We do have hope though. We have a man in charge of the football team, (Note To Board: Football; You know the whole point in the club) who is riddled with passion for his job. He is articulate. He is intelligent and he is learning and growing each day. He has an awareness of his limitations and a desire to mitigate or remove them. He is somebody you could not ask much more of as an employee. To be successful in any high profile role you must be a certain type of person. Strong minded, decisive and have a narrow focus. You must also be prepared to make sacrifice’s for your success as no success comes without sacrifice. It is a classic chicken and egg.
Neil Lennon last season sacrificed and risked more than anyone has ever done in the 123 year history of our club. In the face of real, mortal threats, to himself and his family the man stood up and met the threats head on. He continued his work. He tried not to let 24 hour security hamper him. He tried to ignore the men in a car parked outside his home all night and even tried to brush off being assaulted at his work place. He picked teams, he coached players and he worked towards the goal of winning the SPL. His players let him down last year by the narrowest of margins. He once again brushed himself off and vowed this was only the beginning, in a style unique to the man.
Now Neil truly believed it when he uttered those words. He had sacrificed and risked literally everything to bring success for the club, who are his employers. Neil, knowing that this group of players are still capable of letting the club down, required help to fulfil his words to the support that this was the start of something new.
What have Neil’s employers done to help him this summer?
Listening to Neil talking after the game he sounded like a man at the end of his tether. He was angry but there was also frustration in his voice.
How can he deliver on the vision he has if he is not provided with adequate tools to build the future?
Why he has not been backed this summer is a matter that can only be speculated upon and I am sure the answer is myriad, however it does not get away from the fact in a time where us fans have had to watch Rangers win 3 in a row, and heading into their 4 in a row season with a rookie manager, there have been no signs of life from our club. Nothing.
The current strategy has failed, whatever that strategy was. If anyone wants to argue the strategy is not a failure I would like to ask them how many trophies have we won in the past 3 years? The fact that a failed strategy is once again being strictly adhered to at a time when the fans are crying out for a defiant reaction from our power brokers is truly concerning. We are not asking them to go all in like Lennon did last year. Some sign of life would be good. Some sign they are hurting as much as the people who surround them were when they won the title again. Somebody to make some move to even show Neil he does not walk alone.
I truly hope they were not naive enough to think that the party we had at the Motherwell game meant that the fans would not be too bothered should a title not be won again this year. That party was a release from a monumental season. We had that party for Neil. We had it as we know he is one of us. We know how much he sacrificed for the team and we know how close he came to his own “Roy of the Rovers” dream of a first season title win. We know this as it is the same dream we have all had. We had a party as when we were watching Neil last year it felt vicarious. It was exactly how we would have done it in our heads, with the full “stand up to them all and darn the consequences” attitude we would have all added to our ego’s in the dream, an attitude very few would have had in reality. We all pulled in one direction that day. We left the stadium, the record books showing us losers, but we felt like the conquerors of the world.
That togetherness, the combined and unified outpouring of emotion, manifests in a unique way at Celtic Park. I hope the board note the real reason for the party was a show of togetherness for one of our own. We are a Celtic family. A family protect it’s own. The board would do well to remember that us customers can very quickly turn into something else if we feel one of our own is being hung out to dry.
Take heed you do not find what you do not seek.