for a minute what must have happened inside the club.
Think for a minute of the type of discussion that must have taken place for us to get here.
First, the decision to turn Ange’s home-coming into a story about playing the Ibrox club abroad instead.
Even if this wasn’t a toxic idea to almost all of our fans, the club has voluntarily given up all the headlines which would have been about him and Celtic and all he’s achieved and our increased profile in Australia and made them all about one game.
So instead of promoting Ange and Celtic, the entire focus is now about a football match against an apparent “rival”.
Which gives them a share of the headlines of course.
Even if you strip aside all the myriad problems which go with playing Sevco anywhere in the world outside of a mandated fixture, you have to marvel at people inside Celtic who have allowed Ange’s Australian home-coming to be hijacked by Ibrox.
Round of applause for the geniuses who approved that.
Big hand for the stupidest people on Planet Football, and that’s the generous interpretation.
Folk who are either too dumb to spot what they’ve done or too cynical to care.
And of course, you can’t strip all the baggage out of this either, and there is a ton of it.
As incredible as it seems to me, someone at Celtic thought that the occasion of Ange’s Australian triumph tour was the perfect moment not only to generate a ton of headlines about how we were taking the “most hate-filled derby in world football” to foreign shores, but that it was a good time to provoke an entirely needless fight with our own fans.
Let’s take the first bit before we look at the rest.
Do you remember The Mickey Mouse Cup that Ibrox won over in Florida, during pre-season a few years back?
Do you remember some of the headlines, as their fans got filmed on local TV (in a clip that went viral) singing racist and sectarian songs? That was their disgrace, their shame, unique to their club.
We’re giving our own reputation as a hostage to fortune in allowing our name to be associated with those sort of dregs.
I mean that beggars belief.
It’s as if people at Parkhead deliberately set out to sabotage the whole thing.
Which brings us to the decision to pick a fight with the fans.
Already the blogs are furious.
Celtic Shared has released a statement condemning the decision.
Ange will almost certainly be asked about it the next time he goes in front of the fan media.
The club has set itself on a collision course with the supporters to nobody’s benefit at all except those at Ibrox who must have been laughing their backsides off the minute this deal was done.
You would have to be a moron not to see how this was going to backfire in so, so, so many ways, not least that it benefits them more than us, because it gives them a place in a spotlight they would never have gotten on their own.
This rancid proposal has raised its head several times over the years and on each occasion it has been slammed from all sides of the support. It was an idea that no matter how hard we stamped on it, it never seemed to die.
It’s as if they were saving doing it for the worst possible time, for the most shockingly cynical moment, for the chance to exploit a real triumph, a chance to inflict the maximum damage and deliver the maximum insult to the fans.
Bravo to all concerned.
We really must be close to the point where this club can no longer shock us with these kind of abysmal decisions.
It is certainly getting to the point where buying a season ticket means checking your conscience and your misgivings at the door.