If you were on Celtic cyberspace yesterday you’ll know that The Celtic Star did a piece on Bertie Auld’s interview with The Sun, in which he expressed his disgust for the depraved filth who sing the Lisbon Lions song from amidst the Ibrox crowd.
Bertie summed it up when he said the only silverware these people would ever know was when the cops put the handcuffs on them; that’s typical Auld wit and wisdom. The media’s focus on this song is something we should have seen before now.
That song is disgusting.
It does not belong in civilised society, far less in a football stand, and it would take a subhuman lack of decency to argue that point.
Above and beyond that, Bertie talked about how bad things have gotten, and he’s correct because they definitely have.
I still believe it started to get really ugly back in 2012.
We all know that in 2012 the liquidation of Rangers happened, and that the NewCo started life in the bottom tier. Some will say that’s where the hate began, but in fact if you look at the general feeling on the Ibrox fan sites at that time they understood, most of them anyway, that they were a new club and that they’d have to start at rock bottom.
Some of them even said they’d go there because it was the right thing to do. How quickly they cast aside that egalitarian spirit … you could be a cynic and say they dumped it the second they realised that they actually would have to go.
What really changed? What warped their perspective?
I’m going to say something that might sound controversial; I blame the SFA.
It’s because of their two things, their two huge lies, which have come to define the game ever since. They were birthed by the association, and a lot of the evil in the game today is because of them. I’m not talking about sectarian signing; the game here has always had it, and it will have it as long as the governing body is too gutless to deal with it in the correct manner.
I’m talking about songs which make The Billy Boys sound like a charming ditty.
The true evil, which has spread on their forums as well as the stands, is this grotesque hatred for anything that isn’t Them, and especially a hatred of us.
The SFA crafted the two stone columns which tower over this malicious environment.
We call them The Survival and Victim lies.
They are dangerous – they always were – because they twisted fact and logic and in doing so created a poisonous situation.
The Survival and Victim Lies let their fans claim the club was “demoted”, and that Scottish football did that out of spite and hatred. Instead of accepting what had happened and living with it, the fans of that club wound around themselves this idea that they had been screwed over.
And that’s strong stuff for any football support, but for the fans who called themselves The Peepul, it was especially dangerous and noxious. Spend decades pandering to folk who think they are special, tell them their club is “too big to fail” and then, when it does, make no effort at all to be straight with them, but convince them, instead it was all a big conspiracy.
The minute the Survival Lie was born the Victim Lie was certain. Because how could a club that had survived administration be “relegated” three divisions?
There was nothing in the statute books which allowed for that.
When Charles Green – who, let’s not forget, had publicly said he’d accept starting at the bottom, when the SFA was trying to bribe and bully people to vote against that possibility – stood on the pitch for the NewCo’s first ever game and said that what happened to them was a consequence of “sectarianism” we were off to the races.
Scottish football had a responsibility to stand up to that lie, but it had already made its bed with the embrace of two much bigger lies, and the document that underpinned them, the Five Way Agreement. The governing bodies were terrified to contradict Green’s narrative although it was blindingly obvious that it would do lasting damage unless it was confronted.
They made no effort whatsoever to do so. They had endorsed the first lie, and so they weren’t going to stand up against the second. It was cowardly and despicable.
This site and several others said at the time that this was the beginning of a much more serious crisis in the game, that those lies would lead to years of this.
And so it ultimately has proved, to the cost of all.
This is our Brexit, a toxic mess built on lies, ignorance and a denial of reality, and I have to darkly conclude that there’s no going back. The schism that it created cannot be closed whilst the great lies remain unrefuted and the game clings to them for fear of something worse, although I can’t imagine what that would be.
I’m going to publish a piece tomorrow on how what happened at Bury is almost certainly going to happen here in Scotland, and one of the reasons why that’s likely is that the SFA did not tackle our problems with Fit and Proper Person and Financial Fair Play when they had the chance. The game could have undergone wholescale reform in 2012, but the SFA had already legitimised debt dumping as a strategy … and we’ve been waiting for that shoe to drop ever since.
The consequences of that are certain.
The consequences of the Survival and Victim lies are with us already. As Bertie rightly pointed out, it’s gotten ugly out there, and the problem is growing.
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