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Fergus returns to the debate

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On many fronts I’m delighted Fergus McCann feels confident enough to get back involved with Celtic, some 15 years after departing the scene.  It wasn’t always this way.  We reached our first European final in 33 years largely as a result of the groundwork he put in place, but he didn’t feel comfortable making the trip to Seville.

He was first tempted back at the unveiling of the Br. Walfrid statue, using the occasion to put the club’s charitable heritage to the fore.  He has since been back to speak at Celtic Charity, now called Celtic FC Foundation, events.

His intervention today, saying “It is important for people to stand up and show their support by buying season tickets. That is my simple message” echoes a letter he sent to season ticket holders in 1995.  Celtic had endured a difficult season at Hampden, if memory serves, we finished below Hibernian in the league, sentiment was low and as season 94-95 drew to a close I remember thinking the rebuilding project was in jeopardy.

Only 31,025 souls turned up to watch an end of season victory against Rangers with many unsold tickets in the Celtic areas of Hampden.   Fergus was also unpopular among a sizable portion of the support, with prominent Celtic supporters only too happy to undermine his reputation.

The season ticket renewal packs arrived with a letter from Fergus which invoked memories of his trip to Kilmarnock in 1963 to see Celtic ship six goals during Jimmy Johnstone’s debut.  Fergus knew what the years ahead would hold for Celtic but he needed faith from you and me or the project would have been in real jeopardy.

To everyone’s pleasant surprise Celtic fans rallied in great numbers as the new stadium opened.  So much so I was scrambling around trying to get a season ticket as the ‘sold out’ sign went up before I got myself sorted.  It took another couple of years before we recorded one of the most momentous league wins in our history but the strategy was sound.  It was always going to get there while others played casino football.

This week, Fergus wrote, “The league is important going forward. Filling the seats makes a huge difference to the club’s chances of getting the players it wants, paying the salaries and getting into Europe.

“The rebuilt Celtic Park has 60,000 seats for a purpose. It was built on my belief that 60,000 at every home game would give the club a key advantage.  And it has.

“Season ticket cash is essential for Celtic to buy players while TV income is a small fraction of that of the bottom club in the English Premier League.  But not all-important.  Personal attendance at every game – through and through – is a key part of our culture.  It shows how important Celtic is in our lives.

“We both know that you don’t stop being a committed supporter of Celtic because the league doesn’t include Rangers, or because you feel you could pick the few big games you want to attend. For years I went to ‘unimportant games’. In fact, I was at every Celtic game, home and away, in the year before I emigrated to Canada.”

Ticket sales is one of those things which bends more with sentiment than we often consider, but we are at a new beginning this summer, one which many feel hopeful for.  I reckon there is a good chance we’ll see an up-click as the Ronny Deila Days start.

Tune in on Friday.  After the CQN Lions night at the Greenock Celtic Supporters’ Club on Friday, we will have Bertie Auld on the blog this Friday, 13th.  More details later in the week.

And just in case you’ve been living on the moon this past week, watch BBC Alba at 21:00 tonight for the Jock Stein film.

Visit the CQN Bookstore to get Tommy Gemmell to sign your personal copy of his tome, All the Best.

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  1. ***Today’s winner is Gordon***

     

     

    Congratulations!

     

    Give that man a coconut.

     

     

    Atletico Madrid P6 W0 D2 L4

     

    Hamburg P4 W0 D1 L3

     

    Repid Vienna (Wein) P4 W0 D2 L2

  2. Did we no beat Rabid Vienna 3-1 at Parkheed?

     

     

    Ah wis there.

     

     

    So ah wis.

  3. bournesouprecipe on

    I’m sure the Blog will now fill with the season ticket cynics, because Fergus McCann says we must renew when he could have spoken on any number of much more controversial subjects, but remained just a silent supporter.

     

     

    He has realised the magnificent stadium he built is no longer fillable even when we play big sides like Aberdeen, in a Scottish Cup one off. It’ll be left to Barcelona to try but only if we take up the spare capacity.

     

     

    His 60,000 seated legacy was unsustainable in a bankrupt league, especially now that their are no tax evading fraudulent clubs, one of whom repeatedly managed to steal the title thousands went to CP, to try and win even when we knew were being shafted.

     

     

     

    God bless Fergus McCann but even you can’t refill the ground, you’re too late. Perhaps another generation of fraud by a new club, will once again se the return of supporting gods chosen Celtic.

  4. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Phil

     

    Game result null and void hence the trip to old Trafford

  5. Rangers ‘in a good place’, says Graham Wallace

     

     

    Rangers are “in a good place”, chief executive Graham Wallace has insisted despite continuing concerns over the League One champions’ finances.

     

    The Union of Fans group has urged supporters to withhold season ticket money in protest against the board.

     

    It led to question marks over the ability of the club to meet the sales figures required for next season.

     

    But Wallace said: “Fans should be confident and comfortable with the club’s long-term stability.”

     

     

    Well thank god for that reassurance Mr Wallace.Here was me worrying that with the ST sales,and £1.5 million to be paid back,that money would be a bit tight,but no.You tell us that the club is much better off than it was.

     

    In saying that,if I had £2 today,and 40p yesterday,I would be much better off too.

     

    Figures eh,whit they like?.

  6. !!Bada Bing!!

     

    12:59 on

     

    9 June, 2014

     

     

    It takes at least a minute to do a debit card transaction. Let’s say there’s 100 seats free in each of the 3 sections served by my turnstiles that 5 hours to get all the seats sold.

     

     

    I agree a way needs to be found but that’s not it. I’d have all the available tickets printed off in the morning and a ‘take what you’re given’ flat fee of £10-15.

  7. Well said Fergus McCann. We got our first season tickets for the terracing behind the goals at the Celtic end a few years before we moved to Hampden for the re-build. We’ve held on to them ever since but this year was the first time that I was wavering. I’m nearly retired now but still working and living in Edinburgh. This together with caring commitments which my partner and I share, means that although we have 2 season tickets we rarely manage to use both of them. I’d guess that for the last two years out of the 60 or so possible games we’d have used both tickets in maybe 20 of them. We’re not so rich that we couldn’t do something with the money we are throwing away. That said when it comes down to it. I want to support the cause even if I can’t make the game so we continue to pay up. Maybe next season we’ll work out a way to get to more games but if not at least I’m playing my part in keeping Celtic successful.

  8. Fergus McCann, what a man. We owe so very much to him and I feel he does not get anything like the credit he rightly deserves form many quarters .I for one am eternally grateful for all he did for our great club.

     

     

    I get quite irritated when I read about crowds at home, people who have season tickets and not going to support the team. of them I would say, think about fans like me, and there are loads on here, who live thousands of miles from Celtic Park and cannot get to see the team we love. What I’d do to be in a position to use a season book.

     

    Hey – ho, I can’t so depend on the blog and what I can discover in the media.

     

     

    KINGLUBO

  9. The Honest Cover-up on

    celtictom

     

     

    Will that still be the case if tickets become available for public sale in the CL against Real Madrid?

     

    Ultimately, it’s up to you what you spend your own money on but I find a lot of supporters have ready made excuses for not renewing.

     

    Some people genuinely cab’t afford it, fair enough. Some people have family/work comittments, fair enough. Some people just don’t like the league we play in, fair enough.

     

    I can’t understand why believing our CEO is over-paid (I agree he probably is) is a reason to effectively boycott the club and miss out on great CL nights.

     

    The club needs our support.

  10. !!Bada Bing!!

     

    12:59 on

     

    9 June, 2014

     

    We need pay at the gate turnstiles,not everyone can afford a ST. Should be easy enough to pay with a debit card at the gate,nothing worse than watching folk,queue for 40 minutes,then queue again to get in the stadium.

     

     

    Scotlands finest will not allow”Pay at the gate”.Elf And Safety”and all that.Would be great,but until they say yes,we are stuck with double queuing.

     

    I agree with you on Tony Watt.If he can screw the nut,he could be a real player for us.

  11. paolosboots FC before PLC on

    Bada and hoopydoo you guys are bang on £29 is not an incentive for me. Way too overpriced when bayern is €15 I read somewhere. Mind you when the ceo is on £1,000,000 package he isnt in touch with reality!

  12. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    I don’t have a ticket as I work Saturdays but mini does. Up to £100 now she is fourteen. Still good value for kids imho.

  13. I can’t understand why believing our CEO is over-paid (I agree he probably is) is a reason to effectively boycott the club

     

    ——-

     

     

    agreed, there’s probably no other company in life that people boycott because the CEO is over-paid so why choose celtic for that reason?

     

     

    do people boycott their local pub or supermarket because the

     

    CEO of the owning company is over paid?

     

     

    Nawwwwwwww…..

  14. Got a table booked for this Saturday at the No7 Restaurant. It was a gift from my mother in law for my 65th, a coupla months ago.

     

     

    Also got the stadium tour included BUT been told today the tours are no longer available ’til the Commonwealth Games finish.

     

     

    Whit?????

     

     

    Anyway, accommodation also booked so going to make a night of it.

     

     

    Canny wait!!!!!

  15. !!Bada Bing!! on

    weeminger-Thanks for reply,i agree with your pricing,but DD transactions are much quicker now and McDonalds for example, do a scan of your card to speed up the process

  16. The Honest Cover-up on

    KINGLUBO

     

     

    I am one of the supporters who has a season ticket who doesn’t go every week.

     

    Sometimes I can’t make it for various reasons and gone are the days when you’d have half a dozen mates eager to use your ticket if you were away.

     

    I make no apology though for not going every week. I pay my money to support the club and what I choose to do with the ticket after that is my choice.

     

    I don’t feel indebted to other supporters to go along every week. My free time is mine and I do as I like with it depending on family and friends etc.

     

    I understand your point about being frustrated being unable to attend games but I don’t think supporters who but tickets and don’t turn up are the main problem. The problem is supporters who don’t buy tickets.

  17. bamboo

     

     

    I saw your earlier post about the Ukraine and you continue to see this as predominantly a Fascist and West inspired uprising.

     

     

    Whilst there is, undoubtedly, some modern geo-politics involved, this is overlaying a lengthy history.

     

     

    I have looked up a passage in a historical novel I read. It states:-

     

     

    “When Napoleon invaded…..The Tsar had no more loyal troops than the Cossacks (Ukrainians largely). And on the Eastern side of the Dniepr, where I come from, the landowners have been glad of Russian protection since the time of Bogdan (Khmelnistsky- early 17th century). On the western side of the Dniepr, however, where there’s more Polish influence, Russian rule is accepted but not particularly popular”

     

     

    This was an imagined quote, dating from the first half of the 19th century, preceding the 1917 Revolution and the Cold War by a century or more and describing a split that was there for 4 centuries or more.

     

     

    I do not dispute that the Ukrainian Fascist party has aligned with the Nationalists and the pro-West but it would be very wrong to see all of them as pro-Fascist. I believe Zbyszek has been trying to give you a bit more information on the local nuances behind the rather black and white analysis of fascism vs socialism (Russia no longer is so), EC vs Russian Bloc, or Cold War politics continued. There is an element of each involved but it is overlain with national history and religious schism too.

  18. mickbhoy1888 on

    Was the lead article written by the Celtic marketing department or Peter Lawell

  19. byern 15euros.how do they do it?

     

     

    what is the cost to run byern.they must be bringing in a hell of a lot of money from somewhere.

  20. leftclicktic

     

     

    I have had my seat since new ground was built and think was one of cheapest

     

    avilable then and a smoking seat. : > )

     

     

    North Stand Upper in Corner with Celtic end.

     

     

    Think this year it was 365 or similar.

  21. I think a full and honest letter from our own chairman/board would make more people go and buy season books.

     

     

    Their stance on the rangers .. Dundee united seem prepared to say it how it is.

     

     

    Maybe allowing the fans into the clubs 5year plan aswel might help.

  22. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    Back in from walking the wife and the dug round the Obersee in Bielefeld. After the walk we felt the need to quench our thirsts at a large bar/restaurant called the Seekrug. We decided we would drink outside in the Bavarian themed beer garden. Whilst at the bar I was approached by someone, who worked there (possibly the owner), who had seen my Celtic top. He asked me if I was going up to Hamburg for the St Pauli game. He then told me that he was a St Pauli member and that they had already sold 10,000 tickets for the game. Also said the usual party and Irish bands had been organised, and that there were 6 travelling in his party up from Bielefeld to Hamburg.

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