THE new season starts today. Celtic are in Sarajevo to kick-off our Champions League qualifying campaign. Soon we will be playing domestic football and the Scottish game for the next two seasons is going to be dominated by one thing – Celtic’s quest for the magical Ten in a Row.
We already have secured Eight in a Row and that means that Celtic can be the first Scottish club to win Nine in a Row twice. That will be wonderful but tantalising prospect of getting to Ten will see The Celtic support party like it was Lisbon 1967 all over again.
What however will that mean for a Rangers support that has won no major honours since the club was founded from the ashes of the old club by Charles Green in the summer of 2012. The uncomfortable truth that Rangers FC died in 2012 is these days denied as those of an Ibrox persuasion bought into the Continuity Myth. And that debate will continue indefinitely on social media with the Rangers fans arguing until they are blue in the face that they are the same club, it was only the mythical holding company that operated the club that died.
Everyone else knows that it is complete nonsense but will never be able to convince the gullible Ibrox support. Few bother trying these days. It’s probably best to agree to disagree.
However while they can comfort themselves in the pretence that their club never died, they will have nowhere to hide if Celtic reach ten in a row.
So as the Nine in a Row season gets underway, the Rangers fans know that they must win the league this year or next or the day they fear even more than their club’s death with be upon them and there will be no place to hide.
Last season was probably their best chance to stop Celtic. They matched us on two home wins each in the Glasgow Derbies, watched on as Celtic players went on strike before a vital Champions League match, saw our top striker walk out on transfer deadline day and our second striker drop out through personal reasons. Then they won the end of year derby, boosted by their manipulation of the ticket split to increase their chances as they drew level at the top of the league. Then Brendan Rodgers walked away taking most of the backroom staff with him – surely the league was theirs to win?
Celtic finished nine points clear.
Last year Dave King reckoned that Celtic would collapse like a pack of cards IF they could win just one title. That would give then access to the Champions League money (after another eight qualifying games, presumably in his small print) and would deal a severe blow to Celtic who have become the Dominant Force in the game, more so now that any team has ever managed in the past in Scottish football.
What King didn’t do was mention what happens if they fail and can’t stop Celtic dominating the game.
What happens if Celtic get to Ten in a Row and how will that affect his own support, who have been filling the stands at Ibrox despite their lack of success?
So as the Nine in a Row season kicks off today, The Celtic Star sought out a professional opinion from a leading Doctor, an expert in this field, on “The Psychology of a Rangers support” and present it to you today.
We’ll keep his name out of it as he has no wish to have his inbox filled with hate mail from the Hordes…
“The Psychology of a Rangers support”
I was asked to consider the current psychological state of a ‘Rangers’ support.
Let’s start with a truism rather than simply an opinion. The ‘elephant in the room’ is that ‘Rangers’ are not just a football team. They are far more than that. They are not like a Partick Thistle or a St Mirren or a Falkirk or any other Scottish football team who tend to garner support from locals of every sector of society and every hue.
‘Rangers’ are also an institution that is uniquely representative of a particular and specific section of Scottish society. It would be completely fair to say that ‘Rangers’ are in fact the football embodiment of the Protestant Unionist Anti-Catholic Anti-Irish section of Scottish society.
That’s as I say a truism. An accepted and undeniable fact. Not ever supporter is like that of course but sadly the majority are. People with these polarised poisonous views can be found packing the stands and the boardroom. Such people are known in the 21st century as bigots.
The bigots all however have a problem. A huge problem. The problem on one level is that the football team that used to be so successful in their lifetime is no longer pre-eminent in Scotland. This problem of being second best does not stretch back just for the last eight years of Celtic league triumph. It is actually a problem that has existed for two decades old now because the only reason that they came top during what has been described as the ‘Asterisk years’ of the early part of this century was because of what we now have confirmed as financial doping, cheating and blatant and systematic rule breaking by the club and not by sporting prowess alone.
Failure to accept this fact has resulted in a parallel and delusional universe that is claimed loudly to be reality. Reality is that Rangers went into liquidation in 2012 due to major financial difficulties and have never emerged from liquidation. Liquidation means ceases to exist. That is a simple concept that is understood by all, the alternate reality in essence comes down to whether you believe that there is actually life after death.
There is not space here to lay out my proof. Alternate realities was the premise of a well-known movie called ‘Sliding Doors’ and this is acknowledged and explained in a recent article accessible on the johnjames wordpress site entitled ‘Scottish Football’s ‘Sliding Doors’ close season’ published on 30 June 2019 that clearly and succinctly reveals much of the duplicity and the connivance of the Rangers supporting football authorities at the time of the death of the old club.
It is well worth a read if you want to understand the genesis of the prevailing myth. This alternate reality from truth is known colloquially as ‘the continuation myth’. True Believers of this myth insist that the current team ‘Rangers’ is still the original Rangers and adherence to this myth is desperately clung to in order to escape from the reality of the death of the club in 2012.
Continuation and acceptance of continuity after death is an Article of Faith that must be accepted by all believers. The Scottish media whatever their actual thoughts and despite their obituary headlines in 2012 have chosen to play along and present this reality as fact frankly in order to stay in a job.
They act like the three monkeys. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. History belongs to the winners and they hope that if a myth is repeated often enough is can become accepted by most as fact.
Time will tell if this is indeed true.
‘Rangers’ in 2019 have never won any senior trophy in the top division since they were formed in 2012. There was a period of Celtic ascendency in the 60’and 70’s when Celtic won 9 league titles in a row which was historic. They also won the top prize in European football in 1967. In the 1990’s the old Rangers matched Celtic by securing 9 trophies in a row. Honours in this respect are thus even.
What cannot be denied is that Celtic have currently won 8 league titles in a row. They have every prospect and are clear favourites to again obtain 9 titles in a row. If this is obtained then there is the prospect of the next season producing an unprecedented and historic Ten league victories in a row. This is the equivalent in Scottish football of finding the Holy Grail.
It is a status that seemed unattainable just twenty years ago. I believe that should Celtic achieve this status in less than two years from now it could potentially have cataclysmic consequences for the True Believers.
As I write this in July 2019 no one in their right mind is seriously expecting that after 38 matches that ‘Rangers’ will win the title this season. There is however still hope. Hope is a fragile entity and is essential. Thank goodness Pandora left us with Hope. Clinging to hope whilst presenting a veneer of bravado will become harder with every match drawn and lost.
The prospect in season 2019-20 is unpleasant. A possible and some might say probable liquidation event due to overwhelming debt would bring the club to an end suddenly. Alternatively there is the very real prospect of a slow lingering 38 match season ending in second or third or lower place.
Grief comes from significant loss. That will either come suddenly or slowly. If ‘Rangers’ survive until next season then a year from now we would start the season that presumably brings the longed for Ten in a row by Celtic. That would indeed be historic.
A decade of dominance by Celtic would cast away any last remnants of Hope. The Decima would result in grief on a scale never before seen. The consequences of which are hard to predict but will be very negative.
The second problem is the slow demise and decline of the strength and power of the Protestant Unionist Anti-Catholic Anti-Irish strand of Scotland that is centuries old.
Celtic to the bigots represents the antithesis of this culture. Glasgow Catholics are no longer poorly educated labourers however and the latest generation are now sitting at the top table of Glasgow society. They no longer believe that they have to sit at the back of the bus. They are rerouting Orange marches away from Catholic churches to avoid provocation. Without a successful football club to represent the bigots then the relevance of the entire strand is shaky.
Who wants to join the losers? I suspect the last bastion of this dinosaur subculture will be found for the rest of this century in the small town of Larkhall where even green traffic lights are smashed for the sake of daring to shine green.
The psychological prognosis for ‘Rangers’ supporters over the next few years is thus grim.
Anxiety is caused by having a mistaken belief and then making the mistake of believing it. Acceptance of reality and a willingness to change and completely discard this toxic culture element could possibly bring about success in the long-term but it would mean empty stands for decades.
I have no solution for the grief that is to come and would urge Celtic supporters not to gloat too much but to support and honour their own team rather than taking pleasure in the plight of the losers.
Just because you can gloat does not mean that you have to or ought to. We all have to take responsibility for our actions.
My sympathies go out to the segment of ‘Rangers’ supporters who are not bigots. Not haters. I hope they find something else to do on a Saturday afternoon.
This article will be debated on a thread on Celtic Noise, check out the comments and why not register and have your say? It’s a fan friendly forum that is open to all Celtic Supporters to join. Registering is quick and easy and you’ll love the conversations. Register HERE.
If you would like to write for The Celtic Star, the hugely popular independent Celtic Supporters site, then email email@example.com