Opinion – The Rangers rhetoric is tinged with bitterness, hatred and bigotry

When we dissect the fallout of the last six weeks events engulfing Scottish football, we still need to dig a little deeper to really get to the bones of what the Rangers’ agenda really was. This has been a slow burn of events that, and we have to be clear about this, a slow burn that isn’t about good governance, mismanagement or bullying.

This is about the Rangers realising their proper place in the Scottish game.

When Rangers broke Celtic’s dominance of the 1960s & 70s they genuinely though they had re-established themselves as the “establishment club” in Scotland. They had the money, the backers, the banks behind them and the players. Having lived through it, for us it was torturous…. We felt pretty much how they feel now.

Everything in the garden was rosy, they felt they had us under their heel. But there was signs that in hindsight we now realise were more than ominous, but let’s be honest…who really understood or indeed cared about football finance?

Scottish football fans had been accustomed to success, Celtic, Rangers, Dunfermline and Hibs all shared success in Europe particularly in the 60s and early 70s. Aberdeen and Dundee United in the 80s.

But then with the inception of sponsorship and TV monies we got somewhat left behind.
Taking us into the late 80s and 90s and Rangers/Souness revolution was in full flow, English internationals reversing the trend and coming to play in Scotland due to the English clubs long ban from European competition.

As Celtic fans, accustomed to success, we didn’t think it would last and we’d be back on top. And in all reality on an even playing field we probably would have traded punches with Rangers, but little did we know it wasn’t a level playing field.

The powers that be in Ibrox would do anything to retain the status the had manufactured. The establishment was loaded in their favour and then they introduced their EBT scheme.

We began spending money we didn’t have and we were borrowing beyond our means. Dundee, Hearts and Motherwell all followed suit and those three teams suffered the ignominy of administration. We ourselves were only 24 hours from the same fate. And then came our revolution led by “The Bunnet” our very own saviour Wee Fergus. And the house of cards began to creak. The foundations for our current success being well and truly laid.

What Jock Stein achieved in Lisbon helped kill them

A quote that I will always be remember and should be somewhere inside Paradise emphasises his importance to our club.

“Jock Stein put Celtic on the Football map and Fergus McCann kept us there.”

Our foundations now strong, a new stadium, sound finances and a club that belonged to the fans we applied the pressure that pushed them over the edge.

And then came liquidation day.

Enter John Brown aka the joker along with the minions the rhetoric began. “Some peepul just want to watch the world burn” – Boycott this, boycott that, let Scottish football go to the wall, it’ll never survive without us, Celtic need us, blah blah blah….

But the suffered a fate they thought unthinkable. The died, were resurrected and sent packing to the bottom of the pile. Their slow crawl back to the top league filled them with optimism and unrealistic expectations. So much so that Going for 55 was their catchphrase.

But now reality is dawning, the Scottish game flourished, clubs began to clear their debts and Celtic have signed the biggest sponsorship deals ever in Scottish Football.

Glasgow is green and white, and Glasgow Celtic is the dominant team in Scotland. The richest, with the money man in charge, the best players and will be for a long time to come.

Cue last nights SSB and the rhetoric tinged with bitterness, hatred and bigotry all over again. Let the world burn, boycott every team in Scotland yada yada yada. Every Celtic fan and indeed of every other club should bear these sentiments in mind when aligning themselves to a failing company.

David Early


INVINCIBLE is Matt Corr’s stunning debut as a published Celtic author.

INVINCIBLE has 288 pages plus a bumper 32 pages of colour courtesy of the wonderful Vagelis Georgariou at Big Lens, capturing all the action from that magical Celtic year – surely the best since season 1966-67 when Celtic also won the Treble and added the European Cup!

Our Father’s Day offer is as follows. When you order INVINCIBLE from The Celtic Star Bookstore you will receive a signed copy of Matt’s book plus a copy of That Season in Paradise, so Celtic’s best two seasons in your dad’s lifetime are covered brilliantly.

With forewords from renowned Celtic author and historian, David Potter and a star of the Invincible season ERIK SVIATCHENKO , INVINCIBLE tells the story of the grand old Glasgow club’s record-breaking 2016/17 season through the perspective of a lifelong Hoops supporter, who follows the Bhoys as events unfold which could not possibly have been envisaged by the worldwide Celtic diaspora just twelve months earlier.

New heroes emerge and memories are created, to be recalled and retold by those with Celtic in their hearts long after those privileged to witness history have passed through Parkhead’s gates for the last time. You will laugh and you will cry, as memories from the author’s five decades of following his beloved team are woven into his record of this incredible campaign.

INVINCIBLE. That was how it felt to be Celtic.

Invincible author Matt Corr is a stadium tour guide at Celtic Park, writes for the match day programme and is a popular contributor to The Celtic Star, where he covers Celtic players from the past in great detail as well as writing about the club’s European trips from the perspective of the travelling Hoops support.

“I am in a training camp in Poland and they are there. They stand up and cheer, then start to sing. “He’s magic, you know, Erik Sviatchenko.” I turn to my teammates. “Listen guys. They are everywhere!” That love that you show to every player makes you unique. If I were still in Glasgow, I would walk around with a sign on my back. ‘I am Invincible! Have you ever tried that?’

ERIK SVIATCHENKO, Celtic Invincible Star

“The 2016/17 INVINCIBLE season will be talked about by Celtic supporters for a long time in the same way as people still talk about 1907/08 and 1966/67. It was a tremendous season. Tremendous events need tremendous recording and recounting. Matt Corr has done just that. This is a worthy addition to the impressive panoply of writing about our great club.’

DAVID POTTER, Celtic FC author & historian

Order your signed copy today at thecelticbookstore.co.uk and we’ll include a complimentary copy of That Season in Paradise.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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