Respectfully disagreeing with Brendan Rodgers on Scotland’s shame

THE 4-2 GAME, in May 1979 was a title decider. Celtic needed to win to be Champions, a draw was no use at all as Rangers had a game in hand over Patrick Thistle.

The old Ibrox club already had the league cup in the trophy room and were in the Scottish Cup Final with Hibs. They would go on to win the Scottish Cup in the reply, after a 0-0 draw in the first game.

But by the Thursday night, just three days after a real title decider, only 2000 turned up at Ibrox for their last home game of the season. That was the hang-over from losing a real Title Decider.

Celtic are just one win away from securing 7 in a row and the SPFL officials will be in conference at the moment preparing the post split fixture lists. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, no doubt after watching the dramatic Manchester derby on Saturday evening, came out in favour of Rangers being the first post match fixture for Celtic, so that we could showcase our game and give Celtic the chance to win the league in from to of the maximum live possible tv audience.

Sorry Brendan but that’s not something many Celtic fans would welcome. Last year we won 6 in a row away to Hearts and those of us lucky enough to get a ticket that day – we were given half a stand as Tynecastle was under re-constructon – will always remember being there when Celtic won 6 in a row.

This time around we have the chance to have as many Celtic supporters as possible being in Paradise to see 7 in a row being won – and if we want to maximise the number of Celts in the ground then that means not giving 7000 tickets to THEM.

When Brendan arrived he pointed to the then empty section of the Lisbon Lions stand – it wasn’t being used during the Ronny years – and said that one of his jobs was to fill that stand again. Well those supporters who have bought season tickets to fill this seats in the Lisbon Lions stand should surely have their interests considered?

Many young supporters will miss out on seeing Celtic have the chance to win 7 in a row if Brendan gets his way.

Celtic will have three games at home post split – against Aberdeen, Rangers and Kilmarnock. To play Aberdeen in the first game – a win secures 7 in a row – that will be a complete sell-out.

Then play Rangers and rub their blue noses in it – again a sell out. Scotland’s Shame can come along and see the 7 in a Row Champions play.

Finally trophy day against Kilmarnock – so again a sell out.

That’s not how Brendan sees it though.

“It’s sad for Scottish football and it’s sad for society in Scotland. In any other country in the world they would look to play the game and showcase their football on telly – whether it was Real Madrid v Barcelona, Manchester United v Manchester City or AC Milan v Inter.

“They’d be falling over themselves to get it on the telly.

“For some reason, we can’t do that here which is a sad indictment of the world it is here at times.

“But if it’s one they want to do then they should do it and put it at an appropriate kick-off time and trust that people can behave themselves.

“Play the game and show it as a great advert for Scottish football. Don’t bury your head in the sand and hope things don’t happen.

“The dates are in place for the games, so let’s see what they do. Let’s live and learn. I know they are trying to avoid what happened in 1999, but it’s been a long time since then. You have to show football and society has changed for the better and you can make it work.

“Scotland is a wonderful country with passionate supporters so make it a great advert – let’s not run away from it.

“There’s always going to be something. Look at the Manchester derby, there were pockets of trouble. But the games I’ve been involved in up here with Celtic and Rangers the passion has been incredible. They are high octane, intense games but that’s what you want. That’s what football is about.

“They have to trust that the authorities and everyone can deal with it in the best possible way that they can.

“Everyone recognises it’s an entertainment business. It’s a league where we have a split to make it more exciting. It’s an opportunity to put on a game that I’m sure everyone would watch.

“It gets good viewing figures anyway, but a chance for Celtic to win the league on that game would be great.

“Hopefully, they can trust that the game can go by and and they can deal with it rather than run away from it.”

We’ll find out later today if Brendan gets his wish, we don’t think that he will and hope that he doesn’t!


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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

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