The Premiership is gone for Celtic, we know that. In Martin O’Neill’s last season we won at Ibrox in the third last game to go 5 points clear yet somehow managed to through it away by losing to Hibs at Celtic Park then Motherwell at Fir Park on Black Sunday.
Nothing that can happen or has happened this season will get close to the agony of being at Fir Park that afternoon for me anyway.
This season Celtic haven’t performed on or off the park and we will spend some time over the coming weeks analysing that with you and involving you in the post mortem of our Ten-in-a-Row failures. Peter Lawwell has already handed in his notice and will be replaced by Dominic McKay who starts on 1 July but he will be watching events very closely at the moment.
Yesterday the Scottish FA’s three anonymous former referees did Celtic a massive favour when they looked at the Albian Ajeti penalty incident at Rugby Park on Tuesday and decided that he had a case to answer for simulation. Video evidence shows to any reasonable person that there was contact so while you may argue that it was or wasn’t enough for a penalty, there was clear contact with the Celtic player’s ankle therefore no simulation.
These unnamed former referees thinking otherwise gives Celtic a perfect opportunity to once and for all stand up to the the Scottish FA and their Lanarkshire referees and shine a light on what has been going on officially. Dallas, his boy, Madden, Beaton, Clancy, the wee soup taker (who had his cards marked by the Ibrox club to ensure future compliance), should now be called out with the entire system that allows Rangers supporters to officiate at games and determine any retrospective punishment via these unnamed panels, which means we will never be rid of them.
Celtic forward Albian Ajeti faces a two-match ban after being charged with diving to win a penalty in Tuesday’s 4-0 win at Kilmarnock.
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) February 5, 2021
— COYBIG (@C_O_Y_B_I_G) February 4, 2021
In challenging this head on – noting the remarkable stats from this season – Hibs have been denied THREE stonewall penalties against theRangers in TWO games – Tavernier is the top penalty scorer in World football (surprise, surprise) and even with Morelos (twice at least) and Roofe assaulting opponents they still have not had a player sent off. Clancy told us straight, to be fair to him, at the start of the season that these referees all knew the significance of this season.
Sack the Lot. pic.twitter.com/eqyGeuhqsK
— 🍀The Retro Celtic🍀 (@RetroCeltic) February 4, 2021
Earlier this week I had a conversation with Celtic Head of Communications Iain Jamieson and discussed the failing of the Celtic in relation to the media and also crucially fan media and this is now under review, with wider fans media access looking more likely. I made it clear that this does not come at the price of the club being able to expect compliance because The Celtic Star isn’t interested in any of the lap-dog arrangements of the past.
That appears to be accepted with the club looking to provide wider access to the Celtic Fans Media. Discussions are ongoing. Jamieson is having similar conversations with other folk at other Celtic websites and podcasts to hear what they have to say about the club working closer with fans media.
Andy Walker, writing in his Sky Sports column, touches on the communications problems that Celtic have faced this season. These problems were there previously, they have just come into sharp focus as results and performances have been dreadfully poor.
Promising a January review then just patching it because the improvement in results expected did materialise – largely due to your own folly in travelling to Dubai in the middle of a global pandemic – is unacceptable for a PLC Board and indeed custodians of Celtic FC.
“As things stand right now, I haven’t spoken to a single Celtic supporter who believes in the current set-up and the lack of communication from a senior figure at the club to address the fans’ concerns is embarrassing and insulting,” Walker states.
“Season-ticket holders are being asked to buy into a set-up that is unclear. They deserve more respect than they’re currently getting from this Celtic board. If the board wish Neil Lennon to stay in place for the rest of this season and beyond, tell the fans.
“If they want to make a change at the end of the season, tell the fans. If a different structure altogether is to be put in place, tell the fans.
“It won’t be too long till the biggest games of every season for Celtic – the July Champions League qualifiers – come around. New chief executive Dominic McKay starts his post with the club on 1 July.
“Is it his role to identify new players and/or the possibility of a new coach/manager? Unbelievably, no one knows. Now that it’s only a matter of time before (the)Rangers deservedly clinch the (first-ever) title, the Celtic fans should be given hope for next season. Tell them what the plan is.”
Walker referred back to his own time playing for Celtic when he experienced both periods of success and also failure. “Things can change, sometimes quickly and of course results and performances can improve.
With better communication, you could easily offer Celtic fans hope for what lies ahead. Instead, they’re being treated with a wall of silence.”