“We are truly sorry you have not been able to join us at Celtic Park and sorry we have not been able to deliver the further success which your support has deserved. We understand how difficult this year has been for you and understand the disappointment you have felt, it is something shared by us all at the Club.”
Paragraph two of the season ticket renewal email sent to fans yesterday contained two apologies and a validation of disappointment felt at the last year’s performance, a consistent theme from the club since wheels started to spin off the wagon last autumn.
Despite delaying Renewal Day by five weeks beyond the usual issuance date, solely due to the fact that we do not have a manager, the act was triggered without a change in this key status. For a short period, anyway, tickets sold will be a faith-based purchase. Aren’t they always, though?
When I reviewed the dates we appointed managers since Lou Macari joined in October 1993, the 1 June stood out: we have made as many appointments on that date (two) than before it, in the last 28 years. I have no idea what that is, although you have to suspect it is something to do with money.
But still, why send renewals out now? There are pragmatic reasons. People need time to make purchase decisions and ticket office staff need time to process thousands of enquiries. Can you imagine the number of tickets lost in the last 14 months, on top of regular issues? The window for all of this is one month, tight, by historical standards.
Then there is the churn to deal with. Tickets not renewed will be offered to the waiting list, accepted, or reoffered after another period. Department heads will have advised their final execution date for tickets, retail stock and staffing and club broadcasting decisions months ago. You can be sure 26 May was the ticket office’ deadline.
If by next week, 1 June overtakes the entire month of May as the mode value when Celtic appoint a manager, it will look like things are under control again. But don’t quote me on it!