Celtic’s Leaders Need To Articulate A Plan And Stop Treating The Fans With Such Contempt.

Image for Celtic’s Leaders Need To Articulate A Plan And Stop Treating The Fans With Such Contempt.

Celtic, like every other football club in the country, will go through spells when things don’t go particularly well. But for the last few years Celtic has had an issue which is pretty much unique to our club, and it’s not one we will be boasting about to the rest of football. Because it’s one of the worst offences any organisation can commit against its customers.

Celtic does not communicate with us. It does not communicate with us at all. Yes, fan media get invites to press events (some of them anyway) and we are kept in touch with when certain issues develop, but the supporter base as a whole never hears from this club directly, except through the occasional announcement. But that’s not a good comms strategy.

One of the reasons for fan dismay right now is that there doesn’t appear to be a clear-heading and thorough strategy at the club. Now, we are constantly assured that this misunderstands the situation and that in fact we are following a coherent plan which fans would understand better if we just saw it clearly. But I believe that insults our intelligence.

Because if we’re simply not understanding it part of the reason for that might lie in the fact that it is never adequately explained to us.

Nobody actually gives us the run-down on what the directors are thinking or what the plan for the club is in the medium to long term. The club has been dreadful at this stuff for years – the last time Celtic clearly articulated such a strategy was under Fergus – but it’s worse now that we have a CEO who prefers not to be public facing.

As I’ve said previously, I don’t necessarily have a problem with a low-key CEO because it’s in many ways a better option than having someone like Lawwell who enjoyed nothing more than having his face in the papers, even if there were few examples of his actually talking to the fans. He did enjoy doing the rounds of the editors and journalists though, and this was widely reported. There are no such reports about Nicholson, which is both good and bad.

I get the impression that he’s a mediocre communicator at best, and that’s a problem in and of itself because a modern CEO should be good at that particular job, he should have that particular skill-set down cold, and this guy just doesn’t seem to have that at all.

Still, at some point someone from the club – someone credible, someone the fans know represents the thinking at the top of the house – needs to get in front of the supporters and start talking because the club looks a complete mess from the outside at the moment, with Rodgers and the players the only people in the front line of it all.

We need to understand several things about the future of this club.

We need to know whether there are plans to shake up the board; what the medium term strategy is as far as the football department – not the manager, those above him – goes; we need to know where the club stands on the state of Scottish football governance; we need to know what’s happening in Europe which might affect us in years to come; the situation with policing; away match tickets and what the hell we’re doing there; what the plans are for the stadium; what the plans are for proper engagement with fans … the list goes on.

All of this, and more, could be the subject of a lengthy interview, and it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, be offered first to the mainstream media. There are fan media outlets to offer it to and the club’s own official channels to broadcast it on if fan media proves unfeasible or they want the maximum possible reach. The media will pick it up in due course.

But the fans need, the fans deserve, answers. In almost every other field in business and sport the communication level is vastly better than that which is offered from Celtic, and if these people want to prevent the spread of rumours, disinformation and a lot more besides they should get in front of it all and stop treating us with a contempt that ends up reflected back at them.

Share this article


  • Bob (original) says:

    Assuming that there is PR / Media department at the club, [?],

    is it perhaps manned by Lawwells and Strachans…?

    We’ve got the financial resources to have a professional,

    PR set up, to – significantly – improve communication with the suppport,

    and to better manage the SMSM?

    • BroxburnBhoy says:

      Currently we spend more than any other
      Club in Scotland and we spend it from a position of financial strength due to a large capacity stadium, prudent transfer policies and champions league money. We have won just about everything on offer for a number of years in a row. The only real problem of any real
      Consequence is performance in Europe. That will take a higher caliber player in many positions to really make a dent in Europe. That said no matter how much money we throw at that we will never match Man City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, PSG and so on. The question is what do we expect and what can we afford? That is the balancing act for the Board. Like them or loathe them their strategy is clear. Maintain domestic dominance especially in the league and hope for the best in Europe while maintaining a healthy bank balance

      • Jim Duffy says:

        Our domestic dominance may be about to end ,we are struggling to beat teams on a 20th of our budget regardless what amount of project players we buy, McInnes at Killie has a team full of journeymen and loanees as do hearts who we struggle to beat ,so the domestic dominance is not that great,I blame the coaching ,training not the manager but what has Kennedy and Strachan ever done as coaches,it’s certainly not work on set pieces scoring or defending them because we are dire at both.regards Europe there are teams much smaller than us who have done well in Europe over recent years , Copenhagen, Rosenberg, Malmö etc even sevco seem to cope better,but Europe is where we are judged outside of parochial 2 horse race in Scotland,we must do better in Europe.

  • Roonsa says:

    Genuine question. Do you have an example of a football club that communicates to its fans the way you talk about here?

  • James McAllister says:

    Totally agree… They just take their big salaries and sit back with not a care about the supporters.. Do they forget it’s the supporters that’s paying their huge salaries, for what!!!!!

  • scousebhoyj says:

    they are so out of touch with the fans they would likely need a translator .

  • Effarr says:

    Celtic should offer Mick Lynch Nicholson`s job. They could do worse.
    Or re-employ McKie, McKie the rugby guy.


    They just don’t want the fans to know what their strategy is, medium or long term, because most of the rank & file supporters would disagree with it.

    The Board see the Club as a money making Company that is attractive to institutional Investors. They would quite happily see the smaller shareholders , i.e. the fans, family holdings being marginalised. They’ve even got a Help Line for Institutional Investors wishing to grow their portfolio.

    They treat their Customers with contempt as if they’re ashamed of having to rely on them to do business. They depend on their Customers unflinching loyalty to Celtic, or the Brand, as they see it, to continue as repeat Customers year after year safe in the knowledge that there are more on the waiting list.

    They are NOT, interested in enlarging the Ground Capacity. They see the costs involved and calculate how long it will take to recover the outlay as too long to justify. They also calculate that if they increase the capacity then the threat of the ‘waiting list’ is largely gone as disaffected fans no longer have that perceived threat of losing their seat to someone willing and waiting on the List.

    They also DO NOT intend to break their Player Salary / Age Profile so even players above the £6 million mark are out of reach. Odsonne Edouarde was an outlier for this strategy. It was done to appease Roger’s the first time around safe in the knowledge that his age and pedigree would almost guarantee a huge sell on fee.

    They are Definitely NOT prepared to go down the 3 or 4 Quality Players route to prepare for Europe. It would smash their trading model for good and would cause dissatisfaction in the dressing room. The Board are quite prepared to accept the occasional qualification for Europe as it’s basically free money for little investment.

    Their overriding principle, in the little pond that is Scottish Football, is to adhere to the O££ F£££ model. One for me, one for you. In this they are actually being short sighted, in that they think the Game in Scotland can’t afford to lose Sevco or any iteration of the original Club / Kompany. The game would be immeasurably better AND more competitive without them.

    The standard ‘Trope’ in their thinking is of Social Unrest from the disgruntled Sevco following. That Social unrest is a Political and Social issue that Governments of all persuasions, UK or Independent Scotland, must confront anyway at some point. As far as the Unionist parties are concerned it keeps Scotland on the Leash and Business craves, more than anything, Stability. Which is, despite their protestations and “we’re not half of anything” public utterances, the thinking of our Tory Board.

  • Liz McKenna says:

    While I agree with a lot of what’s written, there was a fan forum held at Celtic Park last night. Michael Nicholson and other board members were present and spoke openly. This forum is open to any fan to attend.

  • KC67 says:

    Celtic football club – run by and for tories. An organisation made up of square pegs in round holes.

    The board don’t communicate a plan cause there is no plan. They don’t look any further than one season at a time.

    A non communitive (mute even) CEO. Could someone tell me what this guy does for his £750,000 a year?

    Sometimes in life you have to take a step back before moving forward. The Celtic fans need to be bold and stop funding these people running our club. They don’t represent how we believe the club should be run.



    • Jim Duffy says:

      Good shout KC67 I’ve said for ages that to get a change of board will take very strong action,not banners ,chants , tifos you’ve to hit them where it hurts,in their pockets,the faithful through and through which this board thrives on will continue to buy STs merchandise etc ,the board will think great we don’t have to change our ways,and so it will be thus always.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Hate to say this – But we could take a lesson or two from Sevco on fan communication…

    They seem to have a degree in the subject –

    Far Far better than our mob sadly they certainly are…

    There again – That wouldn’t be that difficult I guess !

Comments are closed.