Let’s start off the bat by stating that violence should always be condemned and called out whenever it occurs.
I was nowhere near Celtic Park yesterday, so didn’t have the luxury of seeing exactly what went on and what didn’t go on. But what every Celtic fan knows regardless of whether you were there or not, is that the fanbase as a whole is furious.
Celtic 0-2 Ross County was the straw that broke the camel’s back for many. A sizable contingent made its way over to Parkhead to let their feelings be known to a board that seemingly continues to avoid its concerns at every turn.
Many of us expected some form of statement last night. But certainly not on the subject that Celtic chose to dish it out on. Instead, many of us would’ve thought a managerial change was going to be at the top of the agenda.
Nope. Instead Celtic issued a statement on the supporters, and claimed that missiles were thrown at some of the players who had been left “shaken”.
If this was indeed the case then it’s bang out of order. Violence of any kind is way beyond the line of what’s acceptable. Even heading over to the statement given the Covid protocols that have been put in place doesn’t strike me as being right too.
But where Celtic have played this all wrongly is in refusing to acknowledge why fans were there in the first place. This was hardly random. They gathered outside Parkhead to show a unity of defiance towards the board. A sign of the lengths they’re willing to go to make their voices be heard. If some have taken it too far then they have to be made accountable.
However, for me, and I’m happy to just come out and say it – I believe Celtic’s statement last night was a massive deflection tactic. The board will have viewed this more as an opportunity than anything else. A chance to shift the narrative on and to point the finger of blame at a support that’s guilty only of loving the club perhaps too much at times.
Again, the same can’t be said for anyone who threw missiles. That’s a line none of us condone. I struggle to accept the idea of any sort of mass gathering either during these times, but I can understand what’s made fans head to Celtic Park, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong. It comes from a deep care for the club.
The board also know this, but their failure to acknowledge their concerns or reassure them that they’re pondering their next move is a slap in the face to us all. And it’s clear that the supporters on social media also aren’t having Celtic avoiding their concerns either.
Here’s a look at some of the reaction to last night’s controversial statement:
Those throwing stuff should be prosecuted.
But I hope they don't think the frustration & protests were because we lost a cup game & ended the trophy sequence.
This is much bigger than that! https://t.co/NsgyCYr4Y8
— Ginty (@Ginty1888) November 29, 2020
Agree with the condemnation of the shocking scenes at Celtic Park today.
However, your PR with fans has been shocking over the past few months. You have failed to bridge the gap caused by COVID, leaving many fans feeling disconnected.
Not an excuse for today's scenes of course. https://t.co/ug2GWyleTr
— Connor McQuade (@ConMcQ) November 29, 2020
Shows how deluded the club has become that they believe people were protesting the cup loss, they were protesting the regime that has become lazy and out of touch with the fans, the behaviour of some was awful but the feeling is the same amongst many of us https://t.co/cMzLIm5vub
— Chaluim (@chaluimmarshall) November 29, 2020
For weeks the fans have kept quiet while the board have let this club slide in to this current state the protest was wrong but so is everything at the club right now no leadership no players trying if change isn’t made fast it will be to late https://t.co/9BcBHn0BQy
— Dannybhoy88 (@danny20299512) November 30, 2020
The board clearly don't share the disappointment of the fans or Lennon would have been dealt with accordingly and last night would not have happened. The scenes were shameful at the stadium but the board have to take responsibility as well as this could have been avoided https://t.co/S0wQf3cfYk
— CelticThrough&Through (@celticthrough) November 30, 2020
Absolutely right for the club to call out some of the behaviour from so called fans tonight. However, they cannot be excused from this. They allowed this to happen — their inaction was clearly going to bring fans out to protest and rightly so. Now they must do their job. https://t.co/WZXlHMSsnc
— Steven Shearer (@StevenTCShearer) November 30, 2020
Of course violence should be condemned.
But this statement is so disingenuous, divisive and dismissive of genuine concerns it could have been issued by the White House. https://t.co/gaIDdD4tUr
— Celtic Wiki (@TheCelticWiki) November 29, 2020
The club are distancing themselves from the fans like nothing we’ve seen since the early 90s. Don’t forget who’s money pays for every single brick, seat and player at parkhead. Celtic IS the fans.
— Fraser Campbell (@FraserC50747337) November 29, 2020