In Spite Of Spin To The Contrary, Celtic Is Not Actually A Divided Club Right Now.

Image for In Spite Of Spin To The Contrary, Celtic Is Not Actually A Divided Club Right Now.

One of the most astonishing things about reading some of the coverage we’re getting in the media right now is the perception of Celtic as a club teetering on the brink of a crisis. Across the city, the portrait being painted is of a unified organisation purposefully moving forward. The contrast is all the more amazing for painting a picture that is false.

Celtic is said to have a number of problems. The first of which is a squad where there isn’t a great deal of depth.

We have seen that this is an entirely inaccurate representation of where we are. We may not have a Champions League squad, but we would be a good side in any Europa League group, and of course, we’re strong enough to dominate in Scotland.

Those who are calling for a more aggressive transfer policy are doing so in keeping with the wishes of the manager; a little more experience, and a couple of players whose quality is obvious and known and who aren’t considered project players.

This is actually not a massive leap from where we are now and its an adjustment which could easily be made.

Look at the makeup of the squad; there is enough potential in there that we’ve probably got around six or seven bankable assets who aren’t even in their peak years yet. We could easily augment this squad with a couple of real quality footballers and for all we know that’s the plan being laid for the January window. Rodgers is certainly talking as if it is.

Furthermore, as I said in late September when we published our accounts, weeks after the window shut, the chairman’s statement seemed to offer a hint that the transfer policy was more flexible than the summer business suggested; I do believe that Brendan flexed his muscles behind the scenes and got some of his changes made to it.

So I think January will see us do things in a different way, perhaps – hopefully – preparing us better for the summer window.

We’ll find out soon, but for now I think we need to trust the boss to have gotten his point across to everyone at the club.

There is a perception that we’re “split down the middle” on the Green Brigade situation; this is such a gross distortion I find it incredible that anyone could believe it.

A small group of fans has been kicked out of Celtic Park and although a lot of people might be dismayed by that decision, and some might even be angry, Celtic is certainly not “split down the middle” on it.

Let’s be honest; the vast majority of the fan-base wants a solution but generally doesn’t care what that solution is as long as it doesn’t harm the club. They aren’t going to get involved or pick one side or the other, they just want to watch their team.

There is a section of what’s left which is completely on the club’s side – I am one of them, knowing the facts here and having long-standing concerns about the direction this has obviously been heading in.

Another section is wholly on The Green Brigade’s side; how large that section is should not be overestimated, because as I said in an earlier article, we’re essentially talking about two different things when we write that; those who are fully invested and are willing to act and those who are supportive but will probably not join any concerted campaign.

So, although this subject has generated a lot of online heat and even anger, I very much doubt that it represents any kind of major rift amongst the fans or an issue for the club even in the short-medium term. In fact, as long as the team on the pitch is winning, and provided January doesn’t end up a disaster, I think the perception that we are a house divided is majorly wide of the mark.

There are no splits in the dressing room. Indeed, the players speak up for each other, they defend each other whenever there is criticism. There seems to be a tremendous spirit around the club right now.

Nobody takes precedent over any other … this is the sports equivalent of the ensemble cast, where nobody is the star but all the focus is on the team.

Arguments between fans and the board over several issues are certainly ongoing. But whilst the media might have short memories we don’t; the Ibrox fans were in open revolt only a few weeks ago, and there really was a high chance of a full on confrontation.

It’s amazing how easily they were brought back onboard by the appointment of a new manager … but they are both gullible and easily swayed and a single bad result will flip these Peepul the other way.

Theirs is a club with genuine problems, and I see the start of some dressing room issues already. There are a couple of players there who thought they were the centre of the universe, such as Cantwell, who this manager doesn’t rate as highly as the last one, and he does enjoy a good bitch and moan and so there’s probably some fun ahead of us in that regard.

They are making a major effort just now to keep their fans onside, such as working with their “ultras” and setting up their wee fan advisory boards … but giving the ultras too much power is madness, of course, especially with their track record and the fan advisory boards have already sparked major controversy on their forums because of how the names were picked.

That is not a happy camp over there, even with the new manager in place.

Our AGM is coming up soon. People in the media are drooling over it, expecting fireworks. Do you know how many years I’ve been hearing that?

Doubtless there will be complaints over The Green Brigade situation and the transfer policy but the club will robustly defend itself on the first front and offer some context in the second … and they’ll get through it.

I have my own thoughts on the AGM which I’ll put up later in the week, but whereas I think it’ll be a bit more uncomfortable for the board than in other years, I expect that by the end of it every one of the current directors will be re-elected with less than 10% of the vote going against them … and I think that’s a problem, but it will confirm the club as essentially united.

Celtic is not the house divided that some people would like to believe. One incredibly ignorant editorial at the weekend had us on the brink of crisis, with the fans in uproar, civil war brewing and the manager on the verge of the sack.

It was a picture so removed from reality that it was astonishing to read it in a national title instead of on a rambling, shambling Ibrox fan site.

A lot of people would love to believe it.

The truth is, the reason the media is so focussed on the off-field stuff is that we’re in good shape on it, and even the European results can’t distract from the good job that Rodgers is doing and the performances of much of the team. They had their fun for a couple of days after Madrid, but they know our top spot is pretty secure.

The perception of our club as one riven by division certainly plays into some people’s agendas, but it’s simply not the case and I think within a few weeks we’ll see just how together this club is going into the next phase of this campaign.

That’s not what certain people want to hear. Too bad.

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  • John Copeland says:

    It’s all part of the SMSM overall strategy towards its pet project …deflect and deny ! They know the accounts figures are a disaster ,so inbetween doughnuts they try to fabricate unrest at Celtic FC . That’s the deflect bit . The deny part speaks for itself ! A clumpany spends more than £11 million pounds than it generates in all earnings ! The same clumpany make a £4.1 million loss (give or take ) on its entire business model .yet make over £250 .000 thousand pounds PROFIT ? Obviously my numbers are ‘ball park ‘ but you get the gist … hopefully ? Bombay Mix ?

  • Bob (original) says:

    With all due respect, I would have to demur.

    There IS a huge division within the club.

    Totally separate from the GB, and totally separate from the unambitious transfer policy.

    There is indeed a significant – and growing ? – division between the Board

    and the support,

    because the Board is failing us with its continued silence about governance of the

    Scottish game.

    I now fully subscribe to the theory that’s been swirling around since before

    Rangers died:

    that our own Board helped, [or certainly did not interfere], with the rapid / corrupt

    handling of all things sevco. From jumping into the bottom league, to submitting

    false financials each year for their Euro license, to complaining about a referee publicly

    [Clancy] and having him barred from their games without repurcussions, to

    accummulating ridiculous stats around penalties, etc…

    Our Board ALSO remains silent about dodgy ref / VAR decisions around our own games.

    I’m no longer going to complain about the incompetence / corruption at the SFA and

    the SPFL.

    We have to ‘clean out our own stable’ first.

    Unfortunately, I think our Board has a LOT to answer for, and is directly and at least

    partially responsible for the state of the senior game today.

    Our Board is just as much a part of the problem in the Scottish game as the

    SFA, the SPFL blazers – and the sevco Board too!

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    We’re on.. The top of The League,
    Lookin’ down on The Sevco…
    And the only explanation, I can find,

    Is the form we have found,
    Since Sevco’s been around…
    It has got us to, The top of The League !

    As long as I can sing that little ditty to maself – Then I’m a Happy Chappie !

    So Fcuk The Scottish Football Media Lies for Liebrox…

  • John A says:

    Yes it is, and getting more so by the day.

  • Roonsa says:

    I would love to see a concerted effort by the savvy Celtic fan spokespeople (not the GB) to get fellow Celtic fans to boycott the mainstream printed press. Much in the same way Liverpool fans have boycotted the Sun in their wonderful city. As far as I am aware, that boycott transcends the football divide in Liverpool. Good on the Evertonians who recognise it.

    I am not suggesting that the way Celtic and Celtic fans are misrepresented by the press in Scotland is in any way as heinous as the reason Liverpudlians won’t buy the Sun. However it’s a fact that there is a war of attrition being waged against Celtic and its fans. The evidence is available to us here almost every single day. This is not paranoia.

    There will still be thousands upon thousands of Celtic fans out there who still buy the Record or the Sun or the Evening Times or some other atrocious comic because that’s their routine or what they are used to. Maybe “it’s for the crossword”. Whatever it is, I’d rather buy a red poppy than subsidise these horrific outlets.

    Spread the word.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:


      Thank you indeed !

      Slainte Fae – Clachnacuddin and The Hoops !!!

  • Graham Laurie says:

    The old geriatric soup-taker Hugh Keevins being one of the chief culprits James?

  • SSMPM says:

    Totally agree fella. There’s no perception of that at all. There may be those that want that perception to be their ‘truth’ but that’s all it is and that’s where it comes from and that’s where it stays.
    The press and maybe even media and radio may promote it to a greater or lesser degree and with a greater or lesser degree of emphasis but more as a topic or perception they’d like their followers to discuss, ratchet up or believe. It’s an attempt to sow seeds of division but the flaw is that we true Celts don’t read or entertain their dribble.
    I’m astonished that you say you’re astonished when surely you’re just saying that to add a bit of spice to your article and you’re surely not astonished at all. Not when you say that’s what you expect from a certain opponent’s fan sites and you know fine well that the daily rags are exactly that; their fan sites.
    Let’s face it you read them and regularly so you know their content is, for you information, as regular as my morning shite. Just the same old sensationalised nonsense written for the gullibles. It’s legalised hate mail but if it doesn’t arrive at your door then it’s not for me. Anyway even if it did and it doesn’t or it comes from a third party such as yourself via this blog you have to give a shite for it to affect your consciousness and as previously stated that was morning. HH

  • Hugh Reilly says:

    There is a divide between those who seem happy to buy project players at £3m or so and others who believe we need to buy finished articles at £10m+. We have the financial muscle to do so. Eduard and Jota were almost £10m each but we made massive profit on them. Buying bit part players might cost us the league.

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