Tomorrow is The Glasgow Derby and the hordes will be on the march. VFR800 looks at what’s likely to happen…
So much has been written in the media and on countless fan sites and blogs this week about the forthcoming Glasgow Derby. Much of it centres around the status of the cub who now play out of Ibrox – now known as The Rangers, the phoenix club that rose from the ashes of liquidation in 2012. They have taken over the stadium and assets of the old club; they claim to have “inherited” the history of the old club – they have also, unfortunately, inherited the fanbase of the dead club.
Events over the last week have shown that this is the most troubling and concerning element of the new club. It was epitomised in their wee jaunt to Béal Feirste last Saturday to play a testimonial against Linfield. The fact that the The Rangers players and officials were ill-advised enough to be pictured alongside members of a loyalist flute band was troubling in itself; the fact that the same flute band were then heading off to march in a commemoration parade for a vile UVF terrorist made this a catastrophic lack of judgement that should have been condemned universally. It wasn’t, it was completely ignored, but that’s another story entirely! (Remember Tony Stokes going to THAT funeral? Was that ignored by the Scottish media?)
The loyalist connection to the The Rangers support is evidenced on our streets annually during the marching season; their vile songbook is regularly aired live during TV matches with impunity; again that’s another separate story as well.
What is more disconcerting than those 2 stories is the despicable behaviour that goes on unchecked on their fan forums and reflects the mindset of their support. I know that there are a couple of Celtic forums that could do with a clean-up and don’t show our fans in a particularly good light. This pales into insignificance when we compare them to the bitterness and hatred that is displayed on several of the The Rangers fan sites.
I dip into them from time to time to see what they are focusing on and have never been particularly surprised at the low-brow discussion and venom that is on display. However, both have surpassed themselves since last weekend. Over and above the fact that there was nothing but delight at the shenanigans surrounding the photo-opportunity, the discussions on chants and banners for their visit to Celtic Park on Saturday centered to a large extent on resurrecting their pedophile banner from Hampden and songs centered around the Billy Boys.
You know, the banner that wasn’t commented upon in the press and the song that is never mentioned when it is broadcast live on TV?
I would like to think that this was a small minority in their support but regretfully I think that it is, at best, a very large minority and possibly a majority. The fact that a number of people have been prosecuted for comments made on social media sites would lead to the expectation that similar standards would be applied to their publicly accessible forums; it seems, however, that it isn’t.
The unchecked and consistent level of abuse and hatred is there on a daily basis; so much so that I feel almost sullied after my latest (and possibly last) visit to them. This is the aspect of the games against Deid Co that always concerned me; it looks like more of the same with New Co.
They will, undoubtedly, shame themselves at the weekend with their vile songs and equally vile behaviour. They will also shame Scottish football as well. It’s up to us as a support to rise above that and show the world the acceptable face of Scottish football. We will do that on Saturday and on 3 away trips against Barcelona, Borussia Monchengladbach and (most importantly) Manchester City! We owe it to ourselves and our Club.
The media are desperate to embroil Celtic in the “Old Firm” centric element of the match; in doing this, they are trying to bring our support down to the same level as theirs. That is entirely unacceptable and we should refuse to allow that to happen. We should take every opportunity to contact and interact with the media to tell them that it isn’t so – there is no “Old Firm”.
We are waiting to see if the Club themselves will take a lead on this in the programme on Saturday. Many have predicted that they will do nothing and that the commercial lure of the “Old Firm” is too great; if this is the case maybe it’s time to consider making strong representation to the PLC Board to tell them how strongly we oppose this. In the past, the fans were asked to clean up our act. We did.
We have raised ourselves above the songs and chants from days gone by that are no longer acceptable at football matches; songs that I regularly sang when I was younger and dafter. We have moved on from those times. This is one aspect of supporting my Club that makes me proud. There are many others; but when I take my place at Celtic Park on Saturday I will do so in the knowledge that beating The Rangers soundly will put them and their vile horde firmly in their place.
Let’s show the world that we truly ARE better than them at all levels!
Written by VFR800 for CQN.
VFR…Celtic have NOT used the term “Old Firm” at all in the run up to this game. The club are referring to the match as the Glasgow Derby. Tom Rogic slipped up, or words were put into his mouth, but the manager’s interview on the official website is the best place to reference this.
As far as singing goes at the match tomorrow Celtic fans risk being dragged into this by singing one or two songs. If these could be avoided we could expose them for the 90 minutes of bile, hatred and disgusting behavior that our ground has not witnessed in four years.
After their behaviour at Kilmarnock, when TWO arrests were made for sectarian singing, the issue ca no longer be avoided so there will be an attempt to even things up tomorrow.
We have songs of Hope and Joy. We should stick to them and the likes of ‘You’re Not Rangers Anymore’ tomorrow. Let them do the hate and bigotry.