You win five-in-a-row and go 24 points clear but it’s not until you propose to build an architecturally pleasing hotel and museum that the penny begins to drop with some that you are, in fact, an exceptionally well run football club.
I loved reading how we are interpreted on the other side of the city in yesterday’s CQN Magazine article, Simply Depressed:
“Commercially trolling us now. Light years ahead in income plans.
“It’s a source of revenue (and a fantastic bit of PR)….. It can pull an entire local community together and actually create new followers.
“If we ever get our act together, it will take years if at all to get anywhere near them financially, we can slaughter Lhiewell (sic.) all we want, but the bottom line is he is delivering for them.
“It’s a good initiative, having a hotel allows you to have certain events that were not previously possible. Media and corporate sponsorship will increase, new hospitality packages will be created, money from concerts will increase, supporters will hire function rooms and stay the nights more often.
“Just feel we are getting left behind commercially and will be seen as the poor football relation in Glasgow…this one highlights the growing gap between us and them it’s depressing.”
Pulling this together has taken years. Internal voices have dampened expectations during this period, a few times over the years I’ve heard: “There’s a long way to go, remember “floating pitches and super-casinos”” – a valuable lesson, thanks, Sir David. Celtic didn’t want to break ranks on this until the necessary money and commercial partnerships were lined up.
Don’t think this will see The Celtic Triangle finished, either, this is just the next step. The club have learned lessons from every noteworthy stadium of every sport in the world. European club football facilities miles behind where top US sports are at present.
We’re not there yet, but we’re on the road, and this is one journey that’s very enjoyable.