Why it’s vitally important to have The Green Brigade back

I take my hat off to PJD. It’s a tough gig talking or writing about Celtic seven days a week. I couldn’t do that. I used to think I could, but now realise I haven’t got the focus for it. My mind moves in mysterious ways and it sometimes takes me to keep on the subject of Celtic for an hour during the bulletins.

Over the Charity Weekender, I was on ACSOM three times. Once talking about the Celtic Cross Collective band that I’m part of, then about the genius that is Shane McGowan, and then finally in the aftermath of our pathetic defeat to Hearts.

That last show was the hardest one to do. Not because I never expected Celtic to lose, but because the urge to shout, “Just run faster, pass quicker, and stop playing rubbish football,” for an hour was very hard to resist.

What’s going on with St Pauli & The Green Brigade?

I was sent an article that was written for the Morning Star regarding St Pauli. It described how St Pauli’s active fanbase (match-going fans) have fallen out with St Pauli’s international supporters club over Palestine, including a direct attack on Glasgow St Pauli, which, knowing some of the guys involved in this club, leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

The main crux of the matter seems to be ‘active’ St Pauli’s close links with the left-wing and anti-fascist Hapoel Tel Aviv. For me, this seems to be a case of the same page, different font but with a shot of snobbery from the active St Pauli fanbase.

It was from this I discovered that the Green Brigade and St Pauli haven’t been close for a very long time and that the GB left the ALERTA network due to differences over Palestine. Who would have thought being a decent human could cause so much division? This highlights the
problem of left politics. We can think for ourselves while others do what they are told.

The ticket status quo

Celtic fired more shots in the Glasgow Derby ticket stalemate last month by telling Rangers they weren’t getting any briefs for the final game of 2023 because they hadn’t addressed the concerns we have previously raised.

This was the right decision. Not because I don’t want any away fans there, but because the clubs need to start behaving like adults and not listening to the thick-fingered idiots who can use a phone. Scottish football has nothing anywhere near as big as this game and we have allowed the hard of thinking to destroy it.

It’s time to return to the Free Broomloan or consign this game to a forever faux ‘Old Firm Derby’ (sic) where the football tourists pay through the nose to attend. It has replaced those Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo as the most pointless attraction in Scotland.

The quality of Kyogo

Back in December, prior to the Rangers game, I was fed up with Brendan Rodgers moaning about everything. He said he was happy with the transfer business during the summer and then changed his mind to bemoan the lack of quality in the squad. He threw his own players under numerous buses, then reversed over them, before picking them up again in time to face our title challengers.

Kyogo – we were informed – wasn’t doing what he was told and that his strength was in penetrating space in the box. Maybe it would have helped our talisman if our wingers weren’t taking a fortnight to get the ball into the box?

By the time the Japanese forward received a pass from Matt O’Riley at the start of the second-half against Rangers, it didn’t matter what he had been told to do, as he scored a goal no-one else in Scottish football could have done.

Keeping the shark in a goldfish bowl

Celtic’s statement on the European Court of Justice ruling that the blocking of the European Super League was against EU Law was entirely bland, conservative, predictable and self-serving for those who have comfy positions within the status quo (not the band, who I love,
by the way).

The current decision-makers show a lack of ambition when it comes to taking Celtic to their full potential. Their main point of failure in this is that they have never tried to move heaven and earth to get us out of Scottish football even though it’s obvious that we are too big for the league and our current ‘Old Firm’ (sic) business model is majorly flawed.

The statement should have been a call to arms about how this ruling should change the face of football as we know it and we should be at the forefront of this change as we have a lot to gain from it, whether we like it or not. But, then again, it’s not my inheritance or free lunches I’m putting in danger.

The Green Brigade must stay

Geting the Green Brigade back into Celtic Park was the ultimate no-brainer. The place was like an abandoned graveyard without them.

They returned to Paradise with a noisy and colourful march down the London Road. I went along to show my support and not just to gawp at the spectacle. The chant “Sack the Board” is just now a clichéd slogan, like ‘Save the Whale’ or ‘Ban the Bomb’. They’re easy enough to say without making any great effort to actually make it happen.

I don’t actually believe that we want to sack the board; we just want them to listen to us. The thing is, the chant no longer carries any weight due to it containing a diluted, confused message. The march up the Celtic Way had more meaning, and the fact that the GB were heavily supported by non-members showed that a great many in the Celtic fanbase are right behind the group.

The crowd, like Brendan and his team, has the fire back in its belly. Now we need to keep it there for the rest of the season.

Kevin Graham

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