Celtic season-ticket tone shows they anticipated fan anger yesterday

By David Walton

May 27, 2021

Celtic launched their season-ticket campaign yesterday and, unsurprisingly, it went down like a lead balloon.

Supporters reacted to the appeal for renewals with sheer perplexity as they questioned why a new manager wasn’t in place yet. Many also believed that there should’ve been more benefits added or a reduction in price due to last season’s disaster.

Regardless of where you fall on it, the vast majority were left fizzing. But this reaction quite clearly didn’t leave Celtic gobsmacked. In fact, if you read closely into their statement, it’s something they evidently prepared for.

Starting off with their tweet, they knew what the elephant in the room was. They chose to state the following in their tweet introducing their appeal:

“We had hoped to have announced the Manager before providing this update, however we must now begin the renewal process to allow us to prepare for a phased and safe return to Celtic Park for our supporters.”

"Carl Starfelt to Celtic is a big possibility" | Swedish journalist Anel Avdić

It was said with a tinge of regret. Almost as if the club wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t have to. They’re trying here to explain to supporters that they’ve tried to get the manager in and come across as apologetic in their tone. It isn’t the confident, bullish form of communication that we’ve come to expect in recent years.

Their paragraph about the new manager search was the third highest in their official statement. Yet Celtic believed it was the right one to be shoved in fans’ faces along with the tweet. That suggests they knew fine well what everyone’s main concern would be.

No boasting from Celtic in this year’s season-ticket statement

You then have some of the other comments that come across more as pleas to supporters than anything else. The following was a particular standout:

“We are truly sorry you have not been able to join us at Celtic Park and sorry we have not been able to deliver the further success which your support has deserved. We understand how difficult this year has been for you and understand the disappointment you have felt, it is something shared by us all at the Club.”

Again, there’s no confidence from the club here. Nothing to get you overly excited about what lies ahead. They’re taking a totally different tactic here and trying to come across as grounded. That was followed by the following which was close to the end of the statement:

“Our Club was born in adversity, raised in defiance and defined by no other. With our own standards and own values – we always have been and always will be a Club open to all. Now we have a real chance to start afresh, to work together and once again create a Club built for the future, a Club built to last.”

An empty Celtic Park / (Photo by Andrew Milligan/Pool via Getty Images)

That’s an appeal to the Celtic supporter in you. A way of trying to connect with your emotional attachment to the club and use your heartstrings to hook you in. They knew fine well that any bravado wouldn’t have been accepted.

The benefits announced by Celtic for your season-ticket next season won’t be enough for many. The managerial frustration has only heightened tensions further. However, it’s clear Celtic are firmly aware of the strong venom many of us feel towards the club just now. It’s written all over the club’s season-ticket appeal.

Let’s hope they act on it properly this summer then. We can’t have another year like we just endured.

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