Oh well, it looks like the gloves are finally off.
Weeks of simmering tensions among the disparate factions of the Celtic support seem to have finally hit a boiling point today.
At the moment, my social media is a near 50/50 split. Half of the Celtic supporters in my circle think the Green Brigade have a valid point, the other half think they’re a bunch of overly opinionated, self-entitled idiots.
As for me, I’m not going to come down definitively on either side of this, though to be honest, I’m leaning more towards supporting the Green Brigade on this one.
Let’s face it, pretty much from their inception, the Green Brigade have been a source of division amongst our support. It’s not their fault, but by their very nature, they aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, especially in a church (or should that be chapel) as broad as the Celtic support.
I applaud their tremendous charity work. I love the noise, the atmosphere, and the colour they bring to Celtic Park with their displays and chants.
For the most part, I also share their left-wing political views. I don’t however, always agree with their methods or their actions.
In the past, some of their behaviour has been childish. The whole “f*ck UEFA” debacle was out of order, even if it did serve to highlight the blatant hypocrisy at the heart of Europe when it comes to politics and football. There were smarter ways of getting the point across without getting the club into trouble.
The pyro is dangerous and unnecessary in my opinion. It looks great, but it poses too great a danger to fans with respiratory conditions.
But overall, I support the Green Brigade. They bring a lot more good to the table than bad.
Almost always, I agree with the sentiment of what they are trying to say, I just sometimes can’t get onboard with how they say it.
Today’s banner is yet another example of this.
The banner itself was crass, and inconsiderate. As I write this, no doubt those able to read on the various Rangers forums are having a right good laugh at the seeming disarray of our support.
However, I felt that the accompanying statement read well. It was fair, it reflected Neil Lennon’s accomplishments and his dedication to the club. It was also frank and honest about the current state of things and the need for change.
The views expressed therein chimed a great deal with my own thoughts on Neil’s current position.
Sit down and ask yourself honestly, did you really object to today’s message, or the messenger?
In many ways, today’s action simultaneously highlighted what I like and what I dislike about the Green Brigade.
The statement was on point, the banner wasn’t, in my opinion.
However, I won’t condemn them for the banner either. After all, the silence from our board has been deafening.
They aren’t slow to email us whenever they have a Christmas advert to show off or a new kit to sell. However, when it comes to demanding action and accountability to address our obvious shortcomings on the pitch, the powers that be at Celtic are nowhere to be found.
The Green Brigade’s banner was, in essence, a cry for help. We’ve tried expressing our opinions respectfully. Many fans have spoke out on social media, often addressing concerns to the club directly via various channels. There has been no response from any person of authority.
After today’s action, a response will, no doubt, follow soon.
You might not agree with the Green Brigade’s methods, but they did what they set out to do.
Burying their heads in the sand, and pretending all is well, is no longer an option for our board.
I hope they will take the necessary steps to get things back on track.
It remains to be seen whether or not those steps will include Neil Lennon.
The next few days will be crucial.