Peter Lawwell’s comments on Friday that Celtic receive no support from Glasgow City or Scottish Government circles reflects years of plans being frustrated by incoherent rejections.
Were it not for the Commonwealth Games being hosted in the city in 2014, planning permission to redevelop the area to the front of Celtic Park would continue to be rejected. The reality that the Queen would drive past a derelict former school, with vegetation growing from every nook, was sufficient motivation for the Council to allow Celtic to remove the building and landscape the area. You have Her Mag. to thank for the Celtic Way.
Celtic would like a fanzone. Somewhere you can congregate before a match, where you might even be able to visit a toilet, but the Council doesn’t want it. Planning permission is sought for the hotel. On the face of it, this is a fantastic initiative for a long-deprived area of the city, the Council should be doing their best to encourage Celtic into spending the money, not looking disinterested.
Then we have the proposed no parking zone, which would see it illegal for you to park within one mile of Celtic Park on match days. Parking would start at the one mile limit, but would surely extend a couple of miles beyond this before we are all accommodated. Public transport to and from the area is vastly under served, there simply isn’t the capacity to cope with many football fans. Your choice will be to walk miles to and from the game, or stop going.
The likely change of administration at the Council, from Labour to SNP isn’t necessarily going to help, either. A councillor from the latter camp raised concerns when Celtic asked for permission to build the Superstore, citing that it could damage trade going to local supermarkets. This is the environment we have to operate in!
The Scottish Government set their faces to stone on the subject of Celtic when Alex Salmond decided to get involved in Scottish football in 2011, leaving us with the ludicrous Offensive Behaviour’ Act.
The Scottish Parliament voted to repeal this act last year, after countless football fans, and Celtic, campaigned on the issue. However, the will of the Scottish Parliament isn’t always respected by the Scottish Government, who ignored the vote, before setting their 2017 agenda on inducing moral outrage when the will of the Scottish Parliament is ignored.
The irony should be disappointing, but it’s not even surprising. Scammers, one and all.
A reminder that this year’s CQN Open Golf takes place at our usual Aberdour venue on Friday 28 July. Walk with Shay and the Celtic FC Foundation are our primary beneficiaries. Costs are £80 for the whole day (including golf) and £45 for evening-only guests. Applications to email@example.com .