At some point in our lives, we’ve all found ourselves on one side or the other of a Difficult Conversation. Even when they’re necessary, they’re unpleasant. These conversations can be incomprehensibly complicated when they take place between a large group and a football club.
Such a difficult conversation is happening with Celtic FC and some of their fans after the club sent a letter to supporters in a particular section of the ground asking them to please take a shower before heading to Parkhead.
Season ticket holders in the main stand at Celtic Park received a letter from the club this week asking them to be mindful of their hygiene while attending matches.
The letter reads, “[w]e have been contacted recently by fans within the section regarding personal hygiene issues which are impacting on the enjoyments of some supporters.
“We would therefore like to ask everyone to please ensure that the enjoyment of your fellow supporters is not impacted and that everyone within the area maintains an acceptable standard of personal hygiene.”
The letter was signed by John Paul Taylor, the club’s supporter liaison officer. In a Tweet that has since been deleted, Taylor confirmed that the letter was indeed genuine and was issued following several complaints from other supporters in that part of the ground.
Necessity notwithstanding, this is a bit of a bizarre step for the club to take in a public and official capacity. These kind of conversations are delicate and awkward, and probably would’ve been best handled privately. While it was a problem that surely needed to be addressed, making such a public intervention has now guaranteed that Celtic fans will be stuck with the stigma of being unwashed and unruly. Rangers supporters will sing songs about this for literally generations to come.
Hopefully we’ve all learned a valuable lesson to close out the week— shower, THEN football.