BBC Sport Sound Mourns Celtic’s Dominance. Oh, The Irony Of It.

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Last night I listened to BBC Radio Scotland’s nightly Sports Sound show.

It was live from an RC school in Hamilton.

That would explain why Barry Ferguson sounded so nervous and Chick Young so combative.

They debated the usual pressing issues in Scottish football.

The main one of course is Celtic’s terrible domination of the national game. Not surprisingly most people in attendance were Celtic fans. A blue nose braved the ‘Papish’ surroundings to direct a question from the floor. Well it wasn’t really a question. Just a somewhat incoherent ramble about how Celtic’s dominance isn’t healthy and they are suffering for it when they get ‘ embarrassed’ in Europe. In fairness to Chick he took the questioner to task on this.

Not on the lack of competition but on the European aspect.

Yes we got humbled in the Nou Camp, which doesn’t look so bad when you see PSG’s hundreds of millions of pounds worth of talent collapsing 6-1 at the same venue on Wednesday night, but outside of that and the initial blip against the mighty Lincoln Red Imps, the campaign was pretty decent.

Still the point about Celtic somehow shaming Scottish football by being too good for everyone else is a puzzling one.

I mean for a start it’s not exactly Celtic’s fault that they are miles ahead of the rest. Celtic set out to do the best they can every season. No aspect of the plan involves sabotaging other teams. Indeed many of the teams have proven more than adept at doing that themselves in recent years.

Also any complaints from Govan are utterly banal.

Where was this desire for the good of our game when they were outspending all in sundry using funds they could ill afford to secure 9 in a row, 12 out of 14 league championships and 17 domestic trophies in the 90’s alone?

Back then Rangers lorded it over everyone. Especially Celtic.

They were as keen to rub it into everyone else’s faces and to drive other clubs such as Airdrie out of existence.

The irony of anyone who now worships at the carcass of that club complaining about Celtic’s current domination is breathtaking.

For a start Celtic’s is legitimately funded. No EBT’s, side letters, Moonbeams or inheritances required. It’s also been done without going out and breaking the bank to sign the likes of Laudrup, Gascoigne or a plethora of Dutch internationals. Sinclair, Dembele and Gamboa cost less than £6 million all in last summer. Is it much more than the rest of Scottish football? Yes. But is it excessive considering Celtic’s income and stature? No.

The denizens of Ibrox playing the victim card is quite frankly ludicrous.

Their predicament is to our benefit but is also of their own making. A new manager who some say previously worked as a scout for Celtic and who’s management CV could be written on the back of a matchbox will be unveiled in the coming days. We’ll be told he’s their first choice. We’ll never know, but no doubt after Ross Wilson’s knock-back who ever ends up as director of football will have been first choice too. And the beat goes on.

When the next circus starts up by a club trying to achieve champagne goals on a lemonade budget we’ll get more grumbles of how it isn’t fair.

What exactly they propose be done about it isn’t clear.

Perhaps Celtic starting off 25 point behind everyone else and being forced to donate half of the club’s yearly income into their coffers would suit them.

That’s literally what it would take to level up the playing field.

Anyway,  the SportSound panel agreed Celtic’s dominance was bad for Scottish football.

Chick Young said how far ahead Celtic were ‘was embarrassing’ and would be scoffed at by outsiders ie: foreign leagues. As usual actual facts were not presented by a member of the associated press but by a fan from the floor. He pointed out that Bayern Munich were going for 5 in a row, Juventus were locks for 6 consecutive Serie A league titles, PSG are in the hunt for their 5th on the bounce, Olympiacos had won 18 from 20 league championships in their native Greece and FC Bael are shooting for 8 in a row this term.

That totally undermined Chick’s whole argument so he fired back that it was the extent of the points gap he was referring to.

Nobody got the chance to point out to him that PSG won their league by 31 points last season.

That’s the thing about these banal theories when it comes to Scottish football and Celtic’s dominance. They are always completely undermined by rational thought and actual evidence and facts. These things are of little consequence to most sports journalists in Scotland though.

Wagging the dog is far more important.

As for SportSound I actually enjoy listening to the previous evenings podcast when I’m completing some mundane afternoon task. Barry Ferguson is always on stoically trying to remain defiant in the face of inevitable failure at Clyde. Alas he finally relented last week. His older brother Derek is always entertainingly enthusiastic about everything. Graham Speirs is generally in his element undermining the clueless Keith Jackson. Richard Wilson’s shameless nightly defences of Dave King and his board is always good for a laugh.

The Ross Wilson rejection is of no great significance apparently.

Indeed if anything according to Wilson it’s the sign of a thorough recruitment process apparently.

Tom English is good at picking up on cliches and questioning their relevance in reality. This is particularly effective when it comes to tripping up Kris Boyd who always sounds one argument away from losing the plot and swearing at someone , usually English, live on air.

Then there’s my favourite, Jamie Fullarton.

Fullarton readily admits he couldn’t deal with the pressure of management as he lasted less than 15 minutes down at that hotbed of footballing excellence that is Notts County. Yet he’s quick to sabotage the credentials of any other young manager trying to make it in the game. You have to laugh at how unabashedly arrogant that is. Akin to the spotty fat kid with glasses who eats alone at lunchtime in school giving you advice on how to pull girls.

Judging by his own dulcet tones and attention to detail when analysing games one can only imagine what the personality clash was between him and Ian Cathro when they were gaining their badges together at Largs. I can only presume Cathro wouldn’t let Fullarton onto the communal PC in the evenings to play World of Warcraft or the like when it was his turn.

The prehistoric footballing insights into the game by serial coaching loser and tactical dinosaur Billy Brown are also fun when he occasionally is asked on.

According to Brown no manager he knows should ever have been sacked, ever.

Anyway back to matters at hand and on Sunday we will attempt to clobber our Govan neighbours for the umpteenth time this season. Another few wins and we might get to keep them. The pitch may prove a leveller as might the officials turning a blind eye to Sevco’s “in plain sight” common assaults … how they must regret that Garner isn’t playing.

But if Celtic produce even half of what they’re capable of it should be a comfortable day.

In the meantime I’ll leave you with a quote that Sunday’s travelling support should be reminded of the next time they have the temerity to complain about their host’s footballing dominance as well as any financial gulfs. It was in relation to David Murray applying for an interdict, on behalf of his company Carnegie, for a debt of around £30,000 owed by Airdrie in 2000, which effectively tipped them over in liquidation :

“I feel very sorry for Airdrie and their supporters but we’re running a business. We have given them repeated warnings and felt they were playing on our good nature.”

That’s right Dave threw Airdrie under a bus for 30 grand.

A few months later he convinced the Bank of Scotland to lend him £12 million to buy the worst striker in the English Premier League at that time – Tore André Flo.

Just let that sink in.

Oh the irony.

Paul Cassidy is a Celtic fan and blogger who is getting sick and tired of the voices in the media trying to shout down our achievements.

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