Irishman, Gareth McAuley, who formerly played for Rangers, recently launched an embarrassing tirade against Neil Lennon and the Celtic team for celebrating a “tainted” ninth consecutive title.
His comments smacked of bitter desperation from a washed up failure at Ibrox, who probably knew the league was over and then rewrote history in his mind as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
Regardless of the reason for his remarks, he was rewarded by being invited on to TalkSport, a station which has oft time slated Celtic of late. During the show, McAuley tried to be a bit subtle stating: “I feel sorry for Celtic as the title was awarded without all 38 games being played.”
McAuley’s remarks didn’t wash with Simon Jordan though, as the former Crystal Palace owner responded by putting the Irishman firmly in his place: “I feel sorry for them (Celtic), because they have to listen to precisely that sort of observation,” he said.
“There is very little doubt that Celtic would have gone on and won the league,” Jordan continued. “So what you get is this kind of snide backdrop, which is an observation on the empathy you feel towards Celtic not having won this title in a bonafide fashion. We understand that they were going to win it, as a matter of course, I think there is very little doubt there. It’s mean spirited, Neil Lennon was probably quite tongue in cheek and Rangers had their chance.”
The new narrative for a range of Ibrox failures, and players of the former club that played from that stadium, has been to avoid the shortcomings of The Rangers and blame the SPFL. Jordan sees through it: “The argument would be better served if they didn’t come back from the winter break stinking the place out. And I wish they had kept up that push after the victory against Celtic because I want to see a competitive league, I love the rivalry between Celtic and Rangers and what it brings to Scottish football.”
Jordan closed by saying “Celtic would have won this league, so people can dial down this narrative about how it is a hollow victory, it’s just a timing issue. And if they want to celebrate, then why shouldn’t they celebrate?”
In response, McAuley wouldn’t give in. “Being an ex-player I know what you need to put in to it,” he said. “The likes of Scott Brown I think is a great player, he’s been there all along, he is Celtic. He’s the driving force, he’s a winner. And it’s the winner in him that I don’t think will be fully fulfilled, only because it will always been thrown back, ‘Yeah you won leagues without Rangers’ and, obviously, league cut short.”
It’s another typical response from a player who believes league titles don’t count the same when you’re the best team in the country because a new club, formed as a result of its predecessor cheating, aren’t in the same division. Celtic have been the best team in the country for nine years as such nothing is hollow about nine in a row, especially when a team from Govan way claim that titles without them don’t count, despite failing to get promoted from the Championship without a second bite of the cherry.