The Herald’s Article On Ticket-Gate Grossly Misrepresents Celtic’s Position.

Image for The Herald’s Article On Ticket-Gate Grossly Misrepresents Celtic’s Position.

There is a writer at The Herald and Times who is seriously irritating to read. His name is Kenneth Ward and he appears to believe that he is capable of flowery prose. Actually, he’s another in a long line of hacks who condescends to his readers by trying to set himself up as smarter than they are. A sort of “I know best” mind-set.

I find his prose tiresome to wade through, and that’s when I can be bothered to wade through it at all. This – and I’m not making this up – is how he chose to open an article last week, an opening which left me with no desire to read the rest.

“FWHOO, ring, eeek. Fwhoo, ring, eeek. This atonal symphony has been chiming around my mind since 1pm on Wednesday when the school bell belted out to signal the start of the summer holiday scorched into my mind as my seven-week secondment to the role of breakfast manager, playtime master, snack haggler, boxing referee, lunch coordinator, afternoon decryptor, (early) dinner chef, (early) bath scrubber, (early) pyjama placer, film flinger-on-er, (early) story reader and bed covers tucker-under-so-tight-they-can’t-come-out-and-interrupt-my-TV-time.”

Why bother going any further with that? I didn’t even try.

But his latest piece, which I did actually plough through, is bad for a different reason; it is either the stupidest interpretation of Celtic’s position on the Ibrox ticketing standoff or it is the most flagrantly dishonest one I’ve read in a long time. Neither is good, let’s face it.

“Answer to Celtic and Rangers away-tickets stand-off staring SPFL in the face” is the title of the piece, and the thesis is that the SPFL should step in and end the whole thing by imposing, for just these games, the same 5% away fan allocation entitlement which UEFA grants every team in its competitions. It’s not an original idea; this blog and others have proposed much the same thing in the past year, so he doesn’t get points for the suggestion.

But this is how he attempts to sum up what the situation is at the moment.

“The problem is in a bloated game of second-guessing like the one we enter for the “we-don’t-want-your-kind-in-our-ground” stand-off with Celtic, finding a resolution becomes increasingly difficult. Neither side wants to give an inch, and before you know it they’re eight feet deep in trenches with their pledging supporters, while Scottish football’s many other stakeholders are left out in no-man’s land.”

His claim that “neither side wants to give an inch” is a complete fabrication. Celtic has done everything it can to mediate this situation, and our efforts to do so have been rebuffed. And it’s not an accident in a single paragraph; he repeats it later.

“The Govan club have reportedly sold 45,000 season tickets for the coming campaign and there is almost universal resistance from fans of the Ibrox club to the idea of housing their rival rank-and-file in would-be Rangers seats. The feeling across the city appears to be mutual.”

Except that it isn’t “mutual” at all and it never has been.

Neither Celtic nor our fans wants this situation to continue in its present form.

For a start, it is manifestly unsafe for us to go to their ground at the moment, and if the clubs came to an agreement to go back to what we had before we wouldn’t exactly welcome their fans back but we’d get on with it just so long as they behaved. It’s their inability to do so which has seen some of us adopt the “get them out of our house” attitude previously.

But if things went back to the way they were, I doubt that there would be all that much anger unleashed at the board.

Regardless of what this joker and others appear to believe, we are the adults in the room here. Our fans, and our club, never wanted anything to change in this regard.

Our club did not start this. Our club has done everything it can to resolve the matter. It is not Celtic who is seeking to prevent a return to the old allocations, that is entirely Ibrox’s fault.

And this isn’t difficult to find out.

We’ve said publicly that what we want is the sanity of a return to the previous allocation. This is not something about which there is any dubiety, and so for Ward and others to continue to disregard that is not just bad journalism, it’s much darker than that. It is brazenly dishonest.

Share this article