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Celtic Has Tried To Normalise The Relationship With Our Rivals, Only To Be Rebuffed.

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You have to hand it to our club; they always try to take the high road.

Today we thought we were on the verge not only of 750 tickets for the coming game at our rivals ground but that there might be room to work with them on the bigger issue; restoring the much larger allocation which both clubs once gave one another, and which they spitefully cut.

There are areas in our “relationship” with them where it is useful to have cordial relations.

Indeed, if the two clubs could see eye to eye on even basic stuff that would bring down the temperature in our game somewhat, to everybody’s benefit.

Don’t kid yourself that there aren’t advantages to us being on a civil basis with them.

If there is genuine loathing between the clubs at the highest level that bleeds into everything and it increases the volume on the hate.

It cannot fail to.

It also results in things like this, with allocations being cut or even reduced to zero as we have in this moment.

Our club has responsible people at the helm.

Both socially and otherwise.

They understand that having the two permanently at war with each other has downsides.

This is why we attempted to negotiate with them on a good faith basis over these tickets.

But Ibrox does not do things on good faith.

As I predicted, their board will do anything it can to gain any advantage, however small, in their dealings with us.

This organisation which doesn’t respect the commercial deals it has with kit manufacturers and distributers, which refuses to deal on a reasonable basis with the SPFL or other organisations simply cannot be trusted to behave ethically, responsibly or even rationally.

This is another crisis which they have manufactured, and anyone on our side blaming Celtic for not getting this allocation needs to lie down in a dark room.

The only reason they asked for a guarantee on a reciprocal basis is that they knew that we could not give them one.

Everyone knows I watch the numbers from the Scottish Government every single day, and that I’ve written on the need for our fans to continue taking this crisis seriously.

On Wednesday night I saw no signs that they do; most people continue to not wear masks.

That may be one of the reasons why the numbers are spiking.

At the start of the week we were on 1200 cases a day.

For the last two days 3600 have been reported.

The trend is going in the opposite direction than we’d like and this doesn’t even reflect the return of schools which is going to see another big spike.

Far from being able to guarantee their fans tickets in October, we cannot at this moment even guarantee that we will be able to accommodate all our season ticket holders.

We might be just another doubling of cases away from restricted attendances, and a doubling after that of regional lockdowns including the closing of stadiums entirely. You can see it coming.

The Ibrox board might act like they are crazily irrational but they know where this is going as anyone who watches those numbers does.

They demanded the one guarantee they knew we couldn’t give them and everyone at Celtic is well aware of that fact.

Our club understands full well that this was an act of cynicism and opportunism, nothing more.

That club does not want normal relations, either with Celtic or anybody else.

Their board is not in the least bit interested in peaceful co-existence.

They are incapable of it.

The entire mental makeup of that club is built on this spite and sense of permanent grievance.

This is the board that openly boasted – boasted – of “settling scores on and off the pitch” before this season began.

The only mistake we’ve made is not in taking that literally.

Our club has, as ever, attempted to do the right thing for the right reasons … and once again we have been rebuffed.

So be it.

I trust that for Dominic McKay the lesson has been learned.

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