Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Green Brigade

A couple of days ago, I posted up on Talk Celtic, a message board for Celtic fans and as it was reasonably well received thought I should cross post it here. A bit of background, UEFA have told Celtic that there can’t be any political chanting or banners at Celtic Park. The Green Brigade upped the ante by putting up banners of William Wallace and Bobby Sands, one image acceptable to the establishments and one image certainly not. Then last Friday at Fir Park, Motherwell, some seats in the vicinity of the Green Brigade were damaged at a cost of £10,000 to £20,000 depending on which newspaper you wanted to read. The Celtic Board responded by banning some fans and forcing others to sit elsewhere in the stadium for the rest of the season.

post on Talk Celtic 9th December 2013

Southampton fan in peace. It is true that I’m getting involved in something that I can’t truly understand but I think that football as a whole needs more Green Brigade not less. Do you want supporting Celtic to have all the passion of Old Trafford when they aren’t winning or the Emirates Library?

Some fans then say yes, chant and sing for the team but why bring the republicanism and politics into it? It’s because of Celtic’s history going back to the 19th century. Not many football clubs were founded to raise money for the poor and not many groups of fans would care that the club wasn’t playing the living wage. That’s all politics and history and it shows what the ethos of the club is and why supporters are proud of their club.

I’m a little wary of the “more than a club” slogan because all clubs are even if it’s just expressing a bit of civic pride in their own town. That being said, the slogan still holds true, when you support Celtic or any other football team it’s not just the 11 well paid professionals you’re supporting it’s the soul of the club.

Without history and ethos, what would the difference be between supporting Glasgow Hoops or Glasgow Blues? It might as well be a fashion statement. Even Portsmouth fans have had to invent a history that makes Southampton out to be the bad guys in the South Coast Derby. History and ethos provides the context for everything in football.

Your board should be pleased the Green Brigade exists, not embarrassed about it. They should work with the GB to get rid of any parasites who are attracted by the chance to cause trouble but overall the Green Brigade is an asset to the football club. I fear I must be missing something important because it doesn’t make sense from outside why the club would want to dilute the atmosphere and split the GB up to the farthest flung corners of the ground.

One day, hopefully, Southampton will play you in a competitive match, on that night a Celtic Park without the Green Brigade will be easier for Saints but poorer for football.