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Celtic Is Being Used As A Political Football, But There’s An Opportunity For Us Here.

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Before I start on the main point, The Celtic Trust was right to blast back yesterday at the First Minister for sticking his big feet in his mouth over the celebrations at the weekend. But a couple of things need to be remembered, lest they are overlooked.

First, this guy is a Celtic supporter.

This is not some enemy of our club swinging the boot. He was not taking a punt either; he was asked a direct question by a reporter in connection to a statement made by another member of his party. What was he supposed to do? Say “no, she’s got this one wrong”? That is naïve in the extreme. He’s not the real issue here.

The issue here is people in the media and politics using our club as a punching bag for their own ends. The First Minister’s response was made certain by politicians of other parties screaming for him to say something. Saying nothing is not an option; that’s what they were caning him for. The Celtic Trust’s statement was accurate.

But it didn’t tell the full story.

The political class in Scotland sees football fans as an easy target, and also a useful weapon. Tory MSP and former journalist Russell Findlay doesn’t hate Celtic either and he wasn’t taking a shot at our fans when he weighed in on this subject on Monday; he saw a chance to embarrass the First Minister and he used those weekend scenes to take his shot.

The First Minister had criticised the scenes when the Ibrox fans rioted.

Why wouldn’t he criticise these?

Of course, there was no riot here, no police being injured, no widespread destruction of property. The two events are entirely different, but it’s politics and politics is sometimes played on the gutter level.

(Which is one of the things I enjoyed, but also hated, about it.)

It’s all about how you frame the question and Findlay used his legal and journalistic skills to do it well.

Yousef was being accused of showing favouritism at best or being a hypocrite at worst. It wasn’t about us, it was about putting him in a corner and I have to say that Findlay played his card well but Yousef dealt with it rather well too in in that it allowed him to agree with one of his own SNP colleagues, rather than addressing the issue directly.

As an admirer of the craft I give both of them full marks, but it’s worrisome just the same to find politicians playing these tiresome, petty, childish games with us as the punching bag, when the country has real and serious issues to tackle.

More concerning, by far, is that the First Minister wants to go on national radio later on tonight; I’m not giving the station one iota of publicity, but if his intention is attack our fans then he ought to think again.

If his intention is to suggest that football clubs do more to set up celebrations so that the city itself doesn’t have to host them, then there is an opportunity here for Celtic if the club wants to seize it.

Someone from Celtic should be standing by and ready to call in, and ask him why his government and the council which his party runs are so far removed from football that they won’t entertain the idea of fan zones or any of that other stuff he seems to think we should be doing. Because the clubs have tried. Both ourselves and mob across town.

We’ve put this to them time and time again, we wanted permission, we wanted the opportunity … and they denied us it.

Other cities manage these celebrations as a matter of course.

In the US every city whose team competes in a major event – whether it’s basketball or American football – does everything it can to put on all manner of activities and provide amenities for its fans. Glasgow doesn’t bother and Glasgow never has for its domestic fan-base … although on the few occasions it has hosted a European final it has pushed out the boat.

And yes, there are issues here and plenty of nutcases especially across the city whose idea of a good time is beating the shit out of each other before wrecking the city centre, but I thought the policing operation during the Lockdown Riot was at least partly to blame for what happened.

That they allowed the event in the first place when we were all supposed to be banged up indoors was scandalous. That their policing was so “light-touch” is what gave thousands of people who were already breaking the law license to go as far as they liked.

The council should have done more for us.

Police operations should have been geared towards what was inevitably going to take place, and whilst I understand the First Minister and others not wanting this to become an annual event, the only way to properly prevent it is to help the clubs instead of demonising them in the chase for easy headlines.

Cause really, these people aren’t proposing solutions.

They are trying to stay ahead of their political rivals and no good can possibly come of nonsense like that.

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  • S Thomas says:

    Do they like football pupils at Hutcheson grammar school.. I thought they were more in tune with rugby there, eating their prawn and asparagus sandwiches for their lunch.

  • Sophie Johnstone says:

    A Celtic fan who doesn’t give one hoot about defending it’s fans support for the crime of celebrating their teams success at the end of what in most cases was a hard working or otherwise stressful week.Hes a politician and he will do everything to appease potential voters

    • Magua says:

      I have to wonder what planet this guy is living on Sophie. If he thinks that the Huns are going to voting SNP in great numbers, he’s living in dreamland.

      Hail Hail.

  • Bennybhoy57 says:

    Glasgow Council should be publicising the city this weekend, open top bus should be arranged for first club in world to win 8 trebles.
    What an achievement another first for Glasgow Celtic.
    Streets should be lined and pics shown all over.
    Unfortunately orange walk will take priority.

  • John says:

    Is it only me or has the bigot fest which took place in George Square in 2021 been airbrushed out of existence? Yousaf should be having a word in the ear of his MSP for opening her mouth without engaging her brain

  • Martin.H says:

    His whole political life he has been a tit, everything he touches turns to dust, and James you have the cheek, to support this idiot. Take his so called love for Celtic out of the equation, these snp con men are using a hatred towards the u.k. and using you and their support for Ireland to gain independence, and you and the mugs are lapping it up.

  • Geoff says:

    Hiding from the Ange speculation I see!

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