Celtic Face Champions League Ban After Ibrox Fan Poll: An Exclusive By Keith Jackass
This newspaper can exclusively reveal that Celtic may be on the verge of losing out on Champions League football next season after a shock poll on an Ibrox fan site revealed that 85% of its members were in favour of UEFA excluding the Parkhead side.
In spite of the league bodies in Scotland and in Europe greenlighting Celtic’s title party, the depth of feeling in some parts of Glasgow and the West Coast is so intense that many observers believe it is a matter of time before European football’s governors are forced to accept that they cannot give Peter Lawwell nine in a row without the Ibrox fans organising a general boycott of European football stadiums, a move that could bring even top clubs to their knees.
A Parkhead insider last night publicly scoffed at the idea.
A Celtic spokesman told this writer, “This is a poll on an Ibrox fan site, and not exactly the most intelligent one … why are you wasting our time with this nonsense?”
But a senior figure in Scottish football who this writer will identify only as DP confirmed that the club is concerned.
“It’s obvious that Celtic have problems here,” he said over the sound of bus engines revving. “If the Ibrox support unifies on an issue we’re unbeatable. Personally speaking, I don’t see how this title can be legitimate, and UEFA has no choice but to act.”
UEFA guidelines have no provision for denying clubs a title because rival fans do not like the result, but such is the influence of the Ibrox club within the corridors of power it is difficult to believe that Alexander Cerefin would not convene an executive meeting to rewrite the rulebook in their favour.
This is what Celtic’s boardroom fears most.
No-one at Ibrox is dissuaded by the failure of recent efforts to bend Scottish football to their will either.
The same senior source told me that they regard this as a mere hitch. “Scotland is now obviously run by these people,” he said. “But perhaps their reach hasn’t extended to Europe yet. There are a lot of good white Protestant governments out there, and you have to think that there are sympathetic folk in their football associations too.”
We contacted Ibrox for comment but over the sound of wild drum playing and flute practice, their press officer told us they had none to make.
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