The Scotsman did an interesting article today on the fact that recent attendances at Celtic Park have fallen well short of the circa 46,000 paid for tickets, the majority of which are season tickets. It touches on several issues.
Suggestions that a league in which Celtic inevitably process to the title is less attractive to the spectating public than a league with a competitive challenge is not a surprise. It would be bizarre otherwise.
Still, many Celtic fans continue to support the club for a whole variety of reasons: we want to see it prosper, we enjoy going to games with our family and friends, and, unsurprisingly, we enjoy watching football.
Anyone who doubted that attendances would soften after Rangers were liquidated should have widened their survey sample. For most of us, this was a welcome change. The joys of beating Rangers were undeniable, but most of us have a deeper relationship with Celtic.
The Scotsman predict that in the event there was never a “team called Rangers in the top flight” Celtic would endure some serious downsizing. If we remained within the confines of Scottish league football this is undeniably true. So what? There would be little competition, less income, fewer signings and more promotion from the youth team.
In this scenario there would inevitably be fewer Champions League nights too, but in the big scheme of things, would we want it any other way? Of course not. Celtic will be there, in sunshine or in shadow, playing football and paying their bills. I’d sign up for this right now.
There is, of course, the question of how welcome our continued presence in Scottish football would be with the prospect of not just winning 10-in-a-row, which I hear our favourite Sevconian, Ally McCoist, is now discussing as a possibility, but the realisation that 10 would soon become 20, or 30-in-a-row.
All Celtic can do is continue to win football matches, pay their bills and see off all challengers. The game here is irrevocably broken; the consequences of this will continue to emerge in the months and years to come. All we know for sure is that Celtic will prevail, no matter which scenario plays out.
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