If The Green Brigade Really Are Back, The Board Should Be Under More Pressure Than Ever.

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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.

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  • Mr J Burns says:

    Welcome back… but pleeeze… no more smoke bombs etc…. and drums… hopefully.

  • Hans says:

    Welcome back. Noise and colour please? And make the no 1 focus the whole hearted support of our team.

  • Roonsa says:

    I will be happy to see them back as long as they toe the line as we don’t need unnecessary distractions. No smoke bombs. No ill informed man in the pub views on Palestine or any other non football subject. Just get behind the team and stick it to the board.

    If they can do that, welcome back Green Brigade.

  • Martin says:

    James , whilst I didn’t disagree with all of your points on some of the counter productive actions of the Green Brigade I think you are being somewhat f a revisionist with your “call to arms”.
    If not the Green Brigade holding the Board to account then who ?
    You say it’s all our responsibility but who will organise that action?
    Every revolution requires a vanguard , as a great man once said

  • Tony Hand says:

    In 2005 Dermot Desmond was part of the consortium that sold their shareholding in Man Utd to the Glasiers. The reason being the publicity generated in the media by Alex Ferguson taking a court case against John Magnier and PJ McManus (both consortium members) over a horse called Rock of Gibraltar. These billionaires are highly secretive people who react to any publicity like a vampire reacts to a stake through his heart. Keeping Dermot Desmond’s name in the media spotlight over the coming weeks might just force him to act in the best interests of Glasgow Celtic’s loyal fans for a change.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    It will be very interesting to see if the team on the pitch respond positively to them bein back and see if they can do to Livingston what they couldn’t do to St. Johnstone, Motherwell And Hearts at Parkhead – And Win…

  • SSMPM says:

    As with the Celtic board, The Green Brigade, do have their positives, but unfortunately both have overt negatives when they get caught up in their overly inflated egos too.
    They are both full of their own blow at times but when they put the the team first there’s real strength.
    If only it remained there and that old chestnut stopped reappearing then we’d all be better for it. If only … HH

  • Eldraco says:

    We warned about this , a nice wee squirrel to help deflect from the shit thats assailing the club right now. Ignore this, yes its nice , yes the players will enjoy the craic we all will but brenda still has to modify his style to suit what he has until the players he needs for his own system are bought.

    For one thing we need to play no more than 44 yards wide, he as ruined kyogo playing too deep and our wings far too wide the result being both he a oh Are arriving either to early , offside or mostly too late as the ball takes longer to flight over and by the time it does 3 guys are marking him.

    2 up meada in the pocket behind. cal more forward , iwata back n just in front of scales / welsh , or scales left and ralston in nawrocki. Cb. All of these guys move forward all. and bust a gut getting back.

  • Johnny Green says:

    I for one will be welcoming the Green Brigade back with open arms and I just hope they can tone it down a bit and find a compromise that suits everyone. The amount of fines that they have cost the Club is way over the top and it would pay for all their season tickets for years, so let them think about that for ‘No Green brigade’ would save the Club a fortune. Having said that, they are our Bhoys and we love them all and cherish their support. If truth be told they are ME 30/40 years ago, Celtic through and through and rebellious to the core, and despite “ the times they are a changing” that will always be in my system, it is part of the fabric of being a Tim. I get them…. and as long as they can harness their more disruptive tendencies a bit, they can be a very good asset for the whole Club.

    Keep the faith…..we will be true to thee till death.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      Well said Johnny,the green brigade are akin to what Celtic were originally formed for ,but please no pyros, dangerous and unnecessary.

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    The only person who needs shouting at is Rodgers”his style of play has not worked his slow build up from the back and square passing back forth we have seen it’s not working for most of the players and Rodgers spouting he needs better players in is not helping he went along with the board in the summer with players coming in.Its a bit rich now he needs better players the whole problem I think players not happy with him and his style of play can he turn things round maybe. .

    • Jim Duffy says:

      You’re right Pete,this slow side and back passing is horrendous,I remember a game wher we were 2 -0 down, Scott brown got the ball nearly reached opponents 18 yard line ,Briony passed it sideways and the ball ended back up with our keeper, WTF was that about,as for corners we are fuckin terrible,,forget short corners ,whip a ball into the box ,it may come of an opponents arse or shin but it could end up in the net,I can’t ever remember us scoring from a short fuckin corner.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Pleased that the GB is back.

    Nobody needs the pyros though,

    – especially fellow supporters who have respiratory problems.

    And the GB – just like the whole of the stadium last Saturday – are fully

    entitled to voice / display their displeasure against the comatose Board!

  • Michael Clark says:

    This Celtic team has never been right since Ange Postecoglou left. Of all the summer signings made I don’t see any a sucess so who’s doing was that disaster. Brenden Rogers has the same side Postecoglou had minus Jota and its now apparent he’s a big minus. We were all thinking after the game at Ibrox that it would be plain sailing (how wrong). We’ve given them all the hope they need and let them in through the back and they should have been out of site. It doesn’t matter if the board or Rogers is to blame. There’s no time for finger pointing because Celtic are on the verge of spiraling out of control. We somehow need to hold it together and especially the old Firm game at Celtic Park. Maybe then we might be able to freshen the troops and kick on from there. I don’t think its going to take much to sort this but certain players must not play for Celtic any longer. There’s too many passengers.

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