The media seems awfully excited over the prospect that the NewCo might get a guard of honour if they come to Parkhead as league champions. They have attempted to suggest that this is another area where Lennon has made a rod for his own back.
I absolutely disagree. In fact, not giving them a guard of honour will be entirely in keeping with what Lennon said the last time and we shouldn’t even need to offer an explanation as to why.
Back in 2019, when Lennon was still only acting manager, we went to their crumbling relic of a ground after beating Aberdeen in the league, and there was talk then – although none of this hysteria – over the issue of a guard of honour.
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Lennon went on the record as saying that we should get one, and the media sneered at him for it of course.
They aren’t sneering this time; indeed, the press seems almost united on the idea that because Lennon asked for one – and went much further actually – that he would be a hypocrite not to offer one to Gerrard and his team if the occasion arises for it.
That day, Lennon was asked how he felt about the home team’s inevitable snub.
“It’s a break from tradition,” he said, before he added the words that are now being thrown back at him. “I think we would have done it if the shoe had been on the other foot. It would have been a touch of class if they did it. I’m disappointed they are not. Celtic would have done it.”
But see, to me the real point is in his opening words, not that final sentence.
“It’s a break from tradition.”
Which it was, and you know what?
That means it’s no longer tradition, just something that the home side does if they feel like. It’s no longer even an unspoken agreement. It’s nothing. It’s non-existent. It is no longer applicable.
Even then there was no hard and fast rule about this; it’s what clubs did when they wanted to honour what another team had achieved.
But the home side that day chose not to bother.
They chose not to offer us that recognition, and so all bets are off and they are not entitled to even ask for, far less expect, anything different in return.
This is the “tradition” now, the new normal, this is the standard and they set it.
I don’t want to hear any more of this baloney about doing right by tradition and all the rest of that crap.
That doesn’t apply here.
Small minded and petty? Yes, perhaps it is, but tough.
Let me put it this way, if Celtic agreed to this there would be Hell to pay.
Because whatever next?
We’ve suffered enough indignity and humiliation this season without this on top of all of it.
What would the other lot expect, and demand, as an encore?
For Ian Bankier to unfurl the flag for them at the start of next season, like some beaten war general handing over his dagger and pistol at the surrender ceremony?
It’s never going to happen.
The media knows it’s never going to happen.
The pig-ignorant board over there never extended us the courtesy; we’re damned sure not going to extend it to them.