To understand how the mentality of Ibrox sparked the trouble at the weekend, you need look no further than the ludicrous leak to the press last night.
Far from being sorry that the goons in their support turned this city into a battle-zone, they first tried denial and then deflection. The media was encouraged to run the stories of “victims” blaming the police for excessive force and even brutality … it is all so predictable. Another Ibrox club did the same after Manchester.
I have to laugh at the emerging “victim” narrative.
They play that card with utter shamelessness. At the heart of all of it is a raging sense of entitlement and that supremacist mentality, We Are The Peepul … the idea that they are special and should be treated as such is at the heart of all of this.
The debate over that mind-set is finally being had in Scotland, and now that it is they seem morbidly determined to confirm every worst image of themselves. Nothing could have done it better their briefing to “friendly” journalists that they had actually asked the Scottish Government to grant them a special exemption from the rules the rest of the country has to follow.
Imagine the mentality at play here; they are basically saying that they asked for special treatment, didn’t get it and that this failure to regard them as unique and above the rest of us is the reason their lunatic supporters “celebrated” with a display of thuggery.
Try to wrap your brains around that. For once, this country is looking through the lens at this in a proper way. We Are The Peepul is seen, finally, as an unvarnished claim of exceptionalism and their club’s response is to holler about how they’ve not been given that status by the government. It is either a level of arrogance beyond belief or it’s a mind-bending lack of self-awareness; whichever way you view it is, it is the most pitiful excuse for rioting ever offered up.
The responsibility for all of this lies at the doors of that club; they make that clearer with every barmy statement and press release.
They could have shut this down by condemning all involved, threatening them with the severest sanctions, deploring sectarianism properly and warning all of their fans for the future.
Instead they’ve chosen to wail about not being made to feel appreciated and special and respected and how the world refuses to see them as somehow superior and deserving of exceptional treatment.
You could not make that up. It sums up everything that’s wrong over there.
This is why their fans act as they do; because that club constantly reinforces this most poisonous of ideas.