A dozen questions at the Celtic AGM and bitter BBC Hack are focused on one.
Tom English has a bee in his bonnet tonight because a Celtic fan, at the Celtic AGM, asked the club a question about the club across town. In particular, he asked what year that club was founded.
Some people in our own support rolled their eyes.
Many find this a tiring debate. But it is not a tiresome debate at all.
This is a critical question.
What does it have to do with English that a Celtic shareholder asked his directors, on the one chance he gets to do so in a calendar year, a question which he believes has a significant impact on our club?
He has one Right to ask that question, and English’s arsey attitude is rooted in his own gutless failure to ask the same in the larger context of the game here. Which, by the way, is his job.
My only disagreement with the guy is that he clearly hasn’t listened to the club about this.
Celtic’s position on this is crystal clear and has been for a long time.
There is not the slightest doubt about our club’s attitude towards this.
We have addressed it in so many ways. We did so publicly and fully and without question in 2012. We have done so on several occasions since in official statements and communications. And the oblique references to it are so numerous that to survey them would require more than an article, it would require a book.
Our tagline, “One Club Since 1888” is an undisguised statement on it.
My problem here with English is that he attacks the question as if it were some kind of complete irrelevance.
He still wants to paint this as some kind of fringe belief.
But that is not the case at all.
Our club is among the only ones in the country that has maintained a consistent position on this and has not shifted from it one iota. Celtic consider them a new club, found in 2012, and the only way we can make that clearer is to project it on the walls.
I have said before that Celtic should make a definitive, updated statement on this.
But the truth is that we already do in every way that matters.
The very public and prominent way we went about promoting the Australia tour and told the organizers, and Ibrox, that the ‘Old Firm’ branding was unacceptable – which in turn led to the club’s harsh withdrawal and their pitiful PR stunt for our last visits there – provides a clear demonstration of what our view is.
I have no problem with the guy asking that question, and neither should anyone else.
It never hurts for our club to make clear where it stands on this, even if we do so repeatedly in various ways. I have something against English and others who mock it, because what it shows to me is their own basic moral failure in the matter.
For many of us, much of Scottish football is engaged in lying to itself.
I really don’t care that Ibrox lie to themselves and that some in the press are happy for them to do so.
But don’t ask us to participate in the charade.
If you are a hacker who knows the truth about this – and they all do, whether they want to admit it or not – you can maintain your gutless silence as long as it suits you; when you start firing at those of us who are willing to call it a fiction…well, you better come to the debate with your guns loaded and your facts in hand.
I know what the English answer to that would be; why do we care?
I am constantly horrified to have to explain this. Horrified.
When did it become a radical proposition to demand that our national sport be seen through the prism of truth rather than fiction?
When did it become wrong to insist that our press and football authorities deal with the facts instead of continuing to push an obvious and thoroughly discredited fraud?
Let me spell it out for English and anyone else who still needs this explanation; we have two choices here. Either we call this for what it is, every chance we get – as Celtic do, in many different ways – or we allow the game here to be dominated by a lie, and that in turn will allow other lies to spread and take hold. .
Anyone who thinks it has nothing to do with us is howling at the moon.
I realize that many people are more interested in a simple life than in confronting that lie and that others simply lack the ability to understand why it matters…but I know who is on the right side of this and I know that people like English are wrong.
To a layman, that would be bad enough.
But he works for the national broadcaster, and that makes his attitude towards it unconscionable.