Flag day at Celtic Park – an international experience
You could say that Celtic don’t really play domestic football. Every game that Celtic play is feverishly followed online and on TV by an international audience that spreads around the world. During this week’s Champions League qualifier at Celtic Park against ‘kick-anything-in-green-and-white’ Elfsborg, there were blockings, bitter feuds, fake knock-downs, chopped-off points, wolf whistles and near misses and that was just on Twitter.
Social media comes alive during a Celtic game and a lot of that is due to the international audience getting involved in the game and expressing their passion through digital media wherever they can. So when unsung hero John Keane raises the championship flag today it will be an international occasion and countless numbers of fans will be sharing the moment virtually in clubs and living rooms around the world.
The opposition may be domestic and Neil Lennon will be demanding stronger domestic performances to maintain the 10-in-a-row momentum, but you can’t help thinking that the next seven days will set the tone for the rest of the season. There’s the away leg of the Champions League qualifier in Sweden of course (much more on that in our match build-up next week) and the Dublin Decider against Liverpool in Dublin next Saturday. If you read between the lines in what Neil Lennon has been saying recently, the addition of at least one but perhaps two new Celtic strikers is dependent upon qualification for the group stages.
'We try to cut through the dross and echo the voice of the fans, who want to hear the thunder without the doom and gloom of an Ibrox-tinted media.'
If you’re a Scottish-based fan living within easy reach of Celtic Park, the Liverpool game will seem nothing more than a meaningless friendly, which of course is what it is. But tickets been sold out for months and the match looks set to be the sort of green and white party that could give birth to a new generation of Irish Celtic fans and further deepen the international fan base – an unmissable celebration of Celtic Football Club and important for the future of the club.
The Republic of Football team will be covering the game in Dublin and the team is growing to reflect the international nature of the fan base. Kenyan journo Collins Okinyo will soon be back with his view of Celtic from Africa with a profile of the mercurial Efe Ambrose. Paul Murty will be contributing on the views of Celtic fans from the US and next week we’ll have a profile of new bhoy Derk Boerrigter by Dutch journo and Ajax fan Babette van Haaren. We've also got a Spanish journalist who will be contributing his views on Celtic from a European perspective – more on that to come during the season.
All of these innovations are made possible though the power of social media as we try to cut through the dross and echo the voice of the fans, who want to hear the thunder without the doom and gloom of an Ibrox-tinted media.
It’s set to be a thunderous season.
Have a look at our new video Thunder Is Coming.
Stiliyan Petrov legends game
Spread the word – tickets for the Stiliyan Petrov legends match are on sale http://www.celticfc.net/newsstory?item=4191 It’s guaranteed to be legendary.