Sky has announced that Celtic’s next match with Sevco will be played on New Year’s Eve, with an early kick-off, one of the most reckless decisions I’ve ever heard of, and which has the potential to end disastrously, in particular with their club trying everything in its power to turn that game into a powder-keg with their inflammatory nonsense of this week.
At a time when ever Sevco’s directors can’t even behave semi-rationally this is a decision, by the broadcasters, which reeks of greed and total disregard for public safety.
They couldn’t even wait until the dust had settled from the Celtic Park game before they cashed in on the mayhem to start marketing the next one.
The media ought to be slamming this.
The governing bodies ought to be demanding a meeting with the broadcasters.
And the police ought to flat out tell them this isn’t on.
This is a decision made by people motivated only by money and who, fortunately for them, live far from the epicentre of any likely trouble.
It betrays utter contempt for Scotland and is the affirmation of what many of us feared when the “Old Firm” PR hype machine swung into gear; they see this as a rivalry that is about hate and nothing more and they think it’s good for ratings.
And what could be better for those ratings than having the latent malevolence of this tie explode, live, for the delectation of a TV audience?
It’s cynical and disgusting.
I can’t say enough times how precarious the situation at Ibrox is right now.
They are already four points behind us in the league and we have a game in hand. They face tough away trips to Pittodrie and Tynecastle in the next few weeks, and it’s not inconceivable we could go into that game in December far out of reach and with their club deep in crisis.
If we score early and look like running away with it, it’s not hard to see how that results in a melt-down and with their board pushing the Victim Lie, and their fans hoovering it up, like crack cocaine you wouldn’t bet against them finding some way to justify it.
Add booze into the mix … combustible, and it’s hard to shake the impression that this is exactly the kind of thing the broadcaster is counting on.
There are times when I wonder if the money we get from these people is really worth debasing ourselves and our national sport like this.
On the evidence of today’s announcement, the answer has to be a resounding no.