Celtic may feel like a club under enormous pressure from its fanbase, but the pandemic has helped save them from what would’ve been a perfect storm this Christmas.
A combination of dreadful performances have finally seen results catch up with them. Nothing is going right for the Celtic boss on the pitch or indeed off of it with several key stars missing important games over the course of October and November.
This morning, meanwhile, supporters were outraged by a report in the Herald that claimed the board were sticking by Lennon. Despite the fact we’re 11 points behind Rangers and have only won two out of our last eight games, still the manager has support upstairs it seems.
Better yet, the report states that Lennon isn’t going to resign anytime soon despite the fact the fans generally want him gone. And it leads you to wonder just how the board feel they can get away with this.
Well, let’s be totally honest, as much as there is pressure on the Celtic manager and board, it’s nowhere near the level of criticism they would be receiving if there was no pandemic.
If Parkhead had been packed this season, Lennon and Peter Lawwell would’ve been the subject of heavy boos and fan-made tifos telling them enough was enough. Fans would be making sure their anger is heard.
But this wouldn’t just be stopping inside the ground either.
Avenues of pressure have been closed off thanks to the pandemic
The pandemic has spared the board from fan demonstrations outside Parkhead and Lennoxtown. The Celtic support have never been a fanbase that keeps their opinions to themselves. There’s an unmistakable level of anger and fury that’s overtaken all of us, and that would’ve been reflected in large and vocal calls around club premises for action to be taken.
These days, the players are able to walk from the team bus into Parkhead with only the nice sound of a light breeze in the air. Had Glasgow not been on lockdown and supporters able to visit stadiums, their journey back to those same buses would’ve seen them showered with what the fans are thinking.
Make no mistake, that kind of stuff doesn’t go beyond the board’s head either.
Listen, I don’t condone any abuse or personal insults being thrown towards anyone nevermind the Celtic team. But the fact is it would all still be happening, and the Celtic’s board and management staff have been spared that sort of anger thanks to Covid protocols this season.
It makes you wonder whether the pressure has been released a little bit on the board. Sure, they’ll be aware of social media concerns, but that’s social media. They haven’t had the mass demonstrations outside Parkhead or team-bus confrontations to add to all of that.
Perhaps that’s led to complacency. A failure to believe things are as bad as they are. Or even worse, an opening for them to ride out the cheap option as much as they can.
Whatever it is, the pandemic has saved Lennon, Lawwell, and Dermott Desmond from a lot more pressure than they would’ve received. Or at least the pressure they would be forced to hear.