There is a theory that overwhelmingly dominant teams devalue competition as others invariably play for the runners’ up spot. It is not true. The double treble winners have given the League Cup a value sponsor’s Ladbrokes could scarcely have hoped for. Being the next trophy Celtic can win or lose, Scotland’s second cup competition is more valuable than at any time I remember.
When Celtic are eventually eliminated from a cup competition, there will be celebrations across the land, as the rest realise one of them will win a trophy. The only experience Celtic fans have like this in living memory is the Scottish Cup wins in 1995 and 1965, the importance of which are still discussed and cherished.
The heightened importance of the League Cup is not limited to fans of other teams, it is more important to Celtic fans than at any time since the 1997 final. For so long, winning trebles seemed impossible, even to dominant Celtic teams, but now we’ve done it twice, we want to do it again. We want this League Cup.
Being six points adrift from Hearts in the league is far from satisfactory, but tomorrow’s League Cup game at St Johnstone is more important than Saturday’s league game at home to Aberdeen. We need to be ready for it.
On Sunday, two groups of Celtic fans will run through the city for the Great Scottish Run, wearing green Celtic FC Foundation tshirts. The blisters and cramp that got us there will be a distant memory.
There is nothing quite like running through the packed streets of Glasgow with that big logo on your chest, it engages people like nothing else. It is an opportunity to represent something bigger than any of us.
The work of the Foundation is invaluable to some of the most deprived and needy in Scotland, Ireland, England and throughout the world. It is an important part of our Celtic lives. If you can donate to support the work, please do so here.