After the Sevco defeat I left Glasgow very disappointed, I was in the air heading for home only two hours after the defeat only making the flight by minutes . While on the plane I reflected on the game over and over again in my head. There were other Celtic fans on the plane but like me they knew it was too early for the enquiry. The defeat was raw. I didn’t want to look at social media for fear of getting even more annoyed. In fact this is the first time I’ve sat down to write about Celtic apart from a little bit on social media.
Like so many fans Celtic plays a big part of my life, it’s part of my identity so it hurts to be defeated by those who stand for everything I am not but I respect they have a right to celebrate an away victory with their fans who had disrespected a minutes applause for Duncan McKay.
Like their fans the players and management have bought into the bile that surrounds Sevco and the club that went before it. A sectarian club that was brought kicking and screaming into modern times with the signing of Judas Johnstone. A player who managed to upset the whole of Glasgow.
For us it was a betrayal of the fans, Celtic and of Billy McNeill. It was a money grab for him and a PR success for Rangers. Although that same Rangers would finally go under after years of financial doping and cheating. Out of the Rangers dying came Sevco, known to many as the tribute act who and it pains me to say it have closed the gap on Celtic and now it is time for Celtic to add muscle to the squad because even though we have the most talented squad in the league they lacked balls against Sevco who were hungrier than us like they were at Hampden.
Have some of our bhoys got soft? When Martin O’Neill arrived at Celtic he brought in muscle. We had been bullied by Rangers for too long and he knew it. He inherited the talent of Larsson, McNamara, Lubo and Petrov but he brought in men to compliment the pool of talent at the club.
Sutton came in and made and immediate impact. We stuffed Rangers 6-2 at Celtic Park, a game that has gone into legendary status. Thompson followed him up from England. But it wasn’t enough, we went to Ibrox and got pumped 5-1. MON said after it that will never happy again and within hours Neil Lennon arrived in Glasgow, it never happened again under MON’s watch. We may have lost to them but we were never humiliated. Players like Hartson and Balde ensured that when they followed into the Celtic ranks.
Now it’s Neil Lennon’s time to shine, to bring back roaring lions from the winter break not shrinking pussies which were on display in certain areas of the pitch before the winter break. The writing had been on the wall since the late winner against Hamilton that this Celtic team was in need of new blood. Too many players know they are first choice they have no one pushing them for a starting place. Have they become complacent?
I’ve said to many times the 9IAR is the holy grail, cups and European nights are a bonus. Failure to win the 9 is not an option. I hope Lenny is breaking down the office door of Peter Lawell to tell him second place is not good enough and I hope in turn Peter Lawell has Dermot Desmond on speed dial to tell him what’s happening in the real world. Failure to do 9 is not an option.
We as fans can do no more we have invested in shares, bought season books, bought the merchandise, the pools, the paradise windfall, the pies and the Bovril and attended fan events. We are there on the terraces while others are spread around the world with not only a financial investment but a spiritual one. We are on the journey, we have given everything now those with the money who are only the custodians of our club need to show leadership, they need to thank us for what we have given and they need to back Lenny
Time for PL, DD & anyone in powerful position at Celtic to stand up and be counted. We wait with hope in our hearts.
Andrew Milne started More than 90 Minutes in 2001. He has written for numerous publications and online about Celtic. One of his essays featured in Celtic Minded 2 and he is a former newspaper columnist with the Daily Ireland and the man behind celticfanzine.com. He is host of 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.