There is one undeniable fact. An iconic name in world football has arrived in Glasgow. Some of the rest of the hype and words are debatable, some assumptions are actually conjecture, and most of what is being prophecised is, of course, unforeseeable. However, the most worthy point for discussion is being dismissed.
Will he turn around the form of a football team? Possibly, and in fact probably, given the current low bar. Will his personal standing in the game alone attract big name players? Without finance it is hardly likely in today’s game of mercenaries. One or two in the twilight of their careers may come, and let’s just say even the odd one in his prime may be convinced by respect for his name.
Will his name shed a wider spotlight on the Scottish game? Given the coverage down south so far that would be an undoubted yes, UK wide. It will also be a probable yes globally, at least for a short while, given his past glory as a player.
It is this last point regarding coverage which should be discussed with a level of scrutiny which is sadly missing. People say this is/will be a good thing. But is it/will it be?
Do we want a world which has, in the main, moved on liberally, even since the days of Souness, to see at close quarters a section of our population and view it as indicative of us as a whole?
That generally multicultural, tolerant, inclusive world will be appalled of course. It will though, deem it up to our own authorities in the game and outside it, to deal with. They will be appalled it hasn’t been till now but then be convinced by our own media and the media down south that the bigotry they will see is two sides of the same coin. Indeed that is how our authorities have dealt with it so mistakingly (or intentionally in a desperate attempt to not alienate bigots. The colour of bigot money and the bigot “X” at the ballot box, is unfortunately still valued and often actively sought by many).
Those who love our game in this country, regardless of affiliation (football affiliation) would have embraced such an icon coming to enhance (or at least attempt to) and spotlight our game, were he arriving at any other club the length and breadth of our country. Yet not at Ibrox. Why is that?
We, in Scotland, know why, and surely anyone in the UK who has any knowledge of Scotland should know or at least try to learn why. Then use that education to address the issue.
When you come from a city, in which another icon once said football is more important than life and death, but from a city where there are 97 testaments that prove it is actually not. It’s really not!!
We love the game, we are consumed by its passion, we are torn by its ability to disappoint us, we bond through it, and many of our highlights in life are relevant to it.
But there are things in football, which are bigger than football itself. The difference between right and wrong is bigger than “22 folk kicking a bit of leather”.
Our media, our authorities, the administrators of our game can’t/won’t deal with it, our neighbours down south ignore it or are manipulated by the (false) “both equal” narrative.
Then, as the Messiah you are perfectly equipped and it is incumbent upon you to address it while you have an audience (your disciples) hanging on your every word.
Cash the footballing respect cheque many across the world presented you by using it as a force for good. If you don’t, you are bankrupt in the eyes of people who love the game but also know what is right and what is glaringly wrong.
Do your city of heritage proud by (at least trying to) change a part of ours.
A Celtic Star reader
LAST NIGHT The Celtic Star Podcast – A Celtic State of Mind won the prestigious Podcast of the Year Award at the Football Blogging Awards in London.
The latest podcast is out this morning – it’s part 2 of the brilliant interview with Celtic’s SLO John Paul Taylor where he selects the games and the soundtracks of his own personal Celtic journey. Loved his memories of the 4-2 game in the first part of his interview. Here’s the latest instalment from the UK’s Football podcast of the year…