Ibrox’s Latest Crass Publicity Stunt Only Follows What Celtic Quietly Did A Month Ago.

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At the weekend, Steven Gerrard wore a mask to talk to the press. Since when has he done that? Since never. Not until Dubai and the furore surrounding that. Yesterday his club decided to announce – to great fanfare – that they had offered Ibrox as a vaccination centre. What is this sudden interest in doing the right thing from these guys?

I say it again; this is about Dubai. Everything they do is focussed on Celtic. Everything they do is a reaction to something that happens at Parkhead. They are willing to use anything at their disposal – even a deadly virus – in an effort to score cheap points.

Frankly, I don’t know why they bother. The media already thinks everyone at Ibrox is adept at turning Tango into Irn Bru, so this seems like a lot of effort for only a little more positive coverage than what they would usually get, but I suppose when you are consumed by their kind of need to feed the ego you take every bit of it that you can get.

Here’s what they were apparently completely unaware of in this case; Celtic offered Parkhead as a vaccination centre almost a month ago. With no big announcement. With no strutting and preening for the cameras.

Our club has eaten a mountain of dirt over the last couple of weeks, but one of the reasons it was so easy to do is that our mistakes are public and many of more public spirited gestures are done in private. Even now, with us being kicked around, it took a question from the media to prompt Celtic to give this information over.

“We were pleased a number of weeks ago to offer Celtic Park to support in the vaccine effort,” a spokesperson confirmed. “We have worked tirelessly to support those affected by the pandemic, with over £1million in support already distributed to people in need … to date, 36,000 families and individuals have supported and we have delivered support to 10,000 pensioners and 7,000 homeless people who really need help.”

This surprised some people today, but it shouldn’t have.

The reason is simple; Celtic is capable of doing the right thing just because it’s the right thing to do.

Dubai stinks so badly because it is an aberration.

It reeks because it is not who we are supposed to be.

In this instance, we did a good thing because it needed to be done, not so we could crow about it.

Not so we could reap some headlines and paint a negative picture of someone else.

Every thought they have at Ibrox is tainted by self-interest and they don’t even hide it. I think both clubs have done a positive thing here and a lot of people will benefit because they have, but only one of them did it without first calculating that it might put someone else in a bad light whilst polishing their own halos in public.

Only one club did it for their own egos.

I’ve always said that if I were destitute and two people offered me money I wouldn’t care whether one of them was doing it because it might make me feel good whilst the other was doing it because it made them feel good. I’d be thankful to both, without bothering to question their motives. But if one of them then went on to broadcast their “generosity” I’d think that person was an absolute halfwit.

Those who get their vaccination at Ibrox might not care about that, but that club is so crass at times that it might as well hand out a superstore voucher with every injection.

Well done to Celtic for doing the right thing for the right reasons.

It’s the first time this week I’ve been able to write that sentence, and I have to admit that it feels pretty good.

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