The Celtic Team Will Get The Fans Full Support, But The Board Is Past The Point Of No Return.

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One of the things I’ve been hearing over the last two days is that this Celtic team needs our support. I wholeheartedly agree. They absolutely do, and never more so than now, never more so than in the midst of a form slump and a dangerous situation.

The manager is acutely aware of the anger in the stands, and that some of it is directed at him and the players. He’s also aware that the bulk of it is directed at the board. He knows that a house divided is a difficult place. He’s been here before.

We’ve also had Kuhn commenting on it, and he too has said that the team wants to be able to focus on the games. They can. Rodgers has told them to shut all the rest of it out. He realises what the players who are newly here don’t yet realise, perhaps, and what some in the media have totally misunderstood and which our board most definitely has.

This is not about results. Those chants against the board came before the game, not after it when we’d dropped the points. Those chants and that banner are the tip of the iceberg. Our directors have imperilled this title race. They have failed in their responsibilities. They cannot be trusted to back the manager properly, either in the short or the long term.

Peter Lawwell should never have returned here. His appointment as chairman was a grotesque insult to the support, most of whom were glad to see the back of him and I cannot imagine that those inside Celtic were oblivious to that fact. Lawwell himself was certainly well aware of it. He likes being in the spotlight, just not when it is this particular spotlight, and he could not resist one last walk onto the stage and bow in front of an adoring crowd.

It was sheer egotism, and he didn’t give a toss what impact it had on the club. And the impact has been wholly negative. His presence casts a vast shadow over the man in his former job, who was doing just fine and keeping a low profile and getting on with the business before he arrived. One Celtic fan said to me last night that his return killed Mark Lawwell’s chances of being judged on his own merits; I understand that point entirely. But since there are almost no visible merits to having him in post it makes no difference to me either way.

Mark Lawwell should never have been appointed either. His name should have prevented it even if he’d had the basic tools for the job, which there is no evidence that he does.

Because as I wrote about in the perception piece, the very act of appointing the son of the former CEO, known for his interference, known for not being able to let go, was always going to backfire. He was always going to be judged more for his failures than his successes (if only he had any) with him seen as a puppet dancing on daddy’s string.

It wasn’t just an appointment reeking of nepotism, it reeked of stupidity and it hamstrung out of the starting gate someone who needed to have the confidence of the fans and any manager who came in. And we underestimate that element of it at our peril; from the outside, it looks like crap. It looks like a way too cosy arrangement. It looks unprofessional and that makes the whole of our club and the way that it is run look bad. That nobody even considered that before they did this is a damning indictment of everyone in our senior executive.

I want our team to have the vocal backing of the fans. I agree that it’s important . It is critical in fact. The team and the manager are the most important people at the club and we realise that even if those above them do not, and we would never give them anything but full-throated support.

But those who are telling the fans who are angry to park it until the season ends are just doing the devils work for him. Before this season ends, this club will send out the season ticket renewal forms so what we’re actually being asked to do is front up, pony up and shut up and that’s not happening.

We can support this team whilst making it clear that this board does not have our backing. We can see to it that they are left in no doubt that we want real change at the top of this house.

As far our relationship with them goes, it’s past the point of no return.

Lawwell’s legacy, however this season ends, is one of bitterness and anger and the condemnation of an entire generation of our fans.

There won’t be any statue in the carpark, no honoured place in the pantheon of legends, no revered status like that we have for Fergus, and it’s easy to say that Fergus was not fully appreciated until he was gone, but that was an historic mistake bent by perceptions of that man by a mainstream media which hated his guts and his mission to restore our club.

But Fergus built something to last. These people have us stuck in the mud.

They won their acclaim and their reps during a ten year period without a real competitor and in the process Lawwell personally took over £15 million out of Celtic in salary and bonuses whilst he second guessed the men in the dugout on players.

Then, because he couldn’t personally pick the team, he made a ludicrous attempt to try his hand at being director of football instead. And he misled the supporters on SFA reform, Resolution 12 and a bunch of other issues. He won some momentary respect when he appeared to fall on his sword after his Lennon experiment blew up in his face.

And he should have stayed gone.

He should have taken it on the chin and retired to count his money.

Instead, he pushed his way back onto the stage to try and claim credit for the Ange Postecoglou success story, leaking tales about how Ange was his discovery and his idea, so shamelessly, nakedly, self-aggrandising that it made you want to be sick.

Dermot Desmond and this board didn’t just allow it but they endorsed it and the hiring of his son with it, and it’s taken just one year for him to plunge this club into anarchy.

Well, no more of this.

The players have a job to do. The manager has a job to do.

They will get our backing as they do it.

But we also have a job to do, and that job is holding to account the people who have made this mess, and that job has just started and we’re not breaking for the season or anything else, because that’s how we got here, that sort of complacency, that sort of gaslighting and emotional blackmail is what’s allowed these people to run Celtic as if it was their private property for too damned long.

They should have been put under pressure long ago.

Well, the moment has arrived. And as fans we have a responsibility to the club itself to try and rid it of the kind of people who would behave this way. The rest of this season, they’re going to feel the heat. To be brutally honest, it’s long overdue.

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  • Bob (original) says:

    Good article.

    The Board must go.

    DD – and the other main shareholders – need to get the message

    loud and clear.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Agree with all of that. Support the manager and team, tho even if we manage tae win this league, don’t let it distract from the reality and importance that serious change has tae be made, or we’ll find ourselves right back tae square one. I’m no talkin about just the lawwells either. These greedy wee hypocrites like brian Wilson etc, need tae get shifted also and it disnae stop there. We’ve had the same coachin staff sittin in that dug out and in about 4 seasons we still cannae fkn defend set pieces properly. Big changes needed. If Desmond cannae absolutely guarantee, or prove a drastic change of ambition, it’s up tae the support tae act. Regardless if we win this league, the support should hold back their ST money.

  • king murdy says:

    couldn’t agree more james – well said !!
    the lawwell’s – and several others – need to be hunted !! ASAP !!

  • Kevin Lee says:

    Why should we give Rodgers full throated support he should be man enough to stand up for himself and tell Lawwell what he really thinks of him but there are 3 million + reasons why he won’t in his case money doesn’t talk.

  • bertie basset says:

    if i was a certain manager and been hard done , i’d want my pound of flesh big time , one way of doing that is to lose the league , subbing players that showed there was no one to fill the glaring gap , it would put a stop finally and utterly to the gallop of he who created the problems in first place and what he intends leaving after him when he’s gone .
    stranger things have happened , just look how the 10 was hijacked , who’s dirty mitts are all over that ?

  • Eldraco says:

    Hear hear, well said , now what has to happen is the organiser around the focal point.

    Who and where will that come from, may i humbly suggest NOT leaving out the supporters clubs worlwide such as oz we too buy gear we too can stop and just fyi celtic tv is not celtic its a 3rd party a partner stop that and the partner wont be happy .

  • Bunter says:

    I agree with every word you say in this excellent piece James. Enough is enough. Thousands of supporters are ready to take them and their apologists on. As Phil Mac calls them, this grey brigade have no future in a modern Celtic FC. Get them out of our club. Begin by buying no more products. Bombard Desmond and the grey men with emails. Flags, banners and emblems condemning them at every game. Be vocal, let them know it’s game over for them. Back the team – Sack the board.

  • Roonsa says:

    I’ve got a feeling there is some proper shareholder shit going down. Something that us mere mortals aren’t supposed to be aware of.

    On a football level, we all know none of this makes any sense. It is clear to everyone that we needed strengthening and the money is available. So why didn’t we?

    I am not going to point the finger at Mark Lawwell for this one. The problem is we didn’t spend not that the players we brought in weren’t good enough.

    No, this is definitely major shareholders getting together and instructing the board what to do in order for them to keep their jobs after the next AGM. For what reason, I don’t know. What I do know is that the people making the calls couldn’t care less about what we think or say.

    These guys only care about one thing. Money. And the only way to get them to pay attention is to withhold it from them.

    It costs money to support the team. I’m done parting with my hard earned whilst these jokers treat me with such contempt.

  • Jim Duffy says:

    James, when you say they’re “going to feel the heat” what do you suggest? because it will take a lot more than some banners and chants to get rid of this lot you stated yourself just what an egotist liewell is ,and desmond is probably the same ,you don’t get to be a billionaire being nice to people,it will take some effort to dislodge this lot, they’ve put there sons in place just to carry on their ruinous legacy.Ive said it before it will take a walk out in a televised game to show the world what we the fans think of this noxious board,they would struggle to maintain their stance if fans really turn the screw.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    A club divided = failure, I’m coming to the conclusion that Celtic FC are now looking at a few seasons of division and unrest. I accept the reasons for this unrest of the supporters as justified, this board has disrespected the support and taken them for mugs, but I still think that the next 3 months are crucial on the park and a bit of patience is needed from the support. Do I think this will happen? The answer to that is no.
    Unfortunately in my opinion this will mean a long drawn out war between sections of the support and the Board, DD and Lawwell will not give way quickly.

  • Tom Ferguson says:

    IMHO the board only understands profit and bonus (based on bottom line not team success), In supporting the team very few ST holders would give up their ticket in protest and in any case there are a queue of fans that would fill those spaces. The only other way of then hurting the board may be to withdraw from spending money on food and refreshments on match days and by refusing to buy any merchandise.

  • Bigchunkylardass says:

    Nail on the head James, nail on the head. Rogers and the team must get our full unconditional backing. Even if there’s games we don’t feel like they deserve it, so that the board is left in no doubt whatsoever that we know where the fault lies here.
    With the board however, we must be relentless until Pedro and son at the very least, are gone.


  • Johnny Green says:

    What heat? A couple of good results and it will all be forgotten, we all know that.

    Unfortunately, the only way heat can be applied is if we are dropping points every week and disgruntled fans react accordingly. We cannot have both success on the field of play and board room changes in the offing, it doesn’t work that way, it never has and it never will. We will continue to support our team and moan about the incompetents in charge, and so it goes on and on.

  • Paul taggart says:

    20 yrs to late james

  • John McCloskey says:

    We are now in a position where we are chasing LBs who are out of contract and club.
    Its like being in the Barras at nearly midnight on Christmas Eve and hoping to get the main present bought for the wean.
    Disgraceful and this board’s hubris at the AGM looks quite pitiful now.
    Not laughing anymore Lawwell ?


    Well the ‘ Dander’ is well and truly up now.
    So how do we keep the momentum going and the groundswell growing ?
    That’s the big question.
    Alas, I think one of our biggest assets has been recently neutered due to their previous
    Contretemps avec Le Board. Any anti Board banners will see them turfed out again.
    Only for good this time.
    Answers on a post card to…..
    The first to say ‘wee need to form a committee’ gets a boot in the hee-maws.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    I definitely like yourself James don’t think that he’ll be getting a statue in the car park either…

    If he’d been smart and delivered 10 in a row and killed off Sevco / ‘The’ ‘The’ Rangers he might’ve had a chance but hey ho he didn’t or perhaps wouldn’t might be the more accurate word here –

    But never mind we have £72 million in the bank (well perhaps £68 million after January) but another wedge on top of that to come…

    Meanwhile Miovski and Shankland score for fun against us while our lot couldn’t score in the biggest whore house in the fcukin universe !

  • Graham Laurie says:

    Even if we DO scrape the league, there needs to be a Shareholders EXTRORDINARY General Meeting called for a vote of no confidence in Lawwell and son, also to remove dinosaurs like Brian Wilson. Dermot Desmond’s attendance would also NOT be optional. I’ve heard there is a regulatory body that Shareholders can complain to should they be unhappy with the way the business they have a stake in is being run by its Directors, do you know anything about this James? If you do, could you email me off the forum as I’m a Shareholder myself?

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