Refreshing Celtic media stance is connecting with fans in a brilliant way

By Euan Davidson

April 24, 2021

Celtic fan media has had a real, prolonged ‘moment’ over the last few years in particular.

A number of fantastic outlets are obsessively poring over every detail when it comes to the club. When a transfer rumour emerges, passionate writers across Celtic media are giving you up-to-date, detailed information. The same’s true of managerial candidates, while there are excellent opinion pieces dissecting the mainstream channels of information, the behaviour of the club, and what’s happening in Scottish football.

Essentially, if you’re a Celtic fan, you’re more than catered for both online and in print. The Alternative View, Celtic Fanzine and others are holding the flame for print fan-led media. Online, of course, there are myriad podcasts, YouTube series, live videos and other excellent creators providing 24 hour Celtic content.

Yet, during that time, it’s felt like there’s been resistance from the club itself. Given the history of the Celtic View, and Celtic TV, the club has put itself at pains to be first in announcing news and providing insight from players. That’s their prerogative, unquestionably.

We’re not going to suggest that the club are stressing over “controlling the narrative” or some other quasi-literate sentiment. Any institution worth its salt is in charge of its own media obligations, and aims to communicate directly with fans/stakeholders/whoever. That makes sense, and it isn’t a criticism.

Still, it feels like there’s friction between the club and the outlets covering it, at least in terms of fan media. Or at least, there was. But there’s been some excellent work happening over recent weeks and months that should give all Celtic supporters encouragement.

Celtic FC Women head coach Fran Alonso / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Contact between Celtic FC Women and fan media outlets has been incredibly refreshing and enjoyable

You might’ve noticed a concerted effort on our part to cover the Celtic FC Women team. Having turned professional in recent memory, the club, too, are aiming to emphasise the importance of the Women’s team through their own media channels. But fan media, too, has been brought in to share the experience.

That has a tangible and lasting impact. Not only does it help to foster better relationships between fan media outlets, but it gives fan outlets access that helps both themselves and the club. When Celtic are letting us, collectively, in to talk to the likes of Fran Alonso, Jodie Bartle and Mariah Lee, it’s been a refreshing and enjoyable experience.

Not least because the Women’s team are a fantastic watch. The team have some excellent players and a charismatic, lovable manager in Fran Alonso.

If the media was conducted this way in general, the content would be better. I don’t think it’s outlandish to suggest that. This is by no means a knock on the correspondents from big outlets, who do fantastic work covering Celtic. But in terms of getting to know players and creating a buzz around football matches, what’s happening with the Women’s team should be a lesson that the club are reflecting on.

Because honestly? It’s an absolute joy talking about Alonso’s side. I don’t think anyone in the fan-led media would disagree with that, and I’m sure collectively we all hope the coverage reflects that.

With change coming at the club, the recent experiences between fan media and the women’s team should be an example. It ought have shown that there’s a way of letting us in benefits everyone.

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