So … Celtic played a team from Israel in the first leg of the play-off stage of the UEFA Champions League last week.
We gave them a gubbing as expected and as predicted a small but significant minority of fans turned up waving Palestinian flags and holding a huge banner of said flag.
As further predicted, Celtic are now being charged by UEFA for the display of an “illicit banner”, with the hearing and penalties to be decided on September 22nd.
I wrote about this before the game last week .. hoping that my fellow supporters would keep their politics out of paradise, possibly protesting outside the ground instead, which did in fact take place.
I’m in support of these external protests as I do think that Palestinian is treated unfairly by Israel.
However, its the in-stadium protests that I have issues with as the club is not a medium for any groups politics no matter how noble these may be.
The club doesn’t want it and I would contend that the vast majority of supporters don’t want these protests or any subsequent penalties imposed on the club.
Yesterday, the Green Brigade who organised the in-stadium protests set up a page on GoFundMe for charitable donations to 2 Palestinian groups … all very admirable and the fund has already surpassed its originally 15k goal and is well on the way to 40k with donations being received from many individuals and not just Celtic supporters.
So here’s the dilemma, I agree with the charity and have made a donation .. But I totally disagree with the club being used as an outlet for the point of view of a group of individuals, particularly as the club did not sanction this protest.
Personally, and you can read my anti-Peter-Lawell blasts on here, I don’t believe all that marketing crap about “More Than A Club”.
The notion died for me when Celtic failed to make a statement on the validity of Resolution 12 and of Sevco claiming to be the same club as our former rivals Rangers who are currently in liquidation.
Celtic are a business … period .. that’s it.
You pays your money and shut up and watch the game.
Anything else like the sanitised club sanctioned deedly-dee tunes are just romantic flannel to keep you buying your season ticket.
So don’t cause any stir, we don’t want to hear your protests, no matter how valid you may think that your issue may be.
Celtic are no longer the forum for political protests, the club don’t want them, it’s no longer what they do.
Forget that “More Than A Club” bull-shit while Mr Lawell and Mr Desmond are in charge.
So what about the Green Brigade protest?
What are the consequences?
If UEFA fine Celtic 60k, will the GB make the payment?
No I didn’t think so.
The GB only want to make their noise but not face the consequences for their actions.
So what does Peter Lawell do?
He has to be seen to take action. He has to pass on the consequences.
If it was me and you cost my business money, you’d be out, season ticket cancelled without refund, end of story.
Bit of a shame really and I’ll miss the GB as they add colour to an often dull atmosphere, but don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.