More Than A Club?

I think its a fair observation to make that amongst support in recent years, there’s been some concerns about Celtic’s moral standing in relation to the founding principles of the Club in 1888: “A football club will be formed for the maintenance of dinner tables for children and the unemployed.” Recent years have seen priorities shift with money arguably becoming higher on the list and the mindset of help for the vulnerable being shuffled towards the bottom.

Of course, there’s an argument to be made then that Celtic is a business on paper. It has to generate profit like any other business and its such income that allows investment into the team and the stadium.

But is that really what its all about? Raising ticket prices in order to maximise profits doesn’t seem to correlate exactly with the Club’s founding principles.

In absolute fairness though, the Club can’t be doubted entirely. Actively fundraising for the Celtic FC Foundation, Kano and making a number of donations to other charities it can’t be said thay the Club has entirely forgotten its roots. But part of me can’t help but look back to the Club years ago during that period of total romance with the likes of the Jungle and flinging weans over the turnstiles that everybody’s da tells you about and wish it was a bit more like that. A time were a few stands done the trick and there was a skelpin attendance at every fixture because that was what it was all about then – the fans.

I wholly understand that the growing influence that money has on the decisions and direction of the club are almost inevitable to an extent, its not necessarily voluntary. Football as a game (and an industry) is expensive, and in order to compete you need a high quality team and to get that you need good players and to get those players you need money. That can’t be helped. Of course we need money to ensure the stadium and the pitch is fit for purpose and accomodating for a growing support of all ages and abilities. It makes sense on paper but you can’t help but suspect a sense of greed as the ticket prices continue to rise.

Its this growing financial influence over the game that makes me wish the whole thing was a bit more understated? Less modern? I don’t know how to word it, I don’t want to sound like one of these “against modern football #casualwayoflife” sorta folk but I hope this makes at least a wee bit of sense, to want a less glamourised game that’s wholly about the people for the people?

I’ll confess that in recent years I’ve found myself thinking about how much more commercialised football would be in years to come, and how I would explain to my children what made Celtic so different from other football clubs. I didnt want it to become a tourist attraction like every other club and I never wanted it to lose the moral importance that I’m thankful to have been raised on growing up. But, any concerns about this have always been eased by the support. In times of despair when we’re not playing the best, or theres dispute about the decisions of the board or theres political/humanitarian injustice – the support always reminds me why Celtic are the “best club in the world.”

If you walk into the stadium, more often than not theres people outside gathering money for a number of causes and the acts of support and solidarity by groups like the Green Brigade are invaluable to the maintenance of the Club’s roots of grassroot community action – not just locally, but globally. Most notably, the recent #matchthefineforpalestine campaign gained Celtic global recognition for all the right reasons and seen over £100,000 gained for Palestinian Aid. This is one of the countless acts that leave with me no concern about telling my children about the Celtic I lived to know.

Champions League. Yass x

Self Direction and Human Nature

Right I feel like I need to explain why I’ve decided to write this because I fear sounding as if I think that I am Ghandi otherwise. I’m really interested in the way humans function and the way the brain operates, and a few nights ago I watched a video about human nature and why we don’t always do the things that we want to do. It sucked me right in and I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it and putting it into perspective in my own life. So before I drive myself insane I thought a blog post was a good outlet.

Colossal disclaimer: I don’t think I’m a motivational speaker the following is just me thinking out loud and it is probably a riot and I am definitely not Ghandi.

The question that the video I mentioned before sorta focused on was why are we never entirely certain in our decisions? Why do we always look back and think about how we could have/should have done things differently? I think this does all come back to our mindset in a sense, and that the voices in our head direct us in strange ways. But is there a way of silencing those voices that tell us our instinct just wasn’t right in a certain situation? We could drive ourselves insane thinking about how we could have done things differently etc but I think we overcomplicate it a bit. I think a good way of doing that is like replacing the “what if’s” with “I’ll give it a go” (for want of a better phrase). For example, like if you’re in a job you really don’t like and you see a vacancy somewhere but don’t get round to applying. It would be really easy to dwell on the fact you missed out and are still in the same monotonous job, but what good is that doing? Instead of dwelling on it, why don’t we just go back and check if there’s any other similar vacancies, or just ask if they’ll consider your application anyway? Or the problem could lie with other humans. Like if you don’t like the way a friendship has ended, or you feel like you were rude to somebody one day, or you feel like you didn’t pursue an interest that you had in someone like you should have. Why don’t we just speak to them? The point I’m trying to make is that I think we as humans overcomplicate things. If you’re unhappy about something, make it known and if you are happy about something, tell the world. If you feel like you missed an opportunity, go back to it and try it again. If you hate your job, find a new one. Humans are cool and our brains are class, but the reason we have most of the issues that we do is because we don’t know how to put our brains to use and communicate. Things really are so much easier if you just say “I’m sorry I handled that situation bad” or “I regret my actions” or “I missed the deadline can you still consider me”. I think we find it easier just to keep stuff to ourselves and say we’re fine and deal with stuff on our own accord when really we’re up all night wound up about work or friends or relationships.  What have we all got to lose *if I had emojis on this I would insert the one which is crying and its eyes are streaming but I don’t but you get the jist*

I am absolutely awful at taking my own advice and maybe one day I’ll listen to myself, but I think that’s how we all lose confidence in our sense of self direction. Because instead of trying and sorting and fixing its easier to just say that you’re fine and accept your problems and let them burden you. I read somewhere that the chances of you being born in the exact time, date and place that you were with the exact genes that you have are something like 1 in 400 billion. How class is that?! Like there is only one exact version of you in every sense of the world and without sounding like a tiny walking cliché, why are we all sitting about thinking what if and and passing by on new opportunities and not revisiting old ones and keeping ourselves to ourselves and driving ourselves up the pole when we are that tiny 1 in 400 billion?? Surely that’s something worth thinking about!