The Bhoys last Chant was ‘The coronavirus won’t stop 10-in-a-row,’ Let’s tell Celtic ‘Thanks but No Thanks’

WILL this season’s Premiership be called by the SPFL Board, or will the games be played to a conclusion behind closed doors? Those are the only two viable options and while the former looks to be the most likely outcome, the latter can’t be completely ruled out just yet when you consider what is happening in leagues in Germany, Poland, and Hungary where it looks like BHDs football could kick-off this month. The Bundesliga has now been given the green light by German Government to resume playing later this month, under very strict conditions and obviously behind closed doors.

And there is a real determination to finish the season in England, given the huge sums of money involved and the financial consequences that could wipe out numerous clubs, although the news today is that unless neutral venues for the matches can be agreed then the leagues south of the border will be called.

And while the Scottish game in nowhere near the financial giant that exists in Premier League down south there will undoubtedly be an calls for Scotland to follow the example set by England if they are resuming football on a ‘we’re all in it together’ basis. The various Governments across the UK have worked together on a co-ordinated fashion during the pandemic and you would imagine that they would do this when considering the return of professional football.

It would seem strange if the Scottish league was called due to lack of funds and the English played out their season over the summer. Could that all point to a bail-out from Westminster, Holyrood or a combination of the two, to allow the funding to be put in place so our Premiership can conclude.

Football can argue that the population will get a massive and much needed moral boost by the games being played and shown on television and therefore it would be money well spent to ensure it happens up here if the games are going to be played in England?

That would solve one problem but not another. The one it would solve would be to shut up the blue-noses like Alex Rae, Ally McCoist and the latest the BBC Sports pundit Steven EBThompson, who as reported in an article earlier today on The Celtic Star, reckons that it would be ‘impossible’ for the Rangers fans to accept Celtic as Champions unless the game is played. The BBC man also pointed out that the league was going to be won by Celtic regardless and that anyone saying otherwise was lying.

Speaking to the BBC’s Scottish Football Podcast, Thompson said this:

“Anyone that says Celtic weren’t going to win the league is lying. They were going to win the league. A lot of my friends are Rangers fans and they had given up the ghost. Celtic were going to win the league,” Thompson said.

“But now, if Celtic are given the league Rangers fans won’t accept that, across the board. Universally it won’t be accepted. How can you be given a title if you haven’t actually won the title? It’s impossible to award the title to Celtic in those circumstances.

“I knew they were going to win the league but I don’t think you can give a team the title without having played out the season.”

Playing out the season would be ideal and it should be re-stated that is the position that Celtic have always supported. And to do so by increasing the 13 point lead would make it even sweeter.

So that’s the problem that could be solved, the other is more tricky. Last week the Rangers offered their supporters a £25 voucher to spend on their club shop or similar products in lieu of the remaining games on their season ticket.  Given that the options are call the league or play BCDs football, then there games will not happen or will be played with no crowd. So there is a problem and that’s how the Rangers tackled it. Their problem, their support, their solution.

Across the city Partick Thistle approached this in a different, much classy way. They offered their supporters a discount on the games that weren’t played – and remember Thistle have been extremely harshly treated in all of this. Fate has dealt them an awful hand and they’ve been relegated when they had eery chance of beating the drop.

Thistle took it on the chin for the good of the game then looked to their season ticket holders and offered them a refund. Just 3% took the Jags up on this and asked for their money back, the rest kept the money that they had already spent, in their club for the sake of their club.

Celtic fans at Firhiil in January

Coincidentally, Celtic fans (including myself and my son) were also offered a refund by Partick Thistle after the Scottish Cup tie at Firhill in January. The problem was that we were sold tickets for seats that didn’t exist – where these seats should have been there were stairs instead. Some Celtic fans moved to other parts of the ground – to the empty seats in the Main Stand while we just pushed the folk on our bus along and we squeezed in and enjoyed the game. No-one was sitting down anyway.

The Celtic SLO asked for feedback on this issue in the few days after that game and I was happy to explain what had happened. Then Thistle got in touch to offer a refund. I suspect, like most Celtic fans, the offer was declined. We saw the game, no harm was done and the money was better staying put at Partick Thistle was the jist of the reply.

Celtic fans at Firhill in January

So what about our season tickets for this season, which have all been paid and we have a handful of games that either won’t happen at all or will be played behind closed doors.

The thing is that money is what pays Odsonne Edouard, Scott Brown and the rest of the squad’s wages. The players and management team have already done their bit, as have the highly paid executives, now it’s our turn.

Of course if the money is needed then it should be returned by Celtic quickly and with no questions asked. But for the rest of us, that money is your contribution to 9IAR, Celtic have used it wisely delivering the League Cup, taking us the the semi-final of the Scottish Cup and being on the verge of winning the title one way of another, over them next few days, weeks or months (if the games are played).

Declining the offer of a refund is going to help Celtic BIG TIME. If it is financially not an option then ask for a refund please do that without embarrassment. However if you can tell Celtic to keep the cash and invest it in 10IAR then you’ll be doing your bit.

David Low, the Chair of the Celtic Trust, posted his thoughts on when football might resume on social media this morning. If David Low is correct, there are going to be hard, hard times ahead for all clubs, including Celtic. Read for yourselves below.

Season tickets for next season are likely to involve access to Celtic TV (operating on a much enhanced performance basis that can cope with the traffic) until it is safe to return to games. When that will be is anybody’s guess but we’ll all just have to get on with it and do our bit for Celtic.

At the last game against St Mirren at Celtic Park on Saturday 7 March, The Bhoys started a wee chant near the end of the game, which Celtic won 5-0. They had adapted the This is How it Feels song and added “The Corona Virus Won’t Stop Ten-in-a-Row”.

Let’s do our bit, if financially possible, to make sure that they are right. Tell Celtic thanks but no thanks when refunds are offered.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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