Here at 67 Hail Hail, we pride ourselves on thoughtful Celtic chat, analysis and news.

We’re lucky, in many ways. Amongst the staff, we’ve got a range of different views and ideas about the club. Collectively we have so much in common, but our perspectives on the club, its players and issues surrounding the Bhoys can often be wildly different.

It’s a positive environment, even when the club itself hasn’t been. So, naturally, with the season ending, we had a thought about our Player of the Year, and similar awards in concurrence with what the club, the football writers and the SPFL are doing.

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For Celtic supporters, picking a best player from this lot is akin to selecting which heavyweight boxer you’d most like an uppercut from. None of the answers are entirely satisfying. While the club selected David Turnbull [Celtic FC], we have a more elegant solution.

Question: who has had to suffer most from the utter capitulation that was this season? Of anyone associated with the club, who has given so much and received so little, all while being called “entitled” in the process?

Answer: the supporters.

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Celtic

Celtic fans wave the Palestinian flag / (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

67 Hail Hail’s Player of the Year: the Celtic supporters

Can you honestly say, hand on heart, that anyone in this Celtic squad has played to POTY levels? Turnbull is perhaps closest, but he didn’t really get going until late 2020, and to hang our collective hat on him feels a bit like too much pressure.

Kristoffer Ajer was fine, as was Odsonne Edouard (I don’t care – look at his goal tally). Ultimately though, nobody bore the brunt of Celtic’s campaign more than the supporters did, did we?

Now, critics will suggest we acted up in the winter. There were some unsavoury scenes outside Celtic Park, for sure. The spirit of those protests, though, was bang on. The club’s custodians were letting the season evaporate before their eyes, and doing nothing. Celtic’s board showed blind faith to a manager who was struggling and, for his own good, needed to be removed from the situation he was in.

By the time the club did anything, the fans were proven right.

 

Equally, as the Super League drama unfolded, we were proven right once again. In protest against the billionaire owners, Celtic supporters demanded more clarity, more influence and an actual vision for the future. We were way ahead of the curve there, and resentment between supporters and custodians is a common theme across the UK and Europe.

We also had to watch as our club took the squad to Dubai in the middle of a pandemic, and were right to question it. Honestly, it made so many of us furious that it just hammered the disconnect home. When so many of us couldn’t even get to see our families, let alone those that actually struggled personally with Covid-19, it was a slap in the face.

Celtic fans

Celtic fans / (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

But we’ve been there, and we’ll always be there

By continually holding our club to account, we’ve been more impressive than any individual player. Have some gone too far? Yes, undoubtedly. In the main, though, we’ve had to listen to countless commentators tell us we’re wrong to be angry, that we’re misguided in our disillusionment, and we expect too much.

That’s nonsense. Would you rather have a friend that lied to you, or one that told you when things weren’t right?

Yet, for all the bad feeling, all the noxious rhetoric slung in our direction, you know we’ll be there when the Paradise turnstiles open once more. Because it’s never, ever been a question of giving up on the club. Just that when things are amiss, when it appears the board don’t want to listen to us, we’re going to make ourselves heard.

Across the world, supporters of different clubs are heralded for that. When we do it, we should “remember the 90s” and shut up, for some reason.

A final point: you could read this as lip service to readers of the site. But even if there was an element of that, which there isn’t, it’d be remiss to ignore the contributions of our viewers.

To each and every one, we thank you. Especially during a season like this one. Whether you’re agreeing with us or think we’re talking nonsense, our aim is to create meaningful discussion, or give our perspective on what’s happening at the club.

If anyone deserves applause for the drama of this season, then, it’s the Celtic supporters.

READ MORE: “I don’t think there is any doubt he can step up”

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