Today some in the media have sought to point the finger at us for the Ibrox ticketing fiasco by accusing us of “retaliating first”. Their fan sites are celebrating the decision because it has “upset the Celtic fans.”
This is the world we live in, full of spite and stupidity.
It is worth remembering that for decades the respective boards at Parkhead and Ibrox respected one another on the issue of tickets.
It was understood that if the so-called Old Firm experience was to compete with the biggest derbies in the world that it needed the atmosphere brought when both sets of supporters were in the same ground.
The death of Rangers brought an end to that, but when the NewCo crawled up out of the muddy grave of Ibrox they realised something fundamental; that their only selling point on the bigger stage of world football was the promise that some version of that rivalry would exist again. Otherwise, who would have even cared that they existed? Nobody.
When they clawed their way into the SPL they had, at their helm, a board that for a while had a nodding respect with old understandings between Parkhead and Ibrox.
But they pandered to the insane element within their own fan-base who were sick of seeing us going there and winning, and they cut our allocation. For no reason other than malice.
And to that we responded in kind.
The media hollered at us that we were the club devaluing the fixture, but we stuck to our guns and we’re sticking to them to this day; until our own allocation is restored theirs will not be. It’s perfectly simple, and fair.
Blaming us for all this is ridiculous, and it doesn’t stand up to even cursory examination. Celtic did not start this ball rolling, we reacted to a blatant provocation in the only manner in which we could.
Sure, the press would have loved to see us roll over, sure they would have loved to see the fans and the board on a collision course over it, but it was never going to happen.
Indeed, I know for a fact – because I spoke to people at Celtic about the possibility of such a thing when it was still only a subject for discussion on the more rabid Ibrox fan forums – that our club made it abundantly clear to theirs what would happen in the event that the allocation for our fans was ever cut for Ibrox. We told them in no uncertain terms.
So not only was our action provoked, but it was telegraphed to Ibrox in advance.
They knew our response before they did the deed, and so the pathetic whining afterwards was nothing but blowing smoke. The same applies now, with their club as the aggressor and Celtic now considering its own response.
We were not to blame on either occasion.
That the idiotic Ibrox fan-base loves this is hardly surprising although they have constantly bitched and moaned and said that the whole affair is pointless and stupid and that they wish the clubs would see sense.
They know how idiotic this standoff is, but they cheer through every iteration of it before moaning that it has consequences.
This is the world we live in, surrounded by vicious fools who lash out and then wonder why you hit them back. Every time Celtic has offered a hand these Peepul have spit on it.
We should take this latest disgrace as a sign that such action is futile.