The Leadership At Celtic Is Further Removed Than Ever From That Across The City.

Image for The Leadership At Celtic Is Further Removed Than Ever From That Across The City.

The board at Celtic Park gets a lot of stick on this site and on others, but I think that this has been an instructive week for those who can’t ever see the good things about those who run our club. It should serve as a reminder that we’re not as bad as is sometimes made out.

There’s a cracking, if somewhat strange, story in The Guardian today about how Sunderland fans are up in arms at their club’s attempt to make their rivals from Newcastle feel welcome when they roll into the Stadium Of Light for their FA Cup game tomorrow. To the disbelief of the home support, the Black Cat Lounge had been decked out in away colours and slogans, including, incredibly, one which actually reads “Cheer Up Peter Reid.”

Sunderland has launched an “internal investigation” into how this was ever allowed, and have taken it all down, but the pictures of it are all over social media to the club’s enormous embarrassment. It’s a lot less serious than giving a Celtic Park lounge to the Ibrox club and emblazoning We Are The Peepul all over it, but that’s a board that doesn’t get it.

I think it’s safe to say that such attempts to make those from Ibrox feel welcome at Celtic Park are not in our future, either immediate or distant. I cannot remember a time when the two clubs were led by boards which were such polar opposites to each other, or when relations were this Antarctic. Those who think our club has anything to learn from them … think again.

Often, this site and others accuse our club of not doing enough on refereeing reform and stuff like this, and whilst I am not going to change my mind on that front, because I don’t think we do, there is some merit in doing things behind the scenes as opposed to getting into a public strop which just makes you look amateurish and more than a little crazy.

But on top of that, it also makes you look weak.

I would be aghast if our club did what theirs has done here, in violating the confidentiality of a meeting, lying about what took place at it and leaking a critical detail – and one so incendiary – to fan groups to let them do the dirty work for you. It is unconscionable and is a stonewall example of a club bringing the game into disrepute. Severe sanctions should result from it, not that I for one minute expect that there will be any.

For all that, this has gotten Ibrox precisely nowhere, not even with an association which is in thrall to the club in many, many ways.

The SFA statement yesterday has made it clear that it will not accede to a single one of Ibrox’s foot stamping demands, and virtually invites them to make the next move.

They know that there’s nothing our rivals can do short of throwing another public tantrum and that makes them look pathetic, even to their own fans who continue to live in a delusional world where this goes to a courtroom (a penalty kick they didn’t get and wouldn’t have gotten had Mike McCurry himself been out on that pitch) or to CAS or ends when their players walk off the pitch at kick-off in their next league game as some mental form of protest. These are just some of the deranged ideas being thrown about on their forums right now.

But all are representative of an idea; the idea their club hasn’t done enough, that they haven’t pushed this as far as they can, that they’ve not picked this as the ditch to die in. What did I say yesterday? This has annihilated the fragile sense they had that the world was ordering itself into a shape of their liking. Suddenly the Unseen Fenian Hand is slapping them all over the map and they “won’t be allowed to win the league”.

And this madness doesn’t come from the bottom of the pile, with these mad fans. It starts from the top of the house. The Chinese say it best; “a fish rots from the head down.”

Subsequent Ibrox boards have had every opportunity to rein in the lunatic fringe; as a I wrote earlier, they made them “official media partners” instead. The club doesn’t just pander to these Peepul, it feeds their insanity, their delusion, their irrationality by indulging their nonsense and even giving them fresh meat to bite into from time to time.

But that has its downside, and the downside of this is that those same rabid supporters now feel as if the club is rolling over. The rest of Scottish football sees them making a demand and the SFA basically telling them where to go. Even some in the media are criticising them today on the back of this, which makes it look even more like they’ve had a spanking.

Celtic’s board might be a collection of folk who have been in office way too long, but at no time have they behaved like spoilt children and deliberately endangered the safety of an official. When you look at the general behaviour of the Ibrox leadership you see a pattern. They obfuscated and messed us about when one of our staff was injured at their ground. They’ve made no effort to protect our supporters. They are very cavalier about this stuff.

The fact of that was enough for our club to refuse tickets for Ibrox, and Celtic was so incensed about it that they have effectively banned their supporters from our ground as long as this is the case. Those who say that our club should “get around the table” with these folks and “sort this out” can try to ignore our repeated efforts to do so already and our public stand on this, which everyone in the country knows full well, but it cannot deny that these two boardrooms are poles apart in every way that matters, and that’s the real problem here.

Our board should not be expected to sit and negotiate with people like this. They cannot be trusted. They cannot be reasoned with in good faith, because you cannot have faith in a single thing that they say. This isn’t the first time they’ve breached confidentiality either; they’ve given the media details of SPFL executive meetings as well, including commercially sensitive information and that they escaped any sort of punishment for that it is disgraceful.

That makes it all the worse when you have people like The Village Idiot comparing our board to theirs or people like Barry Ferguson claiming that they had every right to make demands. Kenny Miller goes on the radio and sounds like a ranting maniac from the darkest corners of Ibrox social media, frothing at the mouth about how much of a “bad taste” a correct decision has left in his mouth … we have marvelled before about the way proximity to that club impacts on people, but to realise that they are all as crazy as each other is genuinely unsettling.

But worse, by far, is the inescapable notion that this madness starts at the very highest level at their club. The more you hear out of that place, the harder that notion is to shake and it paints a very dark picture as far any improvement in relations is concerned.

Our board is not like theirs. Our club is not like theirs. Regardless of the questions we have about those running the shop here, I am forever thankful for that, but on days like this most of all.

Share this article


  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    They have made cnuts of themselves indeed – yet again – and it’ll happen again and again and again…

    But I still think it’ll pay them on the field of play more than ever –

    As The Cheats with whistles, flags and monitors will now be more terrified than ever of them tragically !

  • Roddybhoy says:

    There should be sanctions against them but the SFA are too late to do that. They have let them away with so much over the years, they won’t suddenly find courage to do what they should have been doing on so many previous occasions. I totally agree with yesterday’s article about Celtic giving them support in wanting everything to do with Refs and VAR being out in the open. If Celtic did this maybe other clubs would join in…. Rangers arse would collapse. This isn’t about bringing things out into the open, it is just deflecting away from ANOTHER beating from Celtic. This could get really interesting because I’m looking fwd to other teams demanding audio of VAR conversations on a weekly basis now. Why not The Rangers asked and got it . Why not our club Hibs Hearts Aberdeen etc etc

  • Mr Vincent McSherry says:

    The SFA said “No” regarding Collum not doing their games?! Dont be surprised if Collum is nowhere near any of their games for the rest of the season!

    • Joe Scollen says:

      They have painted a target on his back. For his sake he should be kept away, not theirs.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Is it not Statement O’Clock again at ibrox yet?

    With the SFA’s refusal – this time – to banish a referee from sevco games,

    it stands to reason that the next, logical step is for sevco

    “TO DEMAND!” the head of CEO Maxwell…?

    Obviously. 🙁

  • Johnny Green says:

    The lunatics are running the asylum and long may it continue.

  • Andrew Lamb says:

    I’m constantly amazed by this mobs stupidity and arrogance. This could be the straw that breaks their back though as the whole of Scottish football has had enough of them, and as you said every club should now kick up hell when a decision goes against them and demand referee reform which will reduce their points tally over a season. Personally I wish they would just cease to exist again.

  • Nathaniel says:

    Never ask a question, if you don’t know the answer
    Never open a can of worms
    Never bite the hand that feeds you
    Hatrick for the muppets

    • Scouse bhoy says:

      It is not possible for the new club to cease to exist again it can only happen once.

  • Southside Bhoy says:

    Very good article James.
    I have no doubt our Board (and I suspect our managers – Ange and Brendan) are active behind the scenes.
    Under a Lennon & Delia regime we suffered some terrible injustices (think Josh Meekings and Dougie, Dougie).
    Last year a Morelos push rules out a goal as did the Dessers push this year. That doesn’t happen by accident – and it was Robertson and Muir at Ibrox this year – hardly our friends.
    The current activity from their Board is irresponsible and dangerous. Before this nonsense, we’ve had our captain confronted on the field, a member of medical staff maimed and shattered glass in our goalkeepers area. Aside from golf balls thrown at Griffiths and our supporters regularly showered with missiles. Their home venue is out of control and this action stokes up potential for further serious violence.
    Should Collum referee a game there, it is no exaggeration to say his life may be in danger.
    They are not being tactical but it is unlikely Collum will ever referee there again due to Duty of Care from SFA to employees. He can, of course do VAR.
    If there is a fraternity in refereeing (not a Brotherhood) they must now use their power by not turning a blind eye to their infringements and finding reasons to give them penalties.
    The hierarchy at the SFA must ensure Allen behaves with full integrity for ensuring his charges uphold the Laws of the Game without fear or favour.
    They have the power in their hand – if Mulraney wants to be the man who changes the face of Scottish Football, he will never have a better opportunity.

  • John Duffy says:

    To me this article epitomises how people that are meant to be leading Scottish Football need taken to task by higher authorities ,we have known for years that these i#**%£££) wage stealers are not fit for the role and who can check this ,no one it seems ,which is the biggest cancer in Scottish football

  • Jim Duffy says:

    James ,on the one hand you state , quite rightly that our board are poles apart from theirs,so why do we keep hearing that Pete lawell and our board want to keep sevco in business ie our managed decline , every time we had a chance to bury them once and for all we take our foot off the gas ,ie the 10 in a row season,if we had won that sevco would have been gone,make no mistake if their board had the chance they would put us six foot under,so I don’t understand why we don’t put our boot on their throat and get rid of them as they are poisonous to the game here in Scotland.

    • Anton says:

      100% they already tried to bury us. We owed less to creditors than they did,much less.
      Yet David murrays mates at banks tried to close us down. As you say,if the shoe was on the other foot they wouldn’t stop until our last dying breath.HH


    This current ‘strop’ from is just the culmination of all the ‘Shoite’
    surrounding their phoenix like re-birth in 2012.

    We have allowed the ‘ Myth’ and the ‘ Lie’ to remain unchallenged and I blame the Scottish Media for jumping on that bandwagon and encouraging their collective ‘Victimhood’ lunacy and especially the SFA for tolerating all the shenanigans of the past 11 years as they set about their journey through the leagues.

    For a full decade and more they have had the belief of their Club’s historic continuity unchallenged by the outside world, except by our bloggers and their readers. They rationalised that their great institution, ‘the Big Hoose’ couldn’t die and if it did then it was caused by the other Clubs in the SPL/ SPFL with Celtic and the ‘unseen Fenian Hand’ at the front.

    A blind man could have told you where this was all heading. Their ‘Superiority’, the ‘wee arra peepel ‘mantra has been a chain around their neck and nobody dared to challenge their group psychosis.

    This is going to get really messy and the SFA/SPFL just don’t have the bottle to deal with it.
    I suspect its going to require intervention by an outside Agency to get things back on track but its going to take a long time to resolve and I suspect Scottish Football is going to be crippled for a long time.

    Worse yet is the possibility that we are seeing the death throes of the Scottish Game and we are heading for the status of the real minnows of the ‘Game’.

Comments are closed.