Tonight, the online rumour mill is grinding away on a story that The Green Brigade will be back in their Celtic Park seats as of Saturday.
The club promised to leave open the door for a resolution if certain assurances were given as to a number of areas of concern, and it looks as if those areas of concern have been addressed and the matter resolved.
So, the saga appears to be over. For now. As I said from the start of it, the club deserved our full support on this one, as they were essentially in the right, and if they’re convinced this matter has been resolved then that should be good enough for the rest of us.
I have a selfish reason for welcoming this news and one the board might not find comforting.
I was going to write about this as part of my series of articles on how we go into this mess. The Green Brigade had shown appalling selfishness in the way they were behaving; as people who profess the club to be their first love, I thought their best demonstration of it would be to park the egos, toe the line and return to the fold.
I welcomed their decision to turn the Day of Action into one where they turned up at Parkhead and cheered the team off the bus … that’s the kind of thing they do best.
So I am glad for this development if it means that supporting the team has been made their foremost concern, that they’ve recognised that this moment requires some form of sacrifice from everyone, including the fans.
The fans as a whole are not to blame for where we are, but an ongoing dispute which caused further friction was unwelcome and un-necessary when they were simply being asked to behave like everyone else.
This notion of exceptionalism had to be set aside for the good of the team, and it seems that cooler and wiser heads have now prevailed.
So when I say I have a selfish reason, what exactly do I mean by that?
I mean that The Green Brigade dispute had somehow, nonsensically, been folded into the wider issues that a lot of us have with the board and the way this club has been run.
I felt myself having to defend the board on one thing and criticise them on another, when to a lot of people, the Green Brigade dispute had become a symptom of a larger concern.
I did not agree with that, and I was not prepared to pretend otherwise, to weaponize the Green Brigade dispute so I had another stick with which to beat them. A lot of people feel the same way, and are capable of separating the two; back the club on the Green Brigade dispute and be concerned and angry about the general running of the football department.
But I thought it was important to resolve this, one way or another, to allow all of us the chance to focus on the greater, and more pressing, problem at hand.
The problem at hand is the Lawwell-Desmond axis. The problem at hand is that we are going into the January transfer window flailing around because the summer transfer business was a disaster, and that disaster now threatens the whole campaign.
As I said earlier in the Mark Wilson piece, those running Celtic have a very short window in which to fix this mess they’ve caused – and they have caused it, be under no illusions about that; egotism and cronyism and nepotism has saddled us with third rate off-field leadership and that’s caused the unravelling we’ve been watching now for weeks.
The money is there to fix this problem.
Fixing it is critical if they are to avoid a full-scale revolt in the stands, the kind that makes those comfortable seats most uncomfortable. I was pleased to note they were squirming in them after the last home game; it is important they continue to.
We need a full, united Celtic Park, one that has its most vocal elements present and accounted for, if we are to turn the volume and the pressure up on those people and make sure they understand that there will be nowhere to hide if they let things deteriorate further.
In my view, the greatest banner The Green Brigade has ever unveiled is the one at the top of this piece; the “Don’t Sleep At The Wheel” warning to the board last time.
They did sleep at the wheel, and they only got away with it because the collapse came in the COVID campaign when we got everything wrong but there were no fans in the ground to remind them of that, and constantly make them feel the heat from it.
Lawwell quit as CEO at the end of that year and we thought these people had taken stock, recognised they were accountable and that he had paid the price for that. Then they hired his son and Lawwell himself came back as chairman. It’s no surprise that we’re right back here again, with them once more sleeping at the wheel
These people need to be held to account, by all of us, and confronted with the knowledge that there will be major pressure brought to bear if they fail to get this right.
The Green Brigade had become a distraction from that.
They were not part of the problem, because this problem was not of their making. But the way this thing was spinning out risked them being ruled out as part of the solution.
If this has been resolved, if they’re returning to the ground, then they’ve put the team first and they can play their role in bringing that pressure to bear.
And I for one will welcome that wholeheartedly.