The Celtic supporter issue we need to discuss

By Euan Davidson

May 28, 2021

The Green Brigade, the largest and noisiest Celtic supporters’ group, caused a stir yesterday.

While the club was thanking supporters who renewed their season tickets [Celtic FC], the seemingly controversial tenants of the North Curve had their own thoughts. With all of the tumultuous back-and-forth between the board and members of the support, there’s resistance in some quarters to instantly renew for 21-22.

The North Curve twitter account said:

We went over this last night: there is no right or wrong answer here. While Celtic is indeed a cause and a calling, it sends a very direct message to the board if people refuse to renew their season tickets. Especially members of a group who keep the atmosphere at matches bouncing, and do a lot of important charity work.

But what’s being missed here is a shred of nuance. Given the response to the North Curve’s statement, you’d have thought the Green Brigade were calling for a mass exodus. The arguments about the GB “speaking for all Celtic supporters” came up yet again. Let’s shatter a few myths, shall we?

Celtic Park safe standing / (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Celtic supporters are more than capable of thinking for themselves, but it’s not the Green Brigade saying otherwise

Firstly, the Green Brigade have never once claimed to speak for all of the support. No Ultra group in football would reasonably claim to do so. The church of Celtic is incredibly broad in terms of opinion, and while they rub some supporters up the wrong way, there are plenty who aren’t affiliated who appreciate their input. Again: none of that is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, per se.

Looking at what was actually said, it’s a message exclusively for “all in the North Curve”. It is a choice to get annoyed by the discussions of a group you aren’t in. If you are in the Green Brigade, though, and entirely disagree with this idea, you can debate it. That’s the point.

This isn’t a passionate “defence” of the Green Brigade, nor is it a condemnation, it’s just recognition that it’s a choice to perceive this message as anything other than a group within the Celtic support discussing their next steps. Getting riled by it, when you aren’t affiliated, seems reductive.

In terms of a “joined-up” approach, again, this isn’t talk of a mutiny. It’s a cross-CSC discussion, surely, about how to respond to the latest offering from the club. There are many who are furious with how our football club is being run, and who can’t stomach funding a hierarchy they’re diametrically opposed to. That’s completely fair enough.

Again, these are choices. It doesn’t mean that anyone has given up on the club. It’s just, when you put your hard-earned cash into it year after year, you’re allowed to have a say when things aren’t right.

So, let’s not leap to condemnation, nor offer complete support until something actually happens.

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