The morning of a derby is filled for many with a ritual; all Celtic fans will have a different way to start their derby days off, whether it’s heading to a pub for a few jars with mates, or heading round to their families to get ready for the build-up.
And this goes on until about an hour before kick-off, when the team is officially announced by Celtic.
Well that’s the way it’s supposed to be before every match; however, being a Celtic fan nowadays is different. We have had this ritual ripped to pieces over the past while.
For over a season now our club has had the team line up leaked a day early nearly every week.
Now there have been line-ups out that are total guesses, but there have been a select few who do seem to have gotten the team sheet, or information about what’s on it, in advance.
And they just can’t help themselves. In their infinite wisdom, they believe it’s wise to plaster this information all over Celtic social media sites.
Now for some fans this might not bother them, but it’s something that sparked a new level of anger for me the weekend past.
A day or so after a great win over the Ibrox club, I have certainly enjoyed much of the pain of opposing fans and their media friends … but it was one former player for the OldCo, and a media regular, who brought my disgust to a new level.
I refer, of course, to Alex Rae, who I only found out yesterday, had decided to give out the Celtic line up a day early on Clyde.
Now the biggest shock for most was him claiming Johnny Hayes would be starting over Sinclair; not one other person could have called that, but it was totally correct, and it was such a surprising change to the team that Hugh Keevins and Mark Wilson more or less laughed it off. But when he was then later asked if he could name the Ibrox line up he admitted he’d have to guess it.
So tell me how an ex-Rangers player, on a popular radio show in Glasgow, knows for 100% what the Celtic line up is, but he had to guess his own teams line up?
It’s the leaks. And that to me is a total embarrassment, that facts such as this are put out over a radio show a day early and by none other than Alex Rae.
Now, this is my own opinion, and some may not care, but for many Celtic fans, this totally ruins their ritual of the build-up. Worse, it ruins the element of surprise for the opposing team as they now know our starting eleven a day early.
If that’s not a sporting advantage, then I don’t know what is.
For me this leak needs to be found. It’s simply an embarrassment for the club that this still continues; mainstream news sites currently have a “leaked” team for tonight up.
But this has has now surely reached a peak where someone like Alex Rae has access to information he really has absolutely no business being in possession of.
Ross McAtasney is a Celtic fan and blogger. He is also an admin on The CelticBlog Facebook group.
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