I don’t write all that often about football or my team Celtic and I’m loathe to write this as its like washing dirty laundry in public and I’m slightly ashamed of it.
But I’m saying this because I care and because I’m not the only one who feels this way and ultimately fans vote with their feet and are staying away in their droves and something has to change.
Celtic have and always will be my football team, I’ve supported them since I can remember and been a holder of two season books every year since my son was 5, he’s now 26.
We had seats in the Lisbon Lions stand when it opened in 1996? and moved over to the Jock Stein stand when that opened in 1998 and have had the same seats since then.
I will always support Celtic, no matter what.
But got to tell you, I am bored and disappointed with the team, the performances, the management and ultimately the board who are currently in charge of all business affairs.
As a consequence of this, I’ve became apathetic, my season book is effectively a donation to the cause and everything that I think the club stands for, standing up to bigotry, providing for the poor regardless of creed or colour.
But as a football team, they are rubbish, absolutely rank rotten garbage.
That is garbage in their own right and worse if we compare the current team to the heady days 10 years ago of Larrson, Sutton, Harrison, Petrov, Moravchik, Lambert.
You might say that is because of the small country we live in and a league with very little money and that may well be a contributory factor.
But the truth is there is nothing exciting in this team, we have over the past number of years signed a stream of chancers on the basis that we get an occasional gem that we buy low and sell high to a “bigger” club like those leaders of European football Southampton .. what a joke eh?
Well that strategy has failed.
We have paid out significant money for players like Amido Balde and Teemu Pukki with no proven track record, who have cost us millions and flopped.
For that I blame the management and the particularly the board for holding the purse strings far too tightly and failing to invest in the proven quality when that would have made the difference.
A few weeks ago, we got to the last qualifying stages of the Champions League. In the first leg at home against Malmo, we were all over them but lost a couple of stupid goals, winning 3-2.
Like most fans, I was feeling quite disappointed in the loss of the goals but confident that we were the better team and that we would beat or at least draw with them in the second leg.
However, it wasn’t to be, we were humbled, losing 2-0, there was no fight in this team, no heart.
We were beaten because Malmo had their best striker Markus Rozenburg (aged 32) back and he bullied and beat our younger, alledgedly fitter defence fair and square. No complaints.
Notice that this guy Rozenburg is 32, the finished article, bigger clubs won’t sign him because he may perceived as too old, but the fact remains he did the business when our younger fitter faster team flopped.
There is a valuable lesson in that .. that football isn’t always about being the fastest or fittest and experience is invaluable.
My real complaint is that we went out of Europe’s premier competition like a bunch of pussies when we should have approached this game like tigers.
For that I blame, not the players, they are well paid mercenaries taking the best offer they can get, thats the world we live in.
But the management and the board for not investing in the team before such a critical game.
Particularly when it was clear that our “best” defender Virgil Van Dijk was about to be sold to Southampton in a deal worth 12 million.
Some of that money that was due to come in should have been invested before Van Dijk left, it was plain to see that we desperately needed an experienced striker up-front but did we invest no, the board stayed true to their ways and let things stand.
Bottom-line we were pumped.
So tonight we are in UEFA’s also-ran competition, the Europa League against Fernahbce. The game has been advertised constantly on radio and a stream of emails that tickets and packages for the remaining league games are still available.
What does that tell you?
It tells us that the seats aren’t selling .. like those ads for a movie that show all the best parts and when you go its ultimately disappointing as you seen them in the ad.
But what is really getting me, is that for the first time in my life I actually don’t care if my team wins or loses tonight and for that I am ashamed.
I’ve lost all interest in this shambles of a team and refuse to pay my hard-earned cash to see this dross.
More so, I’m sick of the propaganda emanating from Celtic Park about how Celtic is more than a club.
Yes it is, its an ethos, a way of life, but I’m finding I can do that without following 11 men running round a park with no heart and can only pass the ball across or backwards.
Tonight, I may watch the game on tv but I won’t be there.
After years of disappointment but supporting the team and going to every home game, I’ve had enough.
I hope that by staying away and taking money out of the clubs coffers that this will be the language that this current board understand and something will change.
Because something has to change.