The mark of true spitefulness is how blind it is. The term “cutting off your nose to spite your face” rings with the truth. Nowhere will you see a better example of this than with the media strategy of the club across the city.
Today we’ve got a particularly glaring example of their stupidity and failure to think past their own petty hatreds.
Chris Sutton has been told that he was to be denied entry to the ground on Thursday.
BT Sport have responded exactly as they promised to; they are taking the game to Celtic Park. An empty Celtic Park. The backdrop to a match at the home of our rivals will be our home, with nobody in it.
As a result, the whole watching nation – and all the international affiliates – will know what happened. As PR own goals go, it is a beauty.
But the man from the DUP doesn’t care about that. His directors don’t care about that. His new manager might, as surely the old one did, but that’s a decision above his pay-grade even if it’s the sort of infantile nonsense you’d expect from spoiled children.
Celtic come out of this looking the better club. The smarter club.
This is one of those things that now involves us although we weren’t involved in it. The clever move is sometimes “do and say nothing” and that’s certainly the case here, and it’s really all we need.
We look like the responsible, sensible, sane people. The other lot look positively foaming at the mouth.
I really don’t know what urge they are trying to satisfy in banning Sutton.
I do know that other than appeasing their own bloodlust and that of their supporters it does them no good whatsoever.
But this is the thing when hate is allowed to overcome all else.
It’s the thing when you can only see your way clear to acting in a spiteful and aggressive manner towards the outside world.
People should not look for common sense because there is none to be had.
The bitterness and petty hatred reeks off of them and this barmy course of action.
Sutton hasn’t been prevented from doing his job.
He has not been embarrassed or humiliated because he has the hide of a rhino and knows that this is “shoot yourself in the foot” stuff.
He will double down on his criticisms of everything they do and in the end he’ll get paid handsomely for it.
So not only is it bad publicity for them, I see no upside whatsoever.
They’re handing a PR bonanza to Celtic, they are giving Sutton and other journalists an excuse to grandstand against them, they are losing BT Sport’s goodwill, they will have every neutral amazed at their stupidity and bigotry and they are telling the world – for this is their excuse – that their supporters are violent nutters who might cause Sutton harm if he was within reach of them for two seconds.
You tell me what that’s all about.
You tell me where anybody can possibly see an advantage for their club here, because I’m missing it, I’m failing to comprehend the thinking.
This is what cutting off your nose to spite your face looks like, in all its gory glory.
This is madness and Celtic will be laughing, and Sutton will be laughing and BT’s people probably couldn’t care less, but they must be appalled.
The rest of us can only shake our heads in weary recognition; this is Ibrox.
This is the ground whose directors once boasted of “unsurpassed dignity.”
There’s no dignity in this squalid behaviour. There’s no logic to it either.
Celtic are the only ones who win here.