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The eight edition of The Cynical has been the most challenging one. Trying to articulate something multi-layered, complex and sensitive always is. 90 Minute Cynic is a group with a focus on Celtic but with an interest in not only the rest of the footballing world and what it does on the pitch, but also the wider cultural, political and social context in which the sport exist, especially within Glasgow and Scotland. While we fully embrace football as a game and the drama, the laughs and the rants it induce, we’re at the same time unashamedly opinionated in arguing that is also about something more.
Celtic Football Club should never only be about the football. But the ‘something more’ is challenging to articulate and define. For us, it comes back to Celtic’s history and its proud mantra; ‘A Club Open to All’. It’s a wonderful sentiment. It can also be a meaningless platitude.
The definition of what ‘A Club Open to All’ means and how it is realised can’t be left up to the club’s board or PR department, neither can it ever be a fixed concept. It needs to be driven by its supporters and constantly evolving. The motto should act both as a reminder of the great, traditional values that helped shape the club and a rallying cry to keep fighting for change in the future.
In this edition we have several articles exploring what our writers think Celtic’s motto should mean and what it isn’t, the club’s role as a wider social and community organisation and how football in Glasgow and beyond find itself grappling with several issues that all has a connection to the idea of equality. One edition can only scratch the surface of this and it’ll be a theme that we’ll keep coming back to again and again.
Make no mistake; we want Celtic to be – in addition to a great football team – an organisation that together with its supporters pushes for positive change within football and wider society. That is a lofty ambition and one that can only be achieved through thousands of small struggles. Struggles that will fuel controversy and which many people following the club will vehemently disagree with.
It comes back to this: if you want Celtic to truly be ‘A Club Open to All’, you’ll have to fight for it.