Last night, Celtic released their best “statement” in a long time.
It was a good moment for many of us, a good moment for those amongst our number who have been waiting for a repudiation of the lies which corrupt the whole of this game … it’s as close to one as we’ve had for a while.
Some papers called it cryptic. It was nothing of the sort.
Celtic not only slapped the Ibrox club for its Whataboutery, but in closing it off with the “one club since 1888” line it slapped down the Survival Lie as well.
That is something a lot of us have been waiting for a long, long time.
Lastly, it hit back at the idea that we are “one half” of anything.
It was the final burial of the Old Firm, or that’s what it should have been anyway.
Except that this may have been another example of a lack of internal consistency at Parkhead.
Our failure to do this sooner, and in a more open manner, seems based not only on fear but on the flawed thinking and the blatantly contradictory way we deal with this matter inside the club.
It’s not that long ago that Lennon talked about the “Old Firm” game … and that was particularly jarring to a lot of us who are ever alert for people at Parkhead using that expression.
There’s also the suspicion that our failure to publicly slap down this “going for 55” garbage before now was the result of our signing the Five Way Agreement, which essentially gave “legitimacy” to the Survival Lie.
Celtic denies that we ever got a look at it; I am hardly alone in believing that to be an outright falsehood of the worst kind.
An email, in wide circulation, in relation to the Five Way Agreement appears to show that our club had access to that document and would have been well aware of its provisions.
To mislead fans on that, at an Annual General Meeting … that’s about as serious a breach as you could get.
Last night, after Celtic’s Twitter feed slapped back at the Ibrox club, their fans showed remarkable mental agility and were somehow able to swiftly produce the “proof” that we were part of the Firm after all; it was a filing from the patent and copyright office confirming the recent renewal of the joint trademarking of the name.
And this is where our club once again seems to slips back into the murkier recesses of the Desmond-Lawwell era and what some view as their dishonesty in dealing with the supporters on these matters.
So I’m going to pose a couple of questions to the club itself based on that little revelation, and I would be interested in getting the answers to them from someone inside Celtic Park. I have emailed this article, and these questions, to John Paul Taylor.
If I get a reply, from anyone inside Parkhead, I will, of course, let you all know.
My first question is based around the events of 2012.
That trademark was held initially by Celtic and Rangers.
Now, one of those companies went out of business in that year and we know which one that was. When a trademark is jointly registered, a contract is drawn up which spells out what happens to said trademark in the event one party is no longer around, be that a company that goes belly-up or an individual who dies or relinquishes his share.
So what exactly were the provisions of the contract, as they stood, in 2012, and how did it come to pass that a joint share ended up in the hands of the Ibrox NewCo?
My second question is based on an update from 2020.
It was a “change of registration” on the paperwork, to reflect the owner based out of Ibrox. Up until that point, the share had been held in the name of Sevco Scotland Limited. In 2020 someone applied for a registration naming change.
What was the reason for that, and was it connected to efforts from around about that time to gauge foreign TV interest in a “Celtic-Rangers game” abroad?
The third question is about the marketability of the trademark itself, because it surprises me that Celtic would think that it had any.
The merest whiff of that phrase being given the slightest legitimacy by people inside Parkhead would result in a momentous outpouring of anger against everyone on the board and, in another time, would guarantee mass demonstrations outside Parkhead.
What possible value can Celtic attach to trademarking a phrase which no official communique or piece of marketing spiel could ever utilise, for fear of the backlash it would cause?
My next question relates to Celtic’s Tweet which although vague seems clear-cut on a number of things.
The first of these is that is in an “on the record” repudiation of the Old Firm concept. There can be no other way of looking at it, and it’s not the first time we’ve done so.
In light of that, the next question is surely an obvious one.
In light of Celtic’s most recent disavowal of the Old Firm tag, will we now relinquish our share in the trademark, publicly make it clear that the concept is dead and put this matter to bed once and for all in a way that leaves not the slightest potential for misunderstanding?
My final question is about the “One Club” line, which is a clear reference to the Survival Lie and all its many forms and implications, and the closest we’ve come since 2012 to confirming our club’s long-held view on this matter.
In light of this, is the club now prepared to openly state, as a point of policy, and as a matter of record, that we recognise the Ibrox club of 2012 as a new and separate entity from the one which robbed the tax man and held 54 Scottish titles, some of them illegally by dint of improperly registered player contracts and the use of a tax avoidance scheme?
Celtic has, willingly or not, opened these matters up to debate.
For some of us, there’s no debate to be had, as we live in reality and don’t accept any of the fantasies and flat-out falsehoods which are associated with the continuity fairytale or this Old Firm tosh.
But our club – even now, in the midst of a dreadful season – can do more than just slap down Park and his board and their deranged statement of yesterday evening.
They can perform a mammoth service to the game and cement some kind of lasting legacy, and repair some of their own shattered reputations, by putting these two matters to bed at long last.
I believe Celtic stands alone. I believe that Ibrox is on its second football club. I believe in these things the way I believe in oxygen and the colour of grass. They are not up for debate; they are matters of fact.
But we are force-fed these two lies every day of the week, much of the time by our sub-par and complicit media … and our club can finally put them in the deep hole where they belong, exposing them for that they are and restoring truth to the discourse of our national sport.
It is the one last great service that men like Lawwell and Desmond can do us, and in many ways it’s an even greater legacy than appointing the right manager or putting in place the right structure at the club.
As important as those things are, our game is choking on the polluting effects of the Survival Lie and its demonic offspring, the Victim Lie, which has single-handedly elevated the level of hate amongst the Ibrox support to unparalleled heights.
If Celtic strikes a blow against them, it will be the most important thing that our club has done in years.
If this is the start of our long-delayed reckoning with these matters, then something good has come out of this dreadful campaign after all.
If not, then those who sit on our board have shown that they are only prepared to snipe from the side-lines but lack the heart for the real cut and thrust of a battle, even one as necessary as this.
It will be yet another reason for them to be ashamed.
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