One of the tactics employed by the Celtic Board and those who support their stance in recent days has been to cast the protests and discontent among the support as the actions of an aggressive and entitled minority.
This patently isn’t the case, but it hasn’t stopped them from continuing to press forward this narrative. As always seems to be the case whenever an individual or small group of Celtic fans do something stupid or take a protest too far, the reflexive reaction from the board, sections of the press and even some fans is to blame the Green Brigade.
At the time of writing, I have still to see any evidence that those who committed vandalism at Celtic Park after the Ross County game or who illegally assembled after the St. Johnstone match are, in any way, connected to the Green Brigade.
True, the GB have put up some banners that were offensive, and as I have said on here before I certainly don’t always agree with the actions they take, even if I do, most of the time, agree with their aims and outlook.
However, The Celtic Trust’s decision to enter the fray, beginning with a highly coordinated, and socially distanced protest this Sunday ahead of the Kilmarnock match puts a different complexion on things.
Unlike the Green Brigade, The Celtic Trust are viewed by most fans as a less volatile and more reasonable group. They aren’t always right, but their views are respected both by the wider fanbase and those within the club itself.
With their decision to protest, no longer can the Celtic board pretend this is just a “lunatic fringe” throwing a tantrum because we’ve lost a few games. The Celtic Trust would not be getting involved unless there was a genuine belief that they represent what most supporters want. Whilst the Green Brigade are an “ultras” group, and do not shy away from the political and social baggage that comes with that tag, The Celtic Trust are viewed as more moderate, and until now have enjoyed a much warmer rapport with the club.
The Celtic Trust’s mission statement is to represent ordinary fans and shareholders. They don’t speak for all of us, but they probably have a better idea than most of what the wider fanbase wants:
We want change. We want to see a team that can win games and get back into this title race. Unfortunately prevailing wisdom suggests that is unlikely to be achieved with Neil Lennon as manager.
The board seem to have succeeded in their moves to sideline and scapegoat the Green Brigade, but I doubt The Celtic Trust will be so easily brushed aside.
If any of you in Scotland are planning to join the protest this Sunday, then please be aware of the guidelines in place, for everyone’s safety:
1) Please do not travel from outside Glasgow
2) Please stand 2 metres apart in the designated spaces.
3) Please wear a facemask at all times.
4) Please follow the directions of stewards.
Peaceful protests have always been a part of the culture of being a Celtic fan, whatever our views on the current situation, let’s please continue that tradition.