Celtic fans branded "utterly baffling" by Tam Cowan, as another pundit ignores context

By Euan Davidson

February 16, 2021

Celtic fans have been branded “utterly baffling” by Tam Cowan.

Speaking on PLZ Soccer’s “The Football Show”, Cowan was joined by Peter Martin, Alan Rough and Darren Jackson to discuss the week’s footballing headlines.

Cowan, who had to apologise to female footballers after his “satirical” article on women’s football [Daily Record], gave another insight into a world he doesn’t understand. This time, it was the attitudes of Celtic supporters, who are unhappy with the way the club is being run.

Amongst protests, supporters groups are considering whether or not to renew their season tickets. Fan distrust and fan ownership proposals, something any Motherwell supporter like Cowan should understand, were two issues that went right over the veteran broadcaster’s head.

Try fitting that lot into Fir Park / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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Celtic fans blasted by Cowan

Admittedly, from the outside, the situation probably does look a little strange. But Cowan, who has spent decades providing Scottish football content, should know better than to take cheap shots by now.

Cowan said:

“It’s a bit strange. Certainly it seems to have calmed down, maybe because the passing of time, maybe because – albeit it’s too little too late – getting a wee bit of form back.

“I think it’d be better all round if the board came out and said “you know what? Neil Lennon, ultimately, no matter what you think about him, he was the manager who clinched the historical quadruple treble. So we’re no gonnae sack him, he’s going to be here until the end of the season”.

“But then there’ll be the flat argument that Celtic fans will say right away – the fans who don’t think Neil Lennon should be there – they’ll be saying “we can’t wait to get a manager in at the last minute. We should be getting a guy in the now, giving them the end of the season, a full close-season before next season resumes.

“I must admit, as a Motherwell fan, it’s hard not to have a slight smile on my face when I keeping hearing about Celtic fans who tell us they’re the greatest fans in the world, and how they’ll walk a million miles for one of their goals.

“A few weeks after a Quadruple Treble, they’re talking about no going back, not renewing their season ticket. Utterly baffling.”

Who needs context?

It’s easy to take the bait and criticise Tam Cowan, and it’s also good fun.

But there’s more to it than this. All over football broadcasting, pundits with half-baked ideas on what they think is happening at Celtic are giving their two cents. Uniformly, it’s ill-informed garbage that doesn’t look at the root of the issues.

Celtic supporters, unlike our counterparts south of the Clyde, kept their club alive in the 90s. They’re doing so again; with season tickets being the main source of income at Celtic Park. They deserve to be heard when they’re not happy with how the club is run.

The supporters are the lifeblood of the club, and they’re asking the questions they’re entitled to ask.

So, when the fans are demonstrating after sustained success, surely you have to know something must be fundamentally not right.

You must be able, as a football pundit, to look beneath the veneer of the story and question why something like that would happen.

If not, you’re simply not doing your job.

EXCLUSIVE: We spoke to documentarian Jamie Doran ahead of the release of his new film, about Celtic supporters.