Postecoglou addresses Celtic fans' silent protest

By Euan Davidson

December 9, 2021

Ange Postecoglou has given a diplomatic response to the Celtic fans’ silent protest during the Betis game tonight.

Ahead of the game, in protest against the potential employment of Bernard Higgins, supporters groups including The Celtic Trust, Bhoys and the Green Brigade made a vow of silence [@NCCeltic].

Before kick-off, a banner was unfurled reading: “Cold pies? Fan forum. Fan behaviour? Statements. Bernard Higgins? Silence.”

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

There was perhaps a misconception that this silence would mean not supporting Celtic. That wasn’t the case, with plenty of action getting fans excited. In a breath-taking 3-2 win, a young Hoops side put a Betis team full of internationals to the sword. And in entertaining style, too.

But there was an eeriness throughout. With good cause, yes, but it was certainly a different European atmosphere at Celtic Park tonight.

Speaking to BT Sport, Ange offered the following assessment:

“I think the fans have got onside, the fans are supporting as they always do. I’d prefer it was as loud as it could possibly be, because I think it’s great for our players.

“But it’s great for the supporters, I think it’s why they come to the game. Get off their seats, sing a few songs and hopefully enjoy the victory. So hopefully they do that tonight.”

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Ange Postecoglou delivers the right tone after Celtic win and fan protest, but he probably has more pressing anxieties

Of course Postecoglou was going to offer the diplomatic response. It’s a really tough situation for him, and he doesn’t want to lie to the supporters. Nor can he realistically go against his employers. So a simple “ah, I wish it were different” without condemning sections of the support is probably fine.

It’s not Ange that Celtic fans want answers from anyway, it’s the board.

Besides, expecting articulacy from any manager after the heart-stopping game we just saw would be somewhat greedy. Especially when Ange has seen his injury list bulk up.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

His focus, clearly, was on Kyogo Furuhashi. He said the striker’s situation was “not good” in a frank assessment after the game. Head knocks, Ajeti coming off, McCarthy coming off; his inbox will be full tomorrow morning.

With a weird sort of atmosphere, far from what we’re used to, you’d have thought the board have surely got the point by now. The supporters’ groups don’t have a monopoly on atmosphere, nor would they claim to.

But surely the argument has been understood by now.

Read more: Celtic supporters have their say on debut performance of Liam Shaw in wild win