The immortal words of The Celtic Song go “And if you know the history …”
That one would never catch on at Ibrox.
To them, history is as malleable as facts are for Donald Trump; they choose only the version that suits them on any given day.
Way back last season, this site predicted that Kyle Lafferty would wind up back at Ibrox. At the time, their fan forums appeared to be almost all dead-set against the idea but I knew that would not last. I knew they would crack, because the support over there is success starved and there was a certain fundamental logic to getting the old group back together again for one last gig, like the band on the Titanic, playing as the ship went down.
When the story surfaced that they were re-signing Allan McGregor and talking about Steven Davis I knew Lafferty would follow as night followed day. He was the obvious choice; an unrepentant thug, a ned, “one of their own” who enjoys playing against Celtic.
The planets were all aligning just so, and I knew something else; I knew there’d be a great backtracking, a large scale rewriting of history, at the same time as he signed on the dotted line.
That started before the deal was even done; it started with some of the fan sites hastily rushing to embrace the idea, expressing their own “regret” over what happened, some of them even saying they understood it from the player’s point of view.
Understood it? I wondered, could they be for real? This was a guy who walked out of Ibrox on the formation of the NewCo, denying them even the benefit of a transfer fee, and as if that wasn’t enough he announced that the club he had played for was dead. It’s not hard to grasp that the guy didn’t fancy lower league football, but he could have transferred his contract over and let them sell him for a decent price. They certainly needed the money.
Some of their fans do know this. Some of them are disgusted with the club for signing this guy and giving him a nice contract to wind down his career. But most are right on board, and swallowed this like it was cake, this along with his nauseating “apology” which he posted on social media earlier. I have never read such arrant nonsense in my life.
“6 years ago I made one of the biggest mistakes I could of made and every day I regretted it,” he wrote. It makes you want to vomit, doesn’t it? It’s like a badly written love letter to a jilted ex. He didn’t regret it “every day”, he barely thought about it once he’d actually left. He made the decision in the cold light of day, and turned his back on the fans he claims to be one of. His apparent Damascene conversion to the Survival Lie is equally unbelievable.
It wasn’t a “mistake” to have left Ibrox back then. Nobody would have held it against him had he transferred his contract and then got the Hell out of there for a nominal fee. Nobody realistically believes he looks back on that with any hurt at all, and the very fact he feels he’s got to say that tells you that this is no more than an exercise in PR. The problem was not in that he walked, but with the manner in which he crafted his exit.
Sevco fans are good at denying reality. It is not a surprise to see them denying this one. He is rewriting history for people who do not know their own, or at least people willing to pretend that they don’t. It is a spectacular exercise in doublethink and would only be capable at that club. Celtic fans who have turned on Boyata over his recent treachery will not be swayed by some appeals to emotion rather than reason.
But it’s emotion, not reason, that governs all that happens across the city. The “emotional pull” of Ibrox was enough for the player. Someone who can “get it up the Celtic” was all they needed to queue up to eat out of his hand.
They are the most pliable fans in Europe, capable of bending reality into any form they choose. He is a master at it himself, as today’s statement shows. It is a match made in heaven, and it always was. That’s why it was so easy to predict it.