The World`s Greatest FansDate: Monday, 4th Jan 2021
Okay this is not about Pars fans though we can show Celtic fans a thing or two. I was there when the Stand rose to applaud Dundee United goalkeeper Cammy Bell off the pitch after he saved three successive Dunfermline penalties.
I was there too as we stood to applaud Stephen Dobbie after he gave a master class in our 2-5 defeat to QOS.
if you support Celtic, part of their club song reads "If You Know Our History " but they, clearly, don`t.
Until former Dunfermline Athletic Manager Jock Stein rescued them they had not won the title in eleven years. Nor did they 1988-1998. In 1948 they avoided the drop on the very last day of the season.
Now though you would have to be at least 25 to have known anything other than constant success. It is undeniable that the quadruple treble is an awesome achievement and unlikely to be repeated. Unfortunately, these young people are sated on success. Bill Leckie wrote a superb pertinent article in the "Scottish Sun" pointing out they had enjoyed 3426 days of success and endured 52 days of disappointment. These fans have no concept of what it is like to support a provincial club where the winning of a national trophy makes up for, perhaps, decades of dross.
The Celtic scenes, after the Betfred League Cup defeat to Ross County, shamed Scotland with Police injured, cameramen threatened barricades toppled, missiles thrown and Ryan Christie ushered out of a Press Conference as his personal safety could not be assured.
They were beamed around the world. Humza Yousaf rightly condemned the thuggery but, in a country without Strict Liability, enjoyed in every other European Footballing Nation, nothing has come of it. There have been no sanctions.
Celtic deserve no sympathy. They inhabit a different world from the rest of Scotland. They take in £43m from matchday income with pre Covid attendances of 58,000. They make £22m from Broadcasting income which is 14% of all Scotland`s Broadcasting income and more than the Scottish Championship put together. They bring in £18m from Commercial income.
Like all spoiled children they have developed an overwhelming sense of entitlement and, perhaps, we should not be surprised that" the greatest fans in the world "sic are now throwing their toys out of the pram as the unbeaten Cup run ends (though we did draw with them over 90 minutes last season).
Of course the reality is that they are now too big a fish in the Scottish pond. About a decade ago I was in London reading the local newspapers, with Arsene Wenger welcoming the prospect of Celtic joining the English Premier League, in the same way Swansea City and Cardiff City could. Back here, Lawell and Bain denied there were any such talks going on.
Celtic`s arrogance and triumphalism know no bounds though Covid has diminished their influence.(Lobbying the Scottish Government intensely to allow fans back into Parkhead has failed). Willie Miller, during the summer, argued that no club would be so undermined by the lack of a huge ear splitting support as Celtic .The reverse is also true eg the Balde handball met by silence in the Scottish FA Cup Final 2004.
Yes Rangers, Aberdeen Hibs and Hearts are at a disadvantage too but not to the same extent. When one enjoys BBC "Sportsound" Willie Miller analyses Aberdeen objectively. The same is true of Michael Stewart (Hearts), Steven Thomson (St Mirren), Richard Gordon (Aberdeen) Ally McCoist now with SKY (Rangers) but Tom English and Paddy Bonnar both detract from the flagship football programme as both are completely incapable of reporting their beloved Celtic through green tinted spectacles.
No one needs to be told that Celtic dominate the print media. So many decent moderate Celtic fans are now expressing disquiet that the wind of change may yet be blowing.
Given the good relationship we enjoy with Celtic, one does hope so.