Why the Green Brigade got it spot on with scathing new Celtic message

By Euan Davidson

December 4, 2020

The Green Brigade have again called the Celtic board into question.

In another week of unrest between supporters and the PLC, Celtic have lost twice. Last night’s defeat to A.C. Milan was understandable, but Celtic meekly folded to Ross County in the Betfred Cup, ending a 35 game unbeaten run in Scotland’s cup competitions.

In the statement, posted to the North Curve Twitter account, the Green Brigade said:

“Events over the course of the last two weeks have further highlighted that change is desperately required at Celtic Football Club. Three consecutive defeats have added to an already disastrous start to the season.

“There is a growing disconnect between those who run the club and those who sustain it – epitomised by today’s pictures of fencing around Celtic Park to keep fans at bay.”

The strongly-worded announcement continued:

“…a clear message has been sent to the Celtic support by the millionaires in charge of our club – that we do no matter to them. Our passion is only acceptable if it can be commodified, our support is only truly important when season book renewals are issued.

Whilst we still believe that a managerial change is unfortunately necessary, the structural problems within the club run deeper.”

Celtic fans / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Strong words against hollow actions


We once again applaud the Green Brigade here. While the board have gambled for years on Rangers continuing to be useless and minimal spending being able to secure the 10, the GB are at least consistent.

For years, they have warned the board that complacency is intolerable. They’ve backed Neil Lennon to the hilt, and their statement last week was delivered with a heavy heart.

They’re right: Celtic fans do not appear to matter to this board. Peter Lawwell urged the need for unity, but his actions say otherwise. Dermot Desmond, meanwhile, is rarely heard from at all. It’s a baffling situation, given the sheer volume of the Celtic support throughout the club’s history.

Outside Celtic Park, a statue of our legendary coach Jock Stein stands proudly. On it are engraved the words “Football without fans is nothing”.

Today’s fencing debacle and the insistence from the board that there is “no complacency” send a simple message to the core of Celtic supporters who’ve had enough: when you’re happy, we want you. When you question us, we need you away from Celtic Park.

While many within the Celtic family are keen to back the board, there are claims abound that people are only complaining while times are tough.

Simply put; this isn’t true.

Green Brigade Celtic display vs Copenhagen / (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

How will Desmond and Lawwell react?

Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell may think that Celtic fans are being hysterical and, perhaps, ungrateful. They’re not going to make sweeping changes because, in their view, Celtic are only 5 points behind.

There is value in this stance, of course. That’s the truth of it; if Celtic win their two games in hand, they’re only 5 points behind. There are no mathematic gymnastics that can change that.

However, the league table is not only the picture. Consistently, many Celtic fans have worried about the drop in standards since Brendan Rodgers left. They’ve raised concerns about the velocity of Lennon’s appointment. Changes to backroom staff have left fans scratching their heads.

There are myriad issues with the running of Celtic football club. Any institution the size of Celtic is going to create debate with its business procedures.

Celtic’s largest shareholder Dermot Desmond and Chief Executive Peter Lawwell / (Photo by Craig Foy / (SNS Group via Getty Images)

To point at the performances on the pitch alone and say that fans just need to “stick together” and “back Lennon” (which the Green Brigade and other fan groups already have, repeatedly) is to ignore the deep worries that a large portion of Celtic fans have.

If anything, the board should be grateful that it took this long to get here. We’re at a point of serious fan dissent well after the botched attempts to qualify for the Champions League in the last few years.

If the board don’t show fans that their spending and support was worth it, last Sunday’s scenes will become the norm, as much as we don’t endorse those actions at 67 Hail Hail.

The club has always celebrated its heroes; Tommy Burns, Billy McNeill, Jock Stein. What connected those men so palpably to the Celtic supporters is that they understood the value of supporter opinion. They realised that support is earned, not a right.

The Celtic board needs to act and improve its communication with supporters, otherwise, we’ll be in this exact scenario for months, or even years.