Some people are on the pitch (quite a few, actually)

22 Jul

As strokes of marketing genius go, it’s up there with White Star Line’s ‘Lifeboats to passenger’ ratio on the Titanic.

This summer’s rather odd Celtic affair showed Brentford doing what they do best, and worst, in equal measure. Arranging a prestige ‘friendly fixture’ and then, seemingly, try to alienate their entire fanbase in a way that could only have been bettered had Matthew Benham decided to make Mark Chapman, rather than Cliff Crown, our new chairman following Greg Dyke’s ascension to the role of F.A. Chairman.

We’ve all got an opinion on what happened in the build up and there’s no real point trawling through it all over again.  Personally, I chose not to attend. That said, as an exercise in filling Griffin Park it was by and large successful (although not to the point of the apparent 9000 ‘break even’ figure reportedly required). Likewise, the performance of the team, and moreso off the back of the Millwall game, has already raised expectation levels – and rightly so, it would seem (although Harlee Dean and Simon Moore may beg to differ as they are now forced to spend time on the physio’s table).

However, as an exercise in winning over your existing fanbase don’t expect the diplomatic corps to come calling in TW8 anytime soon. Whilst one club figure took to cyberspace after the game to say the atmosphere was preferable to that against Millwall, my own take on it was, and still is, that dozens of away fans boozing in our local parks from 9.30am, numerous flares in the ground, repeated pitch invasions and the home support allowed to be massively outnumbered as a result of ticketing arrangements is not the sort of atmosphere I’m particularly looking for.

Moreso, when three days later the Celtic supporters were still attempting to justify their post match pitch invasion. Cripes, the way they carried on was worse than when the Loftus Road mob beat Chelsea last campaign. Being blunt, this was a match against an English third tier side that they were very lucky to win. Not the Champion’s League final.

But back to some more of the (off-field) positives from pre-season, so far.  Those that did go to see Celtic reserves certainly seemed to enjoy the game. Ant or Dec of ‘Ant and Dec’ fame was in attendance ………..

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

             

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