Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Against Modern Football: Celtic censoring the Rosenborg match is not fair play but shameful

In recent times, on social media, fans' banners and even graffiti, the words, "Against Modern Football", have increasingly been seen.

This is not some Luddite slogan from those hell-bent on defying progress, nor yet an exercise in misty-eyed nostalgia, imagining that days gone by were without their faults.

Rather, it is an indictment on the practices associated with the corporate game of football today.

A sport that often seems to have lost its soul as the joy of the game is increasingly subordinate to the business interests of those who know everything about how to make money but care nothing for fair play in the boardrooms, on the field and in the stands.

Celtic choose to brand the the club, "like no other" and indeed there are many things that set us apart.

But, when it comes to commercial matters, it can be seen that Celtic is a club like very many others across the world.

Fans are only of worth in terms of their spending power and PR value.

If they help the team, create an exciting atmosphere, draw praise from the best players from the most famous clubs; good. But pay for the privilege, buy the tickets, the shirts (preferably all three) and subscribe to every paid service the club has to offer.

When clubs from the richest leagues come to town, it's a PR extravaganza, carrying "the brand" worldwide.

But clubs from smaller leagues - like Norway, for example - who cares?

Is the world going to buzz with news about Celtic playing Rosenborg? Probably not.

Similarly, there isn't likely to be a lucrative Norwegian market for shirts and merchandise.

Does that mean that Rosenborg fans don't deserve to watch their team in what Celtic fans hope will be their last round of Champions League football?

Apparently so. At least to some.

But, to others, the fact that Celtic are refusing to sell TV rights to the first leg against the Norwegian champions is nothing short of shameful.

It is an embarrassment to a club that often seeks to cash in on the image of a higher football ethos.

The inherent unfairness of the Champions League has rightly been bemoaned by all connected to Celtic.

It is simply wrong that the Scottish and Norwegian champions have to play each other in the second of four qualifying rounds.

But what is also wrong is the fact that only the Rosenborg fans able to travel to Celtic Park will be allowed the simplest right in football - to watch their team play.

The Celtic suits and their shield-bangers in the "independent" online community will tell you that this is necessary to protect Celtic from illegal streams and to encourage a solid turnout to back the team.

Cynics will say that Celtic are more worried about forcing fans to fork out the exorbitant prices for home matches when UEFA is not in control of the broadcast rights for the matches.

But bottom of the list of priorities - again - is the lowly football fan. You know - the ones who keep the damned game alive and awash with money that flows from the many to the few?

Few fans can travel to international away matches and many can't attend games at all.

But that matters little to the self-appointed censors at Celtic Park who hold in their hands access to, not one club, but two.

The fact that the early rounds of the tournament are overwhelmingly the preserve of clubs from smaller leagues makes this easy.

Rosenborg fans will, quite rightly, complain but few in the outside football world will listen.

And nor will the executives and directors of Celtic Football Club plc.

A corporate club, like any other.


Unknown said...

The board are greedy and short changing the fans brought in fortunes and not investing properly in the team

Anonymous said...

I agree with your sentiment, not televising this game is astonishing. That said, I thought the game would be broadcast on Celtic TV to overseas subscribers. In addition to the Rosenberg fans there is also our own fan base, many of whom are not season ticket holders or have the finance to attend this match.

Poor decision making by th club in my opinion.

michaelcraven1.mc@gmail.com said...

Great article and spot on in every department,why CFC�� don’t sell the rights to Rosenborg FC TV,to show to their own fans,is truly shameful;can you imagine if those roles were vice versa??
In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if that is exactly what does happen....time wil tell.
It may well be difficult for fans that simply cannot get to the game for whatever reason,will find it difficult in getting a stream,again time will tell
These free streaming sites are great for doing just that,However CFC�� MUST be aware of these sites.
So for me,the question is;Why CFC�� cannot see that there IS A MARKET THERE??
Therefore the answer,to me anyway,is WHY do they not provide a service at a reasonable price for that service.
I would gladly pay for such a service,IF THE PRICE WAS RIGHT.For me I think £10 a month is about right,for these streaming sites are not going away any time soon.
C’mon The Bhoys.HH��
Let’s get this tie signed,sealed and delivered tomorrow evening,3-0,4-0 would be ideal,clean sheet is ESSENTIAL.✅

Unknown said...

Our club takes the pish every year coz they know us die hards or dafties wil pay no matter wit. Wit if rosenberg dae the same n dont show it. Listening like the 90's on the radio for us,but they hav sense n wil show it fur the money and fans. Weres wur signings tae. Same every season. Hope nae cunt blames Brendan