Speaking this week, Kieran Tierney revealed the extent of the abuse he received from Celtic fans following his move to Arsenal last summer.
Most of us were at least somewhat aware of the abuse Kieran Tierney was taking last summer as he weighed up a move to Arsenal. Despite playing over four full seasons, winning three PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year awards and nine trophies, the Celtic fans wanted more.
Celtic eventually accepted a club-record sale fee from Arsenal, and their supporters weren’t happy. They’d hoped he’d stay for ‘The 10’, winning 10 successive titles, something they’re still on course to achieve if they win it again next year.
But there’s a pretty big leap from being disappointed or even angry about a transfer and thinking it’s justifiable to mete out the kind of abuse Tierney described on the Keeping the Ball on the Ground podcast.
“Weeks before when Arsenal had bid, people were like ‘You’re a rat if you go, you’re terrible, you’re never a Celtic fan’,” Tierney said. “I’m like ‘This is breaking my heart reading this’ and as soon as this gets announced, it’s going to blow up.
“And the worst thing I did when it got announced was go on Twitter. Thousands of tweets, threats, and all sorts. When I went home two days later after signing, there was spray paint on the walls, ‘Judas’ outside my bit.”
Tierney even admitted he’s ‘scared’ to go back to Celtic Park now, given the reaction to his departure.
It’s important to mention it wasn’t all Celtic fans who reacted that way. Many have gone on social media in the last day or so to despair at the way their fellow fans treated Tierney. I think a lot of them just weren’t aware of how bad it was getting for the player.
It’s another example for football fans at large to learn from, but I’ll believe they’ll change their ways when I see it.