I’ve never known Celtic to subsidise an away match ticket before. Put aside for a second thoughts of thanking the fans for their support during a difficult period (which are valid), I like this move for the message it sends to those in the dressing room, as well as the stands.
We are in a league race, and we want to win it. You can understand Aberdeen’s razor-sharp appetite. They’ve not won the league in over 30 years, every man, woman and child in their ranks will be forgiving of faults and profuse in praise.
By contrast, this will be our five-in-a-row, the 11th title in 16 years. It will never come close to what we experienced in 1998, when we worshipped the words of Wim Jansen after a late-season home draw against soon-to-be-relegated Hibs.
For many of us, 1998 was our Celtic supporting high point – it meant that much. Hopefully we will never again be in a place where a domestic title has such importance. Instead we need to find techniques to deliver that edge, to remind us of the importance of getting it right in every league season.
I refer to that Hibs game in 1998 often, it felt like a pivotal moment. We were nip and tuck for the title, what would have been an historic 10-in-a-row title, one which would have violated one of Jock Stein’s teams’ records. That day, it felt like the chance was slipping, but there would be no let-up. We bundled our nerves together and moved on.
Telling the world that the club is subsidising fans’ ticket costs is one technique to help deliver a little bit of that focus. Let’s hit the plastic running on Saturday.