One abiding truth to emerge from this anguishing football season is that the people who run football clubs are truly, madly and deeply out of touch with the people who support football clubs.
It's not shocking to learn this, but nearly every day these days, this truth smashes you on the head. The latest example comes from Glasgow. Celtic play their final home game of the seemingly-interminable 2020-21 season tonight against St Johnstone. It's Scott Brown's last league game as Celtic captain at Parkhead. You can imagine the atmosphere if supporters could attend. And you can be sure there'd also be scores of Palestinian flags flying around the terraces tonight, given what Israel is up to at the moment.
Celtic supporters - namely the Green Brigade - have been outspoken in their solidarity with the Palestinian people down through the decades. Celtic supporters had arranged for a declaration of support for Palestine this evening in the North Curve at Celtic Park.
The North Curve is flying the flag for Palestine at tonight's Celtic game pic.twitter.com/Rxmv0Jqo7J
— North Curve Celtic (@NCCeltic) May 12, 2021
However Celtic issued a statement this afternoon confirming the flags had been taken down.
The Celtic board and the Celtic fans have never been further apart.
The ethos and fundamentals this club was built on have been eroded away by the board. pic.twitter.com/gth64LwqCP
— The Cynic (@90MinuteCynic) May 12, 2021
It also accused supporters of attempting 'taking advantage' of Scott Brown's retirement.
We had invited supporters to pay tribute to our Club captain, Scott Brown, by giving them the opportunity to display their own banners in the stadium.
Unfortunately a small group, which was given access in good faith, has attempted to exploit this opportunity, taken advantage of an occasion intended for our Club captain, Scott Brown, and used it for a different purpose.
Clearly this is unacceptable and the display was immediately taken down by the Club.
This is an own goal by the Celtic board. Firstly and most importantly, supporters are on the right side of history with this gesture. At least 53 Palestinians - including 14 children - have been killed in this most recent violence in Gaza. Beyond that, support of Palestine is an emotive and long-standing cause for many Celtic supporters. How did the club expect the removal of flags to go down?
Celtic have removed the Palestine flags from the standing section. As if the disconnect between Celtic and the fans could have been any worse. The Celtic fans stand with Palestine, even if the club don't. pic.twitter.com/BPRVg9WrA2
— Adam🍀 (@AJThoms214) May 12, 2021
We've heard a lot of lip service from football clubs about how much they value the passion of their supporters in recent weeks. They value it until fans express views that extend beyond a 90 minute football match. Tonight should have been a triumphant goodbye for a Celtic legend after a miserable season and a chance for Celtic supporters to stand with Palestinians. Instead, the disconnect between Celtic's executives and supporters has only grown.
(Pic via Green Brigade)