The Champions League Badly Needs Celtic Park Amidst A Graveyard Of Silent Stadia.

Image for The Champions League Badly Needs Celtic Park Amidst A Graveyard Of Silent Stadia.

Last night, in the 62nd minute of the Champions League Quarter Final first leg between Manchester City and Bayern Munich, something so significant happened that the commentators mentioned it.

The City fans, watching their team playing well and 1-0 to the good, started to sing. Was it the first time that night? It was certainly the first time the TV audience heard them, and that’s why the commentary team thought it worth mentioning.

And this isn’t the first occasion on which that stadium has more resembled a morgue than a cathedral of dazzling football. And it’s not the only ground in England, or from around Europe, where this is obviously the case. It’s more common than not.

I’m not claiming that the fans of the super-clubs don’t care about their teams or their games, I’m just saying that in some cases you would find it hard to believe.

Too many clubs, especially amongst the giants, are artificial constructs, built out of debts and oligarch wealth. The connection between the success of their team and the average punter paying his money through the gates, is redundant where it isn’t simply non-existent.

And that’s reflected in the atmosphere. It’s one of the things that makes Celtic different.

We’re not watching a collection of world class players assembled by a sugar-daddy. Every one of us takes an enormous amount of pride in being fans, yes, but more than that in being supporters; in short, it’s our money that pays for all the club’s success.

Celtic Park rocks on big Champions League nights.

It’s not for nothing that so many world class footballers have lined up to pay it fulsome tribute in the aftermath of games.

No commentator would ever break from talking about the action because our fans had suddenly burst into song an hour into a match; Celtic Park pulses with noise on those nights.

The game itself last night was tremendous, but the City fans didn’t really come to life until they were a few goals to the good and even then it was like watching the sort of muted celebrations you get at the rugby or at Wimbledon or something … Celtic Park’s atmosphere would have been electrifying. It would be raucous.

You would have felt like you were at a party.

The Champions League needs Celtic Park. Every game at this stage in the competition should be played in front of a passionate home crowd who are raising the roof. A quarter final in the biggest competition in world football should not be played in front of a crowd which is half asleep, a crowd that comes to life so seldom that it gets a mention on Sky.

That would never be us.

Even when we’re getting beat in that tournament, Celtic Park is a world away from the funereal monument to oil money and what it can buy that we saw that game take place in last night, mostly because we built it ourselves.

Share this article


  • Benjamin says:

    Completely agree that Champions League needs Celtic and our stadium. It’s a wonderful experience that enhances the competition, and pretty much every visiting opponent agrees with that sentiment.

    However I do think you’re misdiagnosing the issue here. The biggest factor IMO is the average age and average income level of people attending these matches. Most of the EPL and the mega clubs making the Champions League have a much more ‘corporate’ feel in the stands due to the much higher ticket prices. The most vocal and enthusiastic fans in any stadium anywhere in the world are those in their late teens and early 20’s, usually male, and often times under the influence of alcohol. Youthful exuberance is a wonderful thing in a packed out stadium! But we’re seeing across Europe that a lot of those fans can no longer afford to attend matches in person, or at least not nearly as many matches as they used to be able to afford. It shouldn’t be a huge surprise then that the atmosphere is affected as ticket prices go up.

  • Fan says:

    And Man City only got one song to sing!

    • Dex says:

      Well,I am 54 and whenever i attend a game i sing my heart out and return home with a croaky voice

  • Michael Clark says:

    I’ve maintained all along if Celtic had HALF of the money that lot get South of the border we would regularly compete for the Champions league Trophy. Its made so easy for them down South in their fantasy league and their monopoly money they have. Could you imagine what kind of damage Ange Postecoglou could do with half the money manager’s get to play with down there. More importantly on top of that Celtic Park rocking with all the roofs getting blown off by 60,000 fanatical Celtic supporters. Ronaldo, Messi to name a few said Celtic Park is unequalled.

  • Jim The Tim says:

    Mathematics prove that Celtic with the financial input would compete at the very top.
    No brains needed to see when the Anglos got the tv money they could fk the rest of Europe.

  • Johnny Green says:

    The Celtic fans are different class and much more vociferous than any club in Europe. From the youngest to the oldest fan at Parkhead our love and our passion are there for all to see. We are joyous in our backing and we take great pride in our team and our club. The singing of Walk On at the weekend was magnificent, it was so, so impressive and inspiring, no wonder visiting fans and players are blown away by our atmosphere, it is a sight and an experience to behold.

    It is not just the players that never stop.

  • John S says:

    The loss of fans in the Covid Year created a vacuum for Celtic that season. The supporters, team, management are as one.

Comments are closed.