I watched one of our guests from the Celtic Soul podcast, Peter Hooton of Liverpool band the Farm on Soccer AM chatting about Liverpool FC and the 30th Anniversary of the brilliant Spartacus Album and he joked about his team this season about it being a Null and Void season without any fans inside stadiums and when asked about musical rivalry between the Liverpool and Manchester bands he replied “football divides and music unites” Sadly as this season came to a close we look back and see how dived the Celtic support became during a very disappointing campaign.
Neil Lennon, Peter Lawell, John Kennedy, Gavin Strachan’s Laptop, Dermot Desmond, the Celtic board, Banners and Bedsheets, Stadium Protests, Celtic’s Media, and PR department, most of the playing staff, Supporters organizations, Independent Fan Media all managed to split the Celtic fans in opinion and arguments took place between friends and family frustrated with how each week was unfolding at Celtic.
After time was called on Neil Lennon as Celtic manager, after the highlight of winning a Quadruple Treble on a tense afternoon at Hampden things went from bad to worse after a terrible European campaign before that final, exiting the League Cup early, defeat at Ibrox and the fall out from the trip to Dubai we expected a change of management, but an unpopular choice was to remain with the backroom staff remaining, promoting John Kennedy to manager and Stephen McManus coming into the dugout as coach.
Eddie Howe and countless others were touted for the job as frustration continued to grow among Celtic fans about who and the big question was when the talks with Eddie Howe would be completed as players started to exit Glasgow for new challenges or to return to their parent clubs after poor loan spells on the field where the Celtic players continued to be unable to defend set pieces game after game.
Lockdowns have been frustrating, no fans in the stadium have been frustrating and not being able to travel or go down the pub to see your mates has been frustrating so to see Celtic’s dreams of 10IAR evaporate before our eyes just added to how life had gone tits up since we left Celtic Park in March 2020 after beating St. Mirren.
One thing that united us during the lockdown was music as we shared our favorite songs online and donated a couple of quid here and there to support musicians on social media playing a few tunes to keep us entertained especially in the early days of lockdown.
Each St. Patrick’s Day we celebrate being Irish around the globe but with pubs closed it was a few Guinness from the local off sales as Damien Dempsey came into our living rooms from his living room.
Another musical highlight online for me was when Billy Bragg who done a benefit gig from his home to our homes to save a gig venue close to his heart. A venue/pub close to many of our readers and listeners hearts is McChuills on the High Street in Glasgow and it was saved from going out of business by crowd funding to ensure that when we return to the city, we can enjoy a chat, a pint, and some great music in like-minded company pre & post-match.
The restrictions gave me, and others involved in More than 90 Minutes fanzine for the past 20 years a chance to keep writing and try new forms of media with the launch of the Celtic Soul Podcast and I suppose the relaunch of Celtic Fanzine TV.
Nothing beats a live show be that Celtic AM pre-match or a gig in your favorite pub or venue just like TV and Virtual season tickets will never replace attending a game and living every moment and kicking every ball in real time in sunshine, rain, or hail with friends and complete strangers who are hugged on occasions of great emotion.
I am positive about the future with the vaccine now in play and our chances of getting back to normality and living our lives to the full again. I fully expect to be back in Glasgow as some stage next season and back in Celtic Park and attending away games.
The new season brings automatic qualification for the riches of the Champions League is up for grabs to the winners of the SPFL. However, to qualify for the up-coming season will be much harder with three rounds to negotiate home and away in the non-champion’s route.
Peter Hooton who I mentioned above was just one of the guests on the Celtic Soul Podcast who brought both music and football conversations to the listeners others that stick out was a rare interview with Charlie Fealy of the Blarney Pilgrims and Singer, Songwriter and Sheffield United fan, Paul Heaton who as rule does not do podcasts so it was special to get him to chat for two hours. All podcasts are available across all platforms or by clicking link below.
Let’s Null & Void the Season and look forward to brighter times ahead!
Andrew Milne started More than 90 Minutes in 2001. He has written for numerous publications and online about Celtic. He is a former newspaper columnist with the Daily Ireland and the man behind celticfanzine.com. He is host of the Celtic Soul Podcast & Celtic AM pre-match events at Malone’s in Glasgow on match days and follows Celtic Home & Away. He is a season ticket holder for Celtic FC and the Republic of Ireland. He is also P.R.O. of St. Margaret’s CSC, a member of the Celtic Trust and the Celtic Graves Association. @AndrewMilne12
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