Sell your credibility and play to your base


There was good news from Uefa yesterday when we learned that only the first three qualification rounds would be held as a one-off game, the play-off round will be home and away.  There are still chronic hazards, let’s not forget that our incredible domestic ‘Invincibles’ season started with defeat in Gibraltar to Lincoln Red Imps, a similar result next season would see us exit Europe without a parachute to the Europa.

Our current financial situation means it has never been more important that we reach the Champions League, but it is absolutely critical we have European competition of some sort going into the autumn.  We’ll hear more on what Uefa have to say on Financial Fair Play later today.

I don’t quite know where to begin on Hearts and Partick Thistle.  They started proceedings in the Court of Session yesterday, seeking £8m and £2m compensation respectively for being relegated while in a relegation spot when the league was ended.  They also threatened to serve an interdict to stop the Premiership starting on 1 August.

First off, the threat of interdict is nonsense, the evidence required by a court to stop 13 businesses from operating (12 clubs and the SPFL) would be overwhelming and simply does not exist.  Secondly, you need to show where you are damaged before a court would award compensation.  It is easy to make claims about all the money you could make, but it is very difficult to establish that all the successes you hope for would happen.  Hearts £8m figure looks like it has lots of could happen, there is no supporting evidence of what would happen.

Legally, this issue comes down to two matters: did the votes to terminate the Premiership (which Hearts supported) and the lower leagues take place according to the SPFL’s rules, and does the SPFL have the right to decide upon its own rules and procedures?

There was no ‘dossier’, no claim has been made that League rules were not followed and no one, as yet, as claimed the League cannot decide its own rules and procedures.  A similar action, with different promotion/relegation outcomes, failed in the Netherlands, where a court ruled that the League was entitled to decide the rules of its own competition.

So why are Fran and Anna of Hearts and Thistle doing this?  Consider what Newco did in April and May.  As Hearts and Thistle are now doing, they ran an ‘Us against the world’ campaign.  It looked futile, and technically it failed, but nothing sells season tickets like a mad rant.  I have absolutely no doubt Newco have sold more than us right now and that money is keeping the lights on.  In football, politics and elsewhere, when you have nothing else, you sell your credibility and play to your base.  This is how the world operates now: polarise and fill your boots.  Anger rewards imbeciles, you will see it every day.

We got to win the arguments but ‘Everyone thinks we are right’ does not sell season tickets as well as ‘Everyone’s against us’.  Hearts and Thistle need a bit of that love from their fans and I am sure ticket sales at both clubs bounce the more militant they sound.  The scorched earth policy to the rest of Scottish football is a sideshow; this is all about selling season tickets. Frame the question like that and everything mad that’s happened since April makes sense.

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  1. Hearts and Partick have a major problem, they fully participated in the SPFL vote.


    If they were not happy to accept the outcome, they should not have taken part.

  2. carpetcrawler on

    That strategy can only work for so long. Obviously with the huns and their levels of hatred, probably a bit longer.

  3. Pingback: Sell your credibility and play to your base Paul67 - Celtic FC News Aggregation

  4. New members to the UEFA Disciplinary Bodies


    Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body


    includes …


    Neil Doncaster (SCO) – proposed by European Leagues

  5. I have absolutely no doubt Newco have sold more than us right now







  6. Spot on Paul.



    They have played to the base and are succeeding. We are complacent and despite Offering to credit fans in a relatively respectful manner the Celtic faithful is not engaging yet for a potentially momentous season.



    For theMs to have sold 40% more then we have now is a concern imo. Even though they are appealing to the base.



    Not having a product on display right now doesn’t help. A further worry re the euro qualifiers is others will be less ring rusty.



    Lots for our custodians and faithful to think on as we enter what should be the greatest season of our Celtic supporting lives.


    FAVOURITE UNCLE on 18TH JUNE 2020 12:36 PM


    Latest faulty recollection from Super Sally:-















    “I was at a meeting as Rangers manager involving the SFA and some other characters and the subject of title-stripping came up. I stood up and slammed my papers together.









    How the F55K can you slam paper together.

  8. Whilst they undoubtedly appeal to the lowest common denominator, it would appear the sevco board are at least aware of their customer base.



    We may have the moral high ground on much of this, though there does seem to be a disconnect between the Celtic board and the wider support.



    This is an area we should address.

  9. I’ve read some fans complain in other Celtic forums that the text on their renewal forms outlining the online pass was too small to read and infer

  10. Not everything is about money. It’s a fair argument to suggest it could be unfair to relegate teams with numerous fixtures still to play. Particularly Partick who had a game in hand.

  11. Cont’d



    that this was part of some plot.



    Unfortunately this is were we are now. Weeks of criticism has lead us to being behind them in ticket sales.



    I’d wager that’s the first time this has happened since Fergus walked in the door.

  12. BIG WAVY on 18TH JUNE 2020 12:33 PM


    Why are we underperforming on season ticket sales?






    Because season ticket holders are being asked to pay for something that is a pale imitation of the real thing. The conditions of sale are unacceptable to many. I know quite a few who applied for a refund for 19/20 when they found out about the proposal for the 20/21 season ticket.

  13. The circumstances surrounding Scottish / European football are as they say unprecedented.


    We can not use ST sales in theze times as a barometer.



    However what is worrying is the amount of Celtic fans on social media who think we still have loads of money.




  14. David 17



    The Govan lot have been Treated with contempt by their owners. At least Celtic has tried to offer something.



    The concern is our faithful are not as engaged with 10 as theirs are with stopping it.

  15. Of course they’ve sold more than us they’re about 20 mill in debt and we’ve got cash in the bank.



    Wee Billy knows he has to buy a ticket to keep the lights on (and they have a vast base of thicko billies to appeal to).



    It’s a game we’re currently not winning – sometimes nice guys don’t win – but we’ll still win the league.

  16. Ron Bacardi


    Received your letter today. Many thanks for your kindness towards the “neddies “. I did miss your post on 9th inst. due to my wife’s extended birthday celebrations but replied belatedly last Friday. I’ve followed up your suggestions, all very interesting and intriguing. Cheers.


    As to Hertz and fizzle….. 2 very unlikely bed fellows. Always had a soft spot for Thistle as I had a friend who enjoyed a career there (including the LC final against us) but when he transferred to hertz I couldn’t watch him in those colours. Don’t think Thistle have thought this through.

  17. Who’s sold more now isn’t too important



    Let’s wait till the end of the renewal period and see where we are

  18. I also think that Sevco will have outsold us due to several reasons. Firstly, we have extend our date for renewal to 30th June, 12 more days. Secondly, we have offered rebates for last season and have to process these rebates. Thirdly, we have furloughed our staff and I understand they might not have. Fourthly, we have changed the conditions to ensure our fans will be able to see games when Closed door matches are started. Finally, we don’t know when football will resume.



    I have no doubt that Celtic will sell out the season ticket on this record breaking season. I fully expect numerous attempts will be made by Celtic fans to see the football when Closed doors is in operation. Expect wall climbing, smuggling, Cherrypickers, Hot air ballons and other ingenious methods will be deployed.



    I fully expect our pre season friendlies to be in some remote Austrian villages accompanied by Fans on stepladders and binoculars.

  19. Correct me if I’m wrong


    Closing date for season ticket renewal is 30th June


    I have 2 season tickets, which I will renew at end of this month


    Why should or would I pay out £1332 any earlier ???

  20. David17,



    Thanks, so despite the ‘product’ (outwith the control of Celtic or any club) being a pale imitation (the great leveller as it is the same with all), the club offering (albeit a clunky) refund sits well behind the mob with no refund policy on ST sales?



    Seems an eternal Going for 55 trumps HWG10IAR then?



    Unleash the waiting list and get the munch-needed fund in the door.

  21. PS I couldn’t care less what any other club does with ticket sales



    Only Celtic for me


    Maybe help if the Club engaged with normal fans



    One other point, I would be interested in upgrading my seats to club Celtic, which I’ve tried for past 2 or 3 seasons – accepting issue is I want 2 seats together from sections 204-206


    The 4 page Q&A page from Celtic stated there would be no Seat changes offered ??

  22. Oops posted to early


    By renewing online, aid cannot even request a seat upgrade, and office staff not back until Monday


    There may be thousands of un-opened renewal forms sitting In a post bag

  23. Hrvatski Jim on

    I am with Norrie.


    Why pay out for a ticket weeks before you have to? I will renew a couple of days before the deadline.


    We know that we won’t get the full experience of all live games but this will be the case in many aspects of life for a while – travel, theater, pubs/dining etc. – but I want to reserve my seat for the longer term and do my little to help the club. I expect many others will do likewise.

  24. Yesterday’s blog is a neat introduction to mine on Sentinel Celts






    as it examines an alternative business model based on club membership for all Celtic supporters in their different circumstances.



    Apart from the Virtual ST for closed door games being the initial reason for thinking ahead, the other was loss of profitability which is where Paul ended yesterday’s blog.



    Don’t rule out DD wanting to sell up rather than stay in and cover some of the loss that erodes our chance of success and put that onus on a support with a stronger emotional attachement, so I hope some will have a look and check comments.



    In brief if we want to keep Celtic alive for what it is (a large community club) rather than what it is not (a profit centre) we as a support and the club need to revisit our attitudes and find ways of sharing the load more equitably across the support as well as getting a say for our money.

  25. ….☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️..
























  26. Pro sport can start back on the 22nd of June. It would be great if we could complete the games pre-split in July…



    But all the wee teams have already released half their players etc…



    Just seems a bit of a shambles to me.

  27. So this is about Partick Thistle selling more season tickets?


    We are getting into metaphysics now…

  28. Maybe easier just to post here.



    Losing the Sense of Community



    Football clubs are merely the totems around which different communities gather to sing their songs and dance their dances, but in trying to become big business this essential point has been lost. Football as a business has grown too big for its boots.



    At the end of the chapter “The Worst Business in the World” in their book Soccernomics (2009) Simon Kuperand Stefan Szymanski say



    “Soccer clubs need to know what they are. They shouldn’t kid themselves they are Titanium Metals (a small company in Big Business Terms but a behemoth compared to any soccer club – ) . Rather they are like museums, public spirited organisations that AIM TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY, whilst remaining reasonably solvent.”



    Few would argue that Celtic have managed the latter in laudable terms that has led to long term football success and long may it continue, but in becoming a PLC has that aim of serving the community not so much been lost as reversed?



    Celtic started as a community club and, I would argue still are, but that community has spilled out from its origins in the east end of Glasgow to become global. Wherever you go in the world you are likely to bump into a fellow Tim and a friendly connection is often made. We make friends easily, we commune. However is the current PLC model the right fit for the global Celtic community of today? Has the PLC model caused Celtic custodians to have grown apart from its community rather than being a part of it?



    The most recent issue caused by the CoVid Virus has been the sale of season tickets for games that at the outset fly in the face of the very reason for buying a season ticket which is To Be There when the team runs on to the park. Celtic’s approach to the problem caused by CoVid19 is constrained by the very model that has sustained Celtic as a solvent, indeed very profitable business, which is the degree of reliance on actual match day physical attendance that brings the sense of community back to the place where it first began.



    However that community whilst metaphorically and emotionally lives in the shadow of Celtic Park physically it does not. In having to offer regular match day attendees the opportunity to watch from afar ,will that be a cause for many to rethink the current model in a world where we are being reminded nothing is certain , so be ready to change?



    In that respect I looked into my crystal ball (a spreadsheet actually) that can be viewed here for an alternative model that recognised not only how widespread the Celtic community has become but also offered a path to a place where the lost sense of community at one with itself could be reborn.



    It is one of life’s cosmic ironies that as I was developing the new model last night the same idea of giving the community a greater say via a Membership Scheme had emerged on CQN on Tuesday





    that BMCUW pasted on Sentinel Celts and if you have not read it everyone should. It makes the very valid point, particularly in light of the lessons Resolution 12 has taught us , that the PLC model not only does not reflect the values that the Celtic community hold dear but prevents any changes to that model happening and is prepared to go to unacceptable lengths to do so.



    The great thing about a spreadsheet is the ability to ask“What if?” and each answer offers a potential new realitythat might be attractive enough to try to create call it Back to the Future.



    The model at this link contains various assumptions that are up for challenge and the purpose in presenting it is solely to get us thinking about what about Celtic is important to us?



    That will obviously vary according to each individual’s experience, but hopefully in sharing those thoughts a consensus might emerge as to the direction the community rather than the PLC wish Celtic to head.



    The spreadsheet model has notes to reveal the thinking behind the figures but this bit of text from the model is worth setting out here to provide a bit more context.



    Key assumptions​​​​​​​​



    Ditch Sky and form SPFL TV as streaming channel​​​​​​



    Celtic matches played either Sat or Sunday fixed KO and not in competition with other SPFL games. The Rangers FC Ltd do same​​​​​​​​



    Other clubs keep income from their supporters viewing​but are guaranteed a bottom figure.



    Objective ​​​​​​​​​​​



    To make Celtic a recognised well run NOT For Profit GLOBAL COMMUNITY CLUB that truly reflects the ethos of that community​​​​​​​​​



    To pave the way to giving all Membership Scheme participants a single vote on Celtic business policy based on Celtic’s greatest resource – its supporters and their values as a community.​​​​​​​​​​​​​



    The supporting spreadsheet can be viewed on line at



  29. I paid up front for our two Season Tickets on March 9th.



    I have had nothing from Celtic about this virtual ticket.







  30. A bit more respect for Fran and Anna, both diehard Tims from Coatbridge, might be in order.

  31. £8M compensation !!!!!



    Give that to Accies or St Midden and they would take the drop




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