A week of screaming headlines … and today, silence.
Silence today in spite of a banner directed at Steve Clarke.
A banner and some of the same singing Clarke reported in midweek.
Some media outlets have highlighted the banner.
Only Sky, so far, has talked about the singing, and that’s a bad retreat from the attacking position the media was taking all the way through last week.
See, this problem isn’t going to away because it’s highlighted for a couple of days and then ignored. The problem is bigger than that, it’s more deep seated than that, and the away support at Hamilton today was at its deplorable worst in spite of that week of headlines battering their club. They purely and simply do not care. The only way that will change is if their behaviour is being highlighted, to shame them and their club, over and over again.
Or until the SFA grows a set and starts taking action.
Remember, as I’ve pointed out – as I never tire of pointing out – there is ample scope within current regulations for action in this area. It’s just the SFA hides behind vague wording and makes excuses so it doesn’t have to take any. That charade is surely at an end after last week’s shameful events.
I’ve read umpteen editorials in the past week which have screamed that finally Scottish football has to do something concrete to tackle this problem. If the media was on top of this then I have no doubt that it would get done, but it has fallen on the blogs to try and push this matter into the public eye again and again, when the hacks have sat on their hands.
It was staggering to hear and read so many of them clambering onto the moral high ground in one big hurry last week after steadfastly ignoring this issue for years. In fact, those who have been most vocal in calling out supporters are the very people who have constantly refused to engage fans on these issues whether that’s on the phone in’s or on social media.
The hacks will say they’d rather focus on the football; I understand the sentiment and wish to God we all could. But it’s an abrogation of their responsibility if they do, and once you give that up you don’t get to moralise, you don’t get to climb onto the high horse any longer. One hack, Davie Provan, has decided to attack Celtic today for not speaking out during the week; Celtic does not preen and posture just for the sake of chasing headlines. Celtic acts.
When Boyd was being called an “orange bastard” last week everyone in the media agreed that it was because he played for the Ibrox clubs. Does that make It a sectarian statement? As I said, Kirk Broadfoot also played at Ibrox and no such abuse was directed at him. There are dozens of players in the league who have played at Ibrox and who have come up against Celtic over the years; only a handful have been subjected to such taunts, and that handful is made up of footballers who, to be frank, have made a point out of being antagonistic towards our club … does that make it right? No, it doesn’t, and I’d rather our fans didn’t do it.
But … Celtic as a whole also deplores that behaviour, and in the past they’ve done so very publicly. I am actually at a loss as to what more we can do, because I know Celtic is exploring several avenues and has been proactive on these issues.
I’m sorry that ignorant arseholes in the media don’t know that. I am not convinced that many of them would give us credit for our work behind the scenes if they did.
Those – like Provan, who never has a good word to say about us – who want to point the finger at Lawwell and Bankier and others are guilty of shrieking hypocrisy when one considers, as was pointed out to me by a friend of mine over the weekend, that if the word “orange” is such a sensitive one perhaps the Ibrox club shouldn’t have marketed a strip in that colour during the summer, a move they knew was pandering to bigots in its own support.
They, of course, lapped it up and bought them in their thousands, and it’s those same fans who embraced all the connotations of that, and their club’s association with them, who are screaming at Celtic supporters for our use of that word to describe Boyd. The depths of their own hypocrisy are actually limitless. These Peepul just have no clue how backward they are.
And of course, the same media that is suddenly very pious over all this stuff, uttered not one word of criticism when that strip came out, and those amongst the press boxes who say Celtic have not done enough will need to explain to me why we’re getting such stick when at Ibrox they’ve blatantly embraced sectarianism as a marketing strategy with not one whimper of displeasure from the tabloids, the broadsheets and the broadcasters.
The media’s loud voices are, of course, welcome … some of us have been needling various hacks over these issues for years now, and mostly to no avail.
So it was good that Clarke’s comments finally sparked the response that the issue deserves, but Kris Boyd himself sat at the press conference Clarke gave on Friday morning and said that nothing would actually change, and for once I am in total agreement with him because I still think the governing bodies lack the balls to push it through, and I know damned well that the mainstream media does.
A week of noise … and then silence. Those who are serious about this issue and about tackling it properly, this is your time to shine, to speak up and keep the ball rolling. The away support at Hamilton behaved as if the last week was nothing but a big laugh … and if they’re ever going to be shut up once and for all it’s going to take the papers and the broadcasters to keep the pressure on. Cause without that then it really was a big laugh, wasn’t it, and the joke was on us.
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