I always cringe when a prime minster meets the US President and that hoary old phrase, “the special relationship” is wheeled out. It is a relationship without definition, no more or less unique than any other international relationship. I doubt many US citizens are familiar with the term, to me, it feels that the UK is reaching to glow in the reflection of another’s elevated status.
You can therefore imagine my delight when I saw Ibrox livery on Sunday. “Old Firm”, “This is the Old Firm”. All that was missing was the implied, “Celtic complete us”.
Celtic fans campaign to stop using this term predates Oldco’s liquidation by many years. As a guide, I never used it here (since 2004) nor did most others. We knew then the association hurt the Celtic brand and that we needed to put as much clear blue water between us and them. Celtic got onboard in 2012, when Oldco ceased, and Newco applied to join the SFA (as Sevco Scotland).
They were not alone, early match reports featured “The Rangers”, as news outlets struggled to square what happened with what others want to read.
What does it matter to me? Not much. If it was the other way around, I would absolutely claim Newco Celtic were in fact, just Celtic. There is no point pretending otherwise (although I would be wrong). If it was Celtic that liquidated in 2012, Rangers fans would never let the liquidation fact drop. You would hear little else from them, it is the ultimate rivalry banter, why should they ignore it?
If it was Celtic that liquated in 2012, it would not matter to me what Rangers or their fans said about my club. That relationship is a personal thing. The facts are known, we are all free to interpret as we see fit, why should my world view be determined by how others regard what is now an historical event?
In prominently displaying the “Old Firm” livery, Newco were responding to 10 years of trolling by Celtic fans, handing them a victory they could scarcely believe when they saw it. All the club managed to achieve is get everyone talking about why Celtic fans want no part of this phrase. None of those reasons reflect well on the interests of Newco.