Forget Protesting At Hampden. Celtic Fans Should Be Protesting On Their Own Doorstep.

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Celtic was cheated on the pitch at the weekend. Celtic was cheated inside the walls of Hampden the other day when we lost the Yang appeal after the SFA had already publicly given Beaton a vote of confidence by pencilling him in for a Scottish Cup Quarter Final.

And they rubbed our face in it when they decided to schedule a hearing for Rodgers timed so that he will almost certainly miss the game at Ibrox.

I understand the impulse some feel to take our frustrations out on the governing body.

But in fact, as I said at the weekend, at least some of the blame for this lies at the doors of Celtic Park, and if we’re going to protest, I would suggest starting there and not on the doorsteps of Hampden. Our biggest problems since this season began have been inside our own walls, and nothing that happened at the weekend substantially changes that.

I wrote earlier about the Fans Forum meeting, and Nicholson’s answers to some of the questions which were posed on this issue. The club is content with things as they are. If they weren’t they would be putting together a proposal and touring the newsrooms with it, in order to get the debate started and put other clubs on the spot with their own fans.

Celtic remains a club hobbled by mediocrity and fear, and that has resulted in a number of self-inflicted wounds.

A Brendan Rodgers team would have turned around a match with ten men in his first spell here, but this is not a Brendan Rodgers team, of course, but one where half of the players were signed by the previous boss and the other half by a recruitment team which ignored his own very clear brief, and whose departmental head has already been shuffled sideways out the door to avoid bloodletting further up the ladder.

But we would be mugs to settle for that.

This league race should be out of sight.

It shouldn’t even be in the hands of the officials; we should have seen to that months ago. The January window was the last proper opportunity to fix the glaring issues with this team. The recruitment department failed in the most spectacular fashion and we have shipped no fewer than seven points since it closed. We cannot blame only the officials for that.

We’re allowed Alexander Bernabei to leave yesterday; why? For what possible gain to this club? The people who are running Celtic right now are living on a different planet if they think that’s an appropriate act when there are only nine games left.

This goes back deeper though.

It’s a much bigger issue that just the steady, reckless weakening of this squad.

Their failures go beyond that.

There can’t be a single person at Celtic Park who isn’t fully aware that refereeing in this game is a scandal. We should have brought proposals to the table many years ago and put them in the public domain to start the national discussion on this, regardless of how that discussion would initially play itself out, which is to say that the media would hate it and want to torch it … but clubs and fans would sit up and pay attention and we’d get somewhere.

Last night I posted a piece on some of the excuses which are made by those in the media as to why we can’t have change. Nobody can present a rational, coherent case for continuing with the current system, only excuses for not taking action.

Unfortunately, that extends to our own club.

We are bereft of genuine leaders.

I am writing a piece for later in the week about Fergus McCann; can you even imagine what he would do faced with some of this?

A man like that would have driven through these people in a tank over what we’ve had to watch unfold over the last couple of seasons. He would have fought our corner on every front.

I don’t want to write too much about him today because I want that wider article to fully reflect the respect I have for him and the gratitude I feel for his achievements, but we all know that he would not have permitted some of what we’ve witnessed since 2012.

I also wonder what John Reid would have done.

He’s one of those guys the armchair rebels despise, and largely over stuff he had very little to do with, and their view of him is, in my opinion, a clear sign of how short-sighted they are; Reid was a warrior on Celtic’s behalf.

He was the last figure of real gravitas who sat in that boardroom and had he still been chairman when Rangers collapsed, I genuinely believe that Scottish football would look very different.

This board needs to grow a little backbone, but I don’t think they have it in them.

It’s just one of a number of areas where they have failed us, and that failure now casts a giant shadow over what is left of this season.

It is not inconceivable that this title race might be decided by the officials, and if it is we should be as angry with those inside Celtic as those who snipe at us from Hampden.

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  • Dan says:

    Supporters could grow a backbone too and vote with their feet, starting with a Scottish Cup game. Board never need to change as they know the punters will continue to fill seats no matter what

  • Fun time frankie says:

    James I posted this a few weeks ago but obviously it didn’t get through,imo the sfa have liewell over a barrel and their all having a wee pump at him ,and all because of the 5 way agreement that he has constantly lied about HANGING IS TO GOOD FOR THIS BASTARD.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Ahm expectin nothin from that gutless mob sittin in our boardroom. Even if we did get this title, ( which ah doubt we’ll be ‘allowed’ tae ) we shouldnae back off this board. And their so far ‘token’ gesture, of gettin rid of lawwell jnr and imo only tae get the season tickets in, shouldnae be anywhere near enough. Now that the sfa’s cards are on the table and beaton has a free ride, ah can only see it encouragin other bent officials tae follow his example even more. It’s only goin tae get worse.

  • Peter Mcnamara says:

    Our beloved club is in a shambles the same way it was when the tight fisted Kelly’s were in charge. For the life of me i have no idea where we go from here. Maybe call on all season ticket holders to not attend games until something is done. But you won’t get people having a backbone to stand up for what’s right, because of the money they are out for these tickets.

    • Quietly Brilliant says:

      I Am Ashamed of the Celtic Board (I want to be Proud of them) But they treat Celtic as their own Personal Money ? Tree. However I am Proud of the Fans and the Ordinary Staff who work at the Club.

  • Bob (original) says:

    In an ‘unintended consequences’ sort of way,

    to this shambolic season so far,

    to a [probably] weak and pathetic

    response to whatever the SFA does to BR,

    and to top it all off – a real risk of losing the league…

    This could all contribute to a necessary, painful trigger for the support,

    – and which ‘could’ finally culminate in an unavoidable, proper, thorough

    ‘clearing out’ at the club?

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Aye John Reid is certainly an interesting one indeed…

    A Labour (Butchers Apron loving party) Politician but clearly he’s also not a Butchers Apron Lover as well –

    I think he’d have been an ardent independence supporter if he was starting out today to be honest…

    And I think he stuck up fairly well for Celtic in his time there –

    Despite his dodgy ‘Brit’ political background…

    I suppose it’s handy to have an occasional ‘one of us’ on the Brit establishment inside –

    I’m not sure but on these shores the street talk is that Lord Robertson of Port Ellen or whatever George Robertson the former NATO chief and Hamilton MP is called was a Celtic supporter as well…

    Were they good Celtic guys or did the Brit establishment send them spying at executive level at Celtic –

    If so – With the supine melluable fcukers on our board they (Brits) would be well disappointed with any feedback that they provided !

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    “The board need to grow a little backbone” But I don’t think they have it in them…

    While I appreciate the satirical part of the first bit of the sentence James – The bloody well need to grow a backbone the size of Ben Nevis !!!

    And yes – Like Yourself, I guarantee that they absolutely don’t have it in them either !!!

  • Michael McCartney says:

    I’m quite an auld guy and I have attended Celtic games through good times and bad times, my 1st game was as a 6 year old in 1950, My family have had 3 season tickets since Hampden 1995 but I’ve had enough of VAR and it’s affect on Scottish Football. Throughout my life and probably throughout Celtic’s history we know that Scottish referees haven’t been even handed when refereeing Celtic games, but with VAR guys like Beaton have two chances of cheating and helping their favourite team from down Ibrox way.
    Two games this season clearly show this to be the case. The Rangers v Hearts at Ibrox 28th Oct, Hearts winning 1-0 , very questionable 10 mins of injury time, dubious penalty awarded to Rangers during that time, the 2nd penalty awarded to them on the day. Rangers then go on to win the game with goal in the 10th min of time added. Even Rangers daft Naismith questions the refereeing that day.
    Hearts v Celtic 3rd of March at Tynecastle two VAR decisions that turn the game on its head go against Celtic, a very questionable ordering off of a Celtic player and a ridiculous penalty awarded to Hearts. The common denominator is John Beaton. Numerous decisions given by this man have favoured one team over seasons now, yet the SFA just insult our intelligence, and our board does nothing. In those two games a swing of 6 points to The Rangers
    I honestly think I’ve had enough, events between now and the end of the season will be interesting. Will our board grow a pair I think not.

  • James Garrity says:

    A shiver circles Celtic’s boardroom table, looking for a spine to run up.

    • Paul taggart says:

      James what the fuck has john reid ever done for us??? In my 60years the bunnet is the only one to stand up to they scumbags at the sfa

  • Jim says:

    Lawwell returns and havoc engulfs the entire club from board to manager to player’s, and signings policy and the SFA seemingly have free reign to allow beaton and co to control games award penalties to bail out sevco and punish everyone else who plays against them , MIB right enough.

    What was the point of Lawwells return.

    If this board is continually ignoring, which is so blatant what’s the point of them also.

    I think it’s high time that they and lawwell got up off their arses and come out fighting for Celtic, it is after all what their highly paid for.

    The SFA are not untouchable, their treatment of both Celtic and sevco has been night and day, and refereeing decisions are shamefully one sided.

    The board has to act Now!

  • John L says:

    If I was BR , I would not turn up for their disciplinary, unless CFC give him their full backing and send in a couple of top notch lawyers with plenty of evidence .

    That would be a statement of intent and, it would show the fans that we don’t take shit lightly.

  • John Fitzpatrick says:

    James, This incompetence by Celtic is by design (just like the 10 season). Celtic WILL lose this league to keep them afloat. We will never be allowed to win this League we’re paying into a rigged League. You must see that?

  • Fun time frankie says:

    Well said John l tuck the Masonic SFA

  • SSMPM says:

    Two things not forget in your nostalgic look back at those that you mentioned;
    rangers won the league time and again under Fergus and
    John Reid openly backed the establ’s view that a Catholic should not be allowed to be a member of the ‘UK’s royal family’.
    It was not all strawberries and cream. HH

  • SSMPM says:

    Soz – John Reid openly backed the Establishment’s view

  • SSMPM says:

    Also I see no reason why we can’t protest at the home of the SFA members and at the Celtic Board. An exclusive action against both authorities that appear to be against our club should not be an isolated issue. HH

  • Jimmy says:

    The club is content with the way that things are.
    Thats what you wrote and your spot on James. Scary but that is the case.
    All we get is the hearts game. Their penalty was a shocker. Ours was soft to say the least. Sending off was debatable. They got a goal chalked off with a centimetre in it.
    Yet the comments on here are boycott and the worst ever don’t compete in the Scottish cup. Unbelievable.
    Meanwhile our board get off scot free because the attention is elsewhere. They will be lapping it up laughing at us.
    Our team is the poorest 11 that i have seen in years. Rodgers during his last tenure had, Scott Brown Dembele Tierney Ajer Edourd and Forrest in his prime. Scott Sinclair and Craig Gordon in a team that gubbed sevco 5-0. We got 84 million pounds for Dembele Edouad Tierney and Ayer.
    Our club is in Total dissaray yet we get more heated over a sending off. We need to screw the nut and waken up.

  • Colabhoy says:

    100% right re Fergus and JR, they would have fought our corner till they got the job done, where is the backbone from our club? Who is our KC after the tragic loss of PMcB RIP(who would have and did ride a horse &coach through the beaks dodgy policies).

    Celtic now need to go nuclear on the SFA/SPFL after the way we are being treated right back to the 5WA and formation of the new club. Let’s get everything that’s stinking up the game out there in an open forum.

  • James Hanlin says:

    Agreed, our board has no backbone. In addition, we are compromised by having Lawwell on the board for 2 reasons: his ability or lack of, to tackle real issues concerning our club (he proved that as CEO); and he is restricted/reluctant due to the 5 ways he signed.

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