Date: 8th August 2019 at 4:59pm
Written by:

When I wrote my piece on the weekend’s nonsense at Rugby Park on Monday I thought that story was going to run and run.

What I did not expect – even accounting for the kind of garbage that comes out of Ibrox at times – was that the next move in the blame game was going to involve our own club.

I guess I should have though.

I found the Ibrox club’s statement about the women’s game, and the allegations that The Green Brigade had indulged in sectarianism and misogyny darkly hilarious.

The intent was transparent, and the whole affair utterly ridiculous.

The whole statement screamed madness.

The central thrust of it made not the slightest bit of sense.

For openers, the game itself involved two teams, not just one.

How is it possible when watching a women’s game to be misogynist towards just one of them?

If you’re giving out that kind of abuse, then surely both sides would be equally affected and equally appalled?

The Ibrox club’s bizarre statement contained the sort of patriarchal sentiments that embarrasses the women’s division.

That the had intimidated them. That they felt they needed protection. That better security measures might be introduced in future to make them feel better … does anyone else hear the sound of Daddy telling Mummy he’ll look after her?

Male footballers get stick all the time.

Nobody at their clubs talks about bringing in bodyguards in response.

It is just nuts.

It makes their team sound like silly wee lassies, not confident sports stars.

I am sure that some of the would have been cringing reading it.

And for the Ibrox club to level allegations of sectarianism at another club’s fans … that one is just too hilarious, too ridiculous, to even bother going into.

The Green Brigade’s response, “Given their vast experience of (sectarianism) we would expect them to be better informed,” summed it up better than I ever could.

It hit the bullseye.

Celtic, of course, were completely in the dark about the allegations until they read them in the papers.

Nobody from Ibrox imparted their concerns at the time. Nobody bothered to phone Celtic after the game and let them know. Nobody told our club even at the moment this story was being spoon-fed to the media, which is telling in itself.

Celtic’s response made it clear that their players had heard no misogynist abuse, that they did not recognise the tension that apparently gripped the Ibrox side. They pointed out that no-one from the SFA raised it with them either.

The whole thing appeared out of nowhere.

Except it really didn’t.

What it emerged from was another dark chapter in the recent history of the Ibrox operation.

Their fans behaved like neds. They crashed through a security gate outside the ground. They regaled the fans inside the ground and the viewers at home with a repertoire of bigoted songs and chants. They invaded the pitch at the winner. They jumped on the roof of the disabled fan section until it broke.

All in all, it was a shameful episode.

Their Killie cover story collapsed under the weight of video .

The home club condemned them in the strongest terms.

For once, the media was vocal in its condemnation of the various incidents, and for the Ibrox club’s shoddy response to them.

And so they changed tactics.

They targeted Celtic.

They tried to shift the story from their own fans to ours, in the only way they knew how.

They picked on The Green Brigade because they are an easy target for certain hacks, and even for certain idiots online.

But they didn’t think it through terribly well. In the end it is just another embarrassment.

It didn’t even generate the they were hoping for, mostly because everyone saw through it for exactly what it was.

My only surprise is that Celtic’s response wasn’t more vocal, because what the Ibrox club did here was appallingly cynical and even dangerous.

It raises again the levels of hate and stokes a fire that doesn’t need it.

Shame on the Ibrox club for their behaviour, which made that of their supporters look almost saintly.

Both the Green Brigade and Celtic responded brilliantly.

Our club was never about to let another club use us to deflect from its own problems.

They were fools to think otherwise, and must have been desperate to try it.