Back in late 2019, early 2020, we started to become aware of a virus called Coronavirus-19.
We heard stories about what was going on in China, and we watched as the virus slowly made it’s way across continents, knowing that eventually, it would end up on our doorsteps.
There was an air of inevitability about it.
As much as we hoped it wouldn’t make it to mainland Europe, in the back of our minds, we knew there was no escape from it.
And make it, it did.
We’re all acutely aware of what happened when it did.
We were all touched by it’s scourge in one way, or another.
But the key take out of this, is the inevitability, there was no escaping it.
Ironically, Covid-19 also had a very adverse effect on events at Celtic Park.
The 2020/21 season for Celtic, is one that will go down in infamy.
It also looked as if Covid-19 brought about a spectacular fall from grace for Peter Lawwell.
He presided over some spectacular failings during that season, in both governance, and on the field of play.
He was the man who cost us the 10IAR.
All of his decision making in the run up to that season, ultimately brought about our downfall.
That he is back in prominence at Celtic Park, with his son in-charge of player recruitment, speaks volumes to the level of power this man has been allowed to wield over our club.
He has been at Celtic Park almost as long as Vladimir Putin has been in power in Russia.
Interesting comparison, I know, but similar individuals if you ask me.
There is a temptation to go down that rabbit hole, but I would rather focus on events at hand.
I was at Celtic Park on Saturday.
So was my 12 year old daughter, it was her first experience of Celtic Park.
I was pretty embarrassed to say the least.
Luckily for me, she enjoyed the experience.
At 12 years of age, she’s blissfully unaware of the politics at Celtic.
But there will come a day when she’ll fully understand it, such is her interest in the team I’ve brought her up supporting.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, from my perspective, I was appalled at what I saw.
I watched in disbelief as Alexandro Bernabei ran around the field like some sort of toddler, high after consuming a large bag of skittles.
There was no cohesion, no understanding of what his positional role was, and a plethora of mistakes and misplaced balls.
I have genuinely seen better football on display at the seven aside games I used to play on a Friday evening at my local Sports complex.
Afterwards, I wondered what kind of conversation the elite manager our club pays £3 million a year would have had with Alexandro Bernabei.
One of my good mates, who travelled to the game with me, and is a coach himself, gave me some insight to the kind of conversation he’d have had with one of his players, if they’d put in a display like that.
He coaches under 17’s, and he said he’d go through one of his lads if they played like Bernabei did.
That player would be dropped, no questions asked, he said.
It will be interesting to see Rodgers’ team selection at Pittodrie next Saturday.
Off the field of play, and in the stands, the mood was telling.
As the game wore on, and on, the tension was palpable.
But something that really struck a chord with me was the reaction to debutant Nicolas Kuhn’s introduction.
Pockets of the support around me booed when his substitution was announced.
Now, I wondered if the boos were for the player he was replacing, Luis Palma, because he’d missed the penalty after getting two attempts at it.
Or were the boos aimed at the board because of the lack of transfer activity this month?
It’s hard to know, but sentiments in the stands were indicative of how fans feel at the moment.
This culminated in a chorus of boos ringing around the stadium at full time.
Which seemed to shock Alistair Johnston.
He can clearly be seen in footage after the final whistle, mouthing the words to a Ross County player who’s hand he’s shaking, “We’ve just won one-nil, and they’re booing us.”
I’ll forgive Alistair’s naivety this once, but surely he knows we expect better than what was on display on Saturday afternoon?
I left Celtic Park on Saturday evening, shaking my head in bewilderment at what I had just witnessed.
This was a Ross County team that had succumbed 3-0 in the Scottish cup to Championship side Partick Thistle just a week previous.
They had four debutants in their starting line-up.
In the last 15 minutes, they grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, and almost snatched a draw out of it.
We are a far cry from the team we were this time last year.
This cannot be disputed.
That we find ourselves in this position a year on from Peter Lawwell’s return, cannot be construed as a coincidence.
There is a deep malaise at Celtic Park, and it was there for all to see on Saturday.
If we do not miraculously land two players before this transfer window closes, namely a striker and a left back, this transfer window will go down as one of the worst in recent history.
If that happens, this will only get worse, before it gets better.
The board and Peter Lawwell are gambling with future Champions League participation.
But, not only are they gambling with that, the gamble they are taking could secure the medium-term survival of our main rivals.
If they secure the CL money on offer at the end of this season, it will put them in a position of strength.
A position from which they will not hesitate to acquire the players they need to dominate the Scottish Premiership.
Unlike us, they have no problem whatsoever in investing in their football operation.
Domination for them does not revolve around what they have in the bank, it is revolves around putting Celtic back in their box.
They live to see the day where they will dominate us once again.
There are two things that bother me of late.
The first is this, Peter Lawwell said we need to have the amount of money we have in the bank to mitigate against failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Is that failure by design?
Or failure through sheer stupidity?
The second is this, the Ibrox side have taken Mohamed Diomande on a loan with an obligation to buy deal.
The price tag is £4.3 million.
The Ibrox side do not have that money now.
They seem to believe they will have it by the end of the season.
Are they gambling on the fact they will qualify for the Champions league, and secure the funds required to facilitate this transfer?
Or are they confident in the belief they will have this money because they will qualify for the Champions League?
By design or by luck?
That luck, coming from the managed decline we’re witnessing at Celtic.
Because make no mistake, this is managed decline.
By design, due to managed to decline.
They’re one and the same, if you ask me.
There is an air of inevitability about what’s coming down the tracks for Celtic.
Like Coronavirus back in 2019, it’s beginning to look inescapable.
But inescapable due to the people in charge of our great club.
One thing is for certain, our club has the power to escape from the malaise it has fallen under.
But it seems to me someone is intent on keeping it under.
The next three games we play are all away from home.
If we play anything like we did last Saturday, we will be punished for it by Aberdeen, Hibs and St. Mirren.
These three fixtures could go a long way towards deciding the outcome of our season.
Just as the next two days will also contribute to that outcome.
By Thursday we’ll have a very clear picture of where the ambitions of our board lie.
It will determine whether someone is gambling with the outcome of this title.
And in doing so, gambling with our future dominance.
That someone had better realise that the fans are waking up to this.
I felt it all around me at Celtic Park on Saturday.
If things go awry over the next few weeks, make no mistake, there WILL be a reckoning.
That much is as inescapable as Coronavirus was…..