There’s a headline you’ll never read.
Bear with me for a moment. There’s a point to this apparent effort at clickbait. You should know already that I don’t do stuff like that.
We know where we stand on that club.
No-one in the world would be terribly shocked by an opinion poll which examined the depth of our loathing for that club across the city. Many Celtic fans do want Sevco to die. Many wanted Rangers to die. Some would be delighted if their successor club went the same way. This isn’t a new development.
Rangers was a shameful organisation, with a past steeped in bigotry. Its modern incarnation was socially irresponsible, fraudulently run, pumped up on financial steroids, arrogant and greedy. It was a stain on the national sport.
Sevco was born amidst shame and yet emerged shameless, even more arrogant, grasping and rooted in sectarianism. It didn’t have to be; that club could have been born clean, but its leaders chose this and have shaped it accordingly. It, too, has become a scandalised institution Scottish football would be better off without.
So, yes, a lot of us would not mourn if they vanished.
The Scottish media pretends otherwise; they are the only people for whom a headline like that could ever be written. They would be shocked.
Or perhaps not.
Because deep down, I’m sure they know that when Celtic fans say we wish Sevco was dead and gone we’re not kidding. They just wish we were. I, personally, write full-time and it’s in no small part due to that club’s ever evolving state of crisis, but I also cover the media and so I’ll never not have something to write about.
As Paul Brennan once wrote “Whatever part of my club is dependent on Rangers I am willing to lose” so too am I perfectly willing to forego that part of my job which depends on Sevco. If I had one more piece to write on them – their final obituary – I would do it with a smile on my face. And you know what? I would have no regrets at all.
Why am I writing this? What’s the point?
Well, I’m writing it because of the second ridiculous, obscure, piece of hackery I’ve read today, after the hit and run effort on Dedryck Boyata which appeared simultaneously in The Record and The Sun.
The piece that’s drawn my ire is another in Keith Jackson’s disreputable rag, this one even more ridiculous that the one about our Belgian defender.
Trawling the basement of the Brussels media for an ex-footballer and national assistant manager to criticise the decision to give Dedryck a national call up is one thing … that’s a sports story, kept within the sport at least … but who at The Record thought it was a good idea to dig up some French academic to pontificate on the need for the Old Firm?
Let me tell you something up front; I am one of those people who is endlessly infuriated by these fakes who seem to be everywhere in research and academia. You can find one of these phony intellectuals to pontificate on every shade of opinion across a broad range of subjects ranging from whether the moon landings were faked to what colour best attracts the opposite sex. Just the other day I read an article which said academic researchers had found that wearing skinny jeans, necklaces and hoodies could cause a bad back.
Please note the word “could.” Even on something so meaningless, they hedged their bets.
It behoves you to wonder just who the Hell pays for this insane study, and what purpose it serves in our society.
You also wonder how it makes the news.
According to the Frenchman, Celtic and Sevco “need” the rivalry and should be working together to encourage it. They should be promoting it on social media. They should, if you read between the lines, be picking fights, stirring the soup, provoking one another, dredging up animosity, and ringing the cash registers. Courageous suggestion, especially from other side of the Channel where this eejit doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of his helpful suggestion.
I’m not sure where this is supposed to take the debate. As far as many of us is concerned, the debate has been had. If Celtic’s majority shareholder hasn’t convinced us, and a ream of our former players are yet to bend us to their view, if the whole of the Scottish media hasn’t been able to get us onside I’m not entirely sure what importance they think we’ll attach to this moron and his call to tap the hate vein; not very much I suspect.
I can only speak for myself when I say that if Celtic climbs into bed with Sevco to “promote” any aspect of this I’m done. I want nothing to do with it, and if that day ever comes I’m finished with the club in every way, including running this site. I’ll find something else to occupy my attention. I’m good at what I do, and Celtic isn’t all I write about. I’ll make a living covering something else. I love Celtic, and it’s got nothing to do with trophies or playing in Europe or being the biggest club in Scotland; Celtic is an idea. If that idea is ever betrayed I’ll take my show on the road as I did with the other great love of my life, which was the Labour Party.
Celtic has lasted longer. Celtic, I was born with.
But we stomach Sevco’s existence because we have no choice in the matter; they are there, and we have to accept that.
We don’t have to accept the media’s insistence that they are the same club, and we won’t accept their pushing of the Old Firm hate-fest. I don’t care how many of our ex-players, ex managers, whoever, they dig up and push in front of us to imply they believe in the Survival Lie … our supporters, in the main, had definitively, vocally, rejected the Old Firm term whilst Rangers was still alive. We sure as Hell will not accept being shoe-horned into the same sort of toxic association with this lot.
Amongst the many ridiculous things this clown said was this; “The nonexistence of performance-based rivalry between the two clubs is not a problem just for Rangers. If Celtic fans are no more interested in what Rangers do, this will hurt fans’ identification.”
Hurt fans identification? Is he joking? Does he really believe that the Celtic supporters’ sense of identity would be lost without a club calling itself Rangers? This is ignorance of the purest sort. The guy knows the sum total of nil about us, and he knows nothing about their supporters either.
They need us, much more than we need them, which is why so many of their sites do promote the Old Firm lie, but even they would balk at the idea of our clubs “working together” in the manner this guy appears to be suggesting. The idea is ridiculous.
This guy has no basis on which to make these woeful claims. You have to live here, to see this up close, and to talk to the Celtic fans to get how abhorrent this whole suggestion is to us. Once again, this is someone sitting miles away from the centre, applying theories and formulas to something that looks very different from the position on the ground, and this kind of “research” has no application whatsoever to our lives or our team.
Quite why any national newspaper would run garbage like this would be equally mysterious, but here in Scotland we understand the motivation all too well.
The editorial line for all of our mainstream outlets has long been concerned with the promotion of this poisonous fixture. There are many reasons why and none has anything to do with wanting our club or the wider sport to be healthy, because the Old Firm obsession is what drags Celtic down and endangers the game here.
Sevco needs the appearance of this rivalry to maintain any relevance their club has outside of Scotland.
The media needs it because otherwise they might have to find real jobs. The Scottish sporting press is a backwater, and that’s nothing to do with the standard of the football. Other countries manage to have knowledgeable pros covering their sports. Our media treats the fans like mugs and the standard of “journalism” here has cratered. The real talent goes to England, as with many of our teams, and what we’re left with is a media class that comes up to about the level of Albion Rovers. Their own credibility depends on covering “the biggest game in the world”, otherwise they couldn’t look their EPL counterparts in the face.
An iceberg sized football story – potentially the biggest on this island, ever – has its top sticking out of the water right now, in plain sight, and this is the cobblers these guys would rather be covering; Belgian ex-assistant managers and French academics.
This is not a “slow news day” by any manner of means; there’s an enormous question hanging over our national association right now – I’ll be covering it later – and these guys would rather have their noses in this kind of swill.
For the record; Celtic fans would have no issues with Sevco if they were playing by the same rules as everyone else, and being covered by the media in a way that reflects their status in the game; they are just another team, no more or less important than Aberdeen or Hearts or any of the others the media routinely ignores to boost the fantasies of their support.
If they were gone tomorrow though, we would not miss them.