WHAT SHADE OF GREEN? By PensionerBhoy

I address this article to Sniper in response to his post on Sunday 17th February 2013, “Yesterdays events at Celtic Park
I do not get to matches these days.  I do not live in Scotland any more.  I do not read any main stream papers and avoid any media opinions regarding them as agenda driven.  I hope you understand, therefore, that I am not aux fait with the full extent of the Green Brigade’s problems nor their seriousness, though I have read about them on this and other sites.  As such, I am reluctant to make out and out statements about things I know little or nothing about.  However, I find myself in a real quandary over this conflict between club and supporters.   The revelations and the outcomes could forever taint either my support of Celtic Football Club or my admiration for the Green Brigade.
Celtic Football Club have been the passion, pride and purpose of my entire football life.  When younger, healthier and wealthier, I followed them high, low and cross-wise even blowing up the engine of my car on one occasion just to see the last half hour of a Dundee match.  Results like Lisbon, the centenary double and others, took me to heights of jubilation I will only enjoy again if I am privileged to join my maker.  The same club has also driven me to depths of despair and distraction, as in the near collapse of 1998, an experience I hope is never repeated again in my lifetime.  But no matter who, what or where, Celtic have always been and are my sporting heaven on earth.  You can understand, therefore, my utter disgust if what Sniper says is true.  I have no reason whatsoever to doubt him but I find it hard to accept that the club I have been so committed to for seventy years could behave in such a discriminatory, prejudiced and ultimately unjust manner.  It is the behaviour one might expect from clubs with a leadership that has its own self interests and not the good of its support at heart.  But this is not the way of the Celtic I have been following.  For me, the family of club and supporters has been the life and soul of the Celtic ethic.  I dread to think I have had it wrong or it has been cast aside for other interests or, even worse, just to “get at“ one specific group.  Whatever lies at the heart of the current strife with the Green Brigade, the club owes all Celtic supporters an explanation for the way it is apparently behaving towards this section of seemingly loyal and exceptionally enthusiastic, if sometimes over exuberant, fans.  Failure to do so places the directors and management in the same category as the powerbrokers at the S.F.A. and the S.P.L.  To continue to leave supporters in the dark, to create friction and a potential rift between supporters and the club or even between sections of the support is tantamount to dictatorial betrayal.  I will not support a club with such a policy.  Its leaders will be forever condemned as bigots and bullies.  And I will have to sacrifice one of the greatest loves of my life.
I have read too much and heard even more not to realise that when Celtic Park was in mournful silence over the last few seasons, it was the GB that breathed the life back into it.  Neil Lennon may have sought the thunder, but for me it was undoubtedly the GB that created it.  However, in my time I have witnessed and had to deal with the folly of youth and its consequences.  I am not naive when it comes to matters of behaviour and I know, therefore, that the brigade has not been without its faults.  The banner displaying a somewhat “direct” message to UEFA may have been justified but it was far from diplomatic and the red poppy protests, while having substance, were objectionable in their portrayal.  When young, one does not always realise that there is sometimes madness in the method.  There may also have been other instances of youthful rashness that I am unaware of.  But I too remember the daft things I got up to when I was in hormone overdrive in my young days, when heart ruled head and emotion obliterated intelligence.  Surely reasonable people should allow an element of slack provided the behaviour is not criminal or dangerous.  It is an opportunity for Celtic to take a lead in consultation and discussion in a world where punitive action has become the normal but knee jerk easy option. If there have been instances of the GB crossing the line of unacceptable behaviour, then the members involved may well deserve the consequences.  However, the line must be clearly defined, the charges clearly articulated and the footprints of those who have overstepped clearly exposed.  Not to do so is to act as a police state, guilty without trial or defence, and that is totally unacceptable to me.  I would withdraw my support from any institution that acted in this way far less a football club that supposedly prides itself in openness and tolerance.
Till now I have taken sides with my fellow supporters for that is where I feel I should stand.  In addition, only they, so far, have put forward a case.  I have no other evidence to incline me towards another party.  What I would say to the Green Brigade is to be absolutely certain that the accusations or insinuations that are made, especially against the club, are completely accurate and can be proven.  If I should find that I have favoured a mere emotional outburst that is without foundation, I will never forgive the harm the members of this group will have done to my club.  It is not justifiable to drag Celtic Football Club into a confrontation involving others simply to gain sympathy and support.  For me to take the side of the brigade against Celtic, there must be a solid case against the club, an established and justifiable grievance.  It worries me that the members of the brigade may be involving the club simply because it feels powerless against those causing its members aggravation.  That would be entirely remiss and would incur my wrath for the damage caused.  I would add, however, that it is wrong of the club not to make comment on any bias or harassment being suffered by one never mind a group of its supporters.
In the final analysis there seems to be an unnecessary rift between club and Green Brigade members born out of the lack of communication, openness and or tolerance.  Whichever side is to blame or if both are at fault it is creating further division among the rest of the support.  This is an absolutely ridiculous state of affairs and does unutterable damage to the outstanding reputation of both club and fans.  It is time that both sides found grounds for discussion.  Personal egos need to be hung on the peg behind the door so that a balanced and calm examination can be undertaken.  The club badly needs to be open and honest.  The Green Brigade badly needs to be certain and rational.  The one sure loser in all of this is Celtic Football Club, Directors, management, staff, players and supporters.  Instead of applying a balm to cure the lesion both sides seem hell bent on opening the wound further, one by being perhaps too public and the other by being perhaps too silent.  For heavens sake, we are all wearing the same colours.  Style may be slightly different but Celtic is green.  There are no shades.  If there are those out there who would like to be selective, they are not in my opinion true Celtic fans.  Our club is distinctly united as a family under one unique shade of green.  Perhaps it is time for those who seek to have a choice to suit themselves to look elsewhere for the particular shade of Green they wish to be seen in.

22 thoughts on “WHAT SHADE OF GREEN? By PensionerBhoy

  1. As per usual a great blog PB. I sincerely we can move on from this current impasse however there is a lack of trust between the GB and the PLC at the moment. This can only be sorted by transparent discussion. We have bigger foes to fight outside the club so the sooner we are all on the same page the better.
    Hail, Hail

    1. JasCam
      Thank you for your comment.
      “We have bigger foes to fight outside the club so the sooner we are all on the same page the better.”
      Not a truer word….. And my final words on the subject “Judge not lest ……you make a complete a**e of it”.
      H H

  2. As per usual a great blog PB. I sincerely we can move on from this current impasse however there is a lack of trust between the GB and the PLC at the moment. This can only be sorted by transparent discussion. We have bigger foes to fight outside the club so the sooner we are all on the same page the better.
    Hail, Hail

    1. JasCam
      Thank you for your comment.
      “We have bigger foes to fight outside the club so the sooner we are all on the same page the better.”
      Not a truer word….. And my final words on the subject “Judge not lest ……you make a complete a**e of it”.
      H H

  3. Some good comments there PB, and perfect sentiment. It is time to put the kettle on and get the biscuits out! CFC should not allow any fan group to be singled out for “special attention”, That is clearly happening here. Whatever and wherever, the problem is arising from should be stemmed. So CFC and the GB, all I ask, is that you get the kettle on, for the good of the club. Nobody really wants to, and nobody really should, have to choose a side. We are all Celtic. 

    1. barca
      “all I ask, is that you get the kettle on, for the good of the club. Nobody really wants to, and nobody really should, have to choose a side. We are all Celtic.”
      EXACTLY!
      H H

  4. Some good comments there PB, and perfect sentiment. It is time to put the kettle on and get the biscuits out! CFC should not allow any fan group to be singled out for “special attention”, That is clearly happening here. Whatever and wherever, the problem is arising from should be stemmed. So CFC and the GB, all I ask, is that you get the kettle on, for the good of the club. Nobody really wants to, and nobody really should, have to choose a side. We are all Celtic. 

    1. barca
      “all I ask, is that you get the kettle on, for the good of the club. Nobody really wants to, and nobody really should, have to choose a side. We are all Celtic.”
      EXACTLY!
      H H

  5. You’ve been had,the GB are very good at supporting the club,when they stick to that,but the political and agenda driven aspect of their leaders is placing the club and the GB in harms way.The club have issued a statement clarifying the issue and I think it shows clearly that the problem lies with the GB and their feelings of victimisation,wether real or imaginary.
    To defame and blame club officials in the random manner that hey do us unforgivable to me.they are not whiter than white,quite the opposite in fact,but as a group supporting the team they are great at what the do,far too often though,they stray from that and drag the good name of the club and the support through the gutter

    1. A couple of questions
      1. do you know any of these so called ‘leaders’ ?
      2. Do you have any evidence to back up your allegations ?

    2. Dandoyle
      I certainly have not been had. The whole drift of my post was to establish that without the full facts a judgement could not be made, though you seem to favour acceptance of the truth in the Celtic statement without such factual backup. At the time of writing Celtic had not published its statement which seemed, as is often the case, inordinately slow in coming given this issue was in the public domain for the whole weekend and has been a constant thorn in the flesh for a long time now. I would also remind you that words are easy. Actions are the proof and so far the club has only delivered words. I have no proof either way that Celtic is reneging on its promises or merely spouting empty words nor that the GB is exaggerating, manipulating, imagining or instigating. My judgements will remain mute, therefore, until the facts come to light. You also seem to miss my final call for reconciliation, not for the sake of club officialdom nor the GB members but for the reputation and better interests of the club and, above all, the supporters. I am no longer fit to nor do I have the inclination to wield a sword but I can assure you that my pen (or laptop) will be merciless on either party or both if it is revealed that they have potentially harmed the club in any way. As I said elsewhere, what a happy 125th anniversary – family fued, what a surprise!
      H H

      1. I will give you an example of how the GB do business,I was an early member on their website,eager to see how this new group would evolve,please note where I state how good they are at supporting the club.In the wake of the poppy protest debacle and the re-introduction of pro IRA songs at games I tried to engage the GB in debate to establish the motives behind such own goals,I was banned immediately.No warning,no reason,that ban has never been lifted,there is no “face” to the GB,I tend not to trust a group who will not have a public persona.Try to engage them on matchdays and you get verbal abuse and you are considered “not a real fan”.the concept of the GB as THE spokesman for the Celtic fans is,I’m sure baffling to the silent majority,No one elected them to this post,but pronouncements are made,banners are held aloft and the press tar us all with the same brush,if you seriously don’t see the hand of older politically aware fans in the making of the banners then I am afraid to say,you are deluding yourself.
        The guys who hold up the banners are sometimes unaware of what is being passed to them to hold aloft,as I gave witnessed at several game.I do.trust the club,and I believe the club had to wait had to see how the situation panned out before releasing a carefully worded statement.The scattergun approach of the faceless GB statement was not what we needed from the club,and they are defaming club officials.
        I can believe that there are over zealous police,overstepping the mark.but I do hope that ALL football fans remember who put the laws in place and consider when voting to determine the future of our country.I for one to not wish to live in a country where such vaguely worded laws can be applied by over zealous police,but I will always trust the club before a faceless group

        1. Dandoyle
          Sorry to have taken so long to reply but he who must be obeyed had me making the tea.
          I am now getting worried that I am being dragged into the very situation I want avoid viz. friction with other supporters. While I am happy to have a debate, I will not be the source of a rift. On this issue I have to confess to having only had one physical experience of the GB and it was on a day that even they seemed subdued, Celtic 0 -Kilmarnock 2. I do take your point about both the political, banner and the “scattergun approach” as you aptly put it, of the GB. I am also aware that their accusations against the club are on the whole vague and unspecific. I stated in my blog that I would wait for facts before taking sides and for that reason I have not pinned my colours to any flag, if I ever will. I could be accused of becoming involved in something I know little about, of course, but my interest is the effects on Celtic Football Club and not “a side”. You have obviously had some very bad experiences with the GB and I have noted what you say in my mental evidence portfolio. However, I am not prepared to read into any actions something that has no foundation in my own experience i.e. older political puppet masters. To the outsider, who can often see the wood from the trees, the banners and the political protests were more the actions of immaturity and youthful ignorance, shall we say, than of covert political operations. I am happy to be proven wrong. Surely no one can deny the impact and the humour of the Four Horsemen. If Gerald Scarfe had created that he would have been up for an award. Yes, ok, they got it wrong with UEFA and the poppies etc. but do you not remember getting carried away when that age? Having said all of this, if it is proven that what you say is true, I will condemn the GB without pity at every turn and in every place. As I reside over the border, I rely on you and others for information from the doorstep. Please make it factual.
          As for Celtic Football Club (as in CEO, Directors and management), I pray most sincerely that the statement was the truth, the whole truth. However, it is sheer folly to believe that football governance is above football politicking as the past twelve months have proven beyond any doubt. I agree wholeheartedly that the club needs to be circumspect in its reactions but when its reputation is being battered, as with the GB accusations, the fans deserve a quicker response in order to calm fears and alleviate suspicions. And a simple statement of intent is not sufficient. Everyone condemns Salmond for driving a political bandwagon with squeaky wheels because it travels most of the time on words alone and producing unnecessary legislation. What is so different about a club statement? It says there are systems in place to deal with grievances and very good ones they look too. However, it does not specify any actual undertakings except for a vague mention of two cases being completed. It is hard to believe that there have only been two brought to the attention of the club given the number of false arrests and harassment cases reported elsewhere and not just by the GB. All of this creates an element of doubt and it is this i long to have cleared up. If the club was shown by its actions to be committed to equality and justice, I would rest much easier.
          In the end, Dandoyle, I hope this whole episode can be brought to an end. For me that can only happen if the protagonists get together to sort the problem. If, as you imply, and I keep an open mind, there has been sinister goings on to either undermine the club or even to satisfy a group’s lust for power and prominence, then I hope the full weight of punishment comes down on it. Meantime, I am not allowing these distractions to cause friction between myself and other Celtic supporters. There are those who wish it would. I only hope they are not within our own ranks. Discussion and debate is good for the soul but hostility destroys the harmony of family life.
          H H
          PS The tea must have brought on indigestion to precipitate a rant like this.

  6. You’ve been had,the GB are very good at supporting the club,when they stick to that,but the political and agenda driven aspect of their leaders is placing the club and the GB in harms way.The club have issued a statement clarifying the issue and I think it shows clearly that the problem lies with the GB and their feelings of victimisation,wether real or imaginary.
    To defame and blame club officials in the random manner that hey do us unforgivable to me.they are not whiter than white,quite the opposite in fact,but as a group supporting the team they are great at what the do,far too often though,they stray from that and drag the good name of the club and the support through the gutter

    1. A couple of questions
      1. do you know any of these so called ‘leaders’ ?
      2. Do you have any evidence to back up your allegations ?

    2. Dandoyle
      I certainly have not been had. The whole drift of my post was to establish that without the full facts a judgement could not be made, though you seem to favour acceptance of the truth in the Celtic statement without such factual backup. At the time of writing Celtic had not published its statement which seemed, as is often the case, inordinately slow in coming given this issue was in the public domain for the whole weekend and has been a constant thorn in the flesh for a long time now. I would also remind you that words are easy. Actions are the proof and so far the club has only delivered words. I have no proof either way that Celtic is reneging on its promises or merely spouting empty words nor that the GB is exaggerating, manipulating, imagining or instigating. My judgements will remain mute, therefore, until the facts come to light. You also seem to miss my final call for reconciliation, not for the sake of club officialdom nor the GB members but for the reputation and better interests of the club and, above all, the supporters. I am no longer fit to nor do I have the inclination to wield a sword but I can assure you that my pen (or laptop) will be merciless on either party or both if it is revealed that they have potentially harmed the club in any way. As I said elsewhere, what a happy 125th anniversary – family fued, what a surprise!
      H H

      1. I will give you an example of how the GB do business,I was an early member on their website,eager to see how this new group would evolve,please note where I state how good they are at supporting the club.In the wake of the poppy protest debacle and the re-introduction of pro IRA songs at games I tried to engage the GB in debate to establish the motives behind such own goals,I was banned immediately.No warning,no reason,that ban has never been lifted,there is no “face” to the GB,I tend not to trust a group who will not have a public persona.Try to engage them on matchdays and you get verbal abuse and you are considered “not a real fan”.the concept of the GB as THE spokesman for the Celtic fans is,I’m sure baffling to the silent majority,No one elected them to this post,but pronouncements are made,banners are held aloft and the press tar us all with the same brush,if you seriously don’t see the hand of older politically aware fans in the making of the banners then I am afraid to say,you are deluding yourself.
        The guys who hold up the banners are sometimes unaware of what is being passed to them to hold aloft,as I gave witnessed at several game.I do.trust the club,and I believe the club had to wait had to see how the situation panned out before releasing a carefully worded statement.The scattergun approach of the faceless GB statement was not what we needed from the club,and they are defaming club officials.
        I can believe that there are over zealous police,overstepping the mark.but I do hope that ALL football fans remember who put the laws in place and consider when voting to determine the future of our country.I for one to not wish to live in a country where such vaguely worded laws can be applied by over zealous police,but I will always trust the club before a faceless group

        1. Dandoyle
          Sorry to have taken so long to reply but he who must be obeyed had me making the tea.
          I am now getting worried that I am being dragged into the very situation I want avoid viz. friction with other supporters. While I am happy to have a debate, I will not be the source of a rift. On this issue I have to confess to having only had one physical experience of the GB and it was on a day that even they seemed subdued, Celtic 0 -Kilmarnock 2. I do take your point about both the political, banner and the “scattergun approach” as you aptly put it, of the GB. I am also aware that their accusations against the club are on the whole vague and unspecific. I stated in my blog that I would wait for facts before taking sides and for that reason I have not pinned my colours to any flag, if I ever will. I could be accused of becoming involved in something I know little about, of course, but my interest is the effects on Celtic Football Club and not “a side”. You have obviously had some very bad experiences with the GB and I have noted what you say in my mental evidence portfolio. However, I am not prepared to read into any actions something that has no foundation in my own experience i.e. older political puppet masters. To the outsider, who can often see the wood from the trees, the banners and the political protests were more the actions of immaturity and youthful ignorance, shall we say, than of covert political operations. I am happy to be proven wrong. Surely no one can deny the impact and the humour of the Four Horsemen. If Gerald Scarfe had created that he would have been up for an award. Yes, ok, they got it wrong with UEFA and the poppies etc. but do you not remember getting carried away when that age? Having said all of this, if it is proven that what you say is true, I will condemn the GB without pity at every turn and in every place. As I reside over the border, I rely on you and others for information from the doorstep. Please make it factual.
          As for Celtic Football Club (as in CEO, Directors and management), I pray most sincerely that the statement was the truth, the whole truth. However, it is sheer folly to believe that football governance is above football politicking as the past twelve months have proven beyond any doubt. I agree wholeheartedly that the club needs to be circumspect in its reactions but when its reputation is being battered, as with the GB accusations, the fans deserve a quicker response in order to calm fears and alleviate suspicions. And a simple statement of intent is not sufficient. Everyone condemns Salmond for driving a political bandwagon with squeaky wheels because it travels most of the time on words alone and producing unnecessary legislation. What is so different about a club statement? It says there are systems in place to deal with grievances and very good ones they look too. However, it does not specify any actual undertakings except for a vague mention of two cases being completed. It is hard to believe that there have only been two brought to the attention of the club given the number of false arrests and harassment cases reported elsewhere and not just by the GB. All of this creates an element of doubt and it is this i long to have cleared up. If the club was shown by its actions to be committed to equality and justice, I would rest much easier.
          In the end, Dandoyle, I hope this whole episode can be brought to an end. For me that can only happen if the protagonists get together to sort the problem. If, as you imply, and I keep an open mind, there has been sinister goings on to either undermine the club or even to satisfy a group’s lust for power and prominence, then I hope the full weight of punishment comes down on it. Meantime, I am not allowing these distractions to cause friction between myself and other Celtic supporters. There are those who wish it would. I only hope they are not within our own ranks. Discussion and debate is good for the soul but hostility destroys the harmony of family life.
          H H
          PS The tea must have brought on indigestion to precipitate a rant like this.

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