There is a difference between Us and Them.
This is what I always hear.
For a while at Tannadice the other night, a section of our support seemed almost madly determined to erase that line. But since then, something not altogether unexpected has happened.
We’ve shown what that difference is.
The great majority of Celtic fans has done what the great majority of our neighbour’s fans has failed, consistently failed, to do.
They have spoken up and spoken out. They have condemned.
From every blog and forum, the message has rung out; this stuff is unacceptable.
It does not belong at Celtic and if you continue to do it first you will be shamed and then you’ll be turned out and you can find some other vehicle for your anti-social outlook.
I am proud of the way this has been dealt with by our fans, and whilst I don’t kid myself that it’s likely that these songs will simply disappear overnight, I do believe that a turning point has been reached and we’ll see those who do indulge in it firstly alienated within the stands and then confronted by the club. That combination will end it.
This support built its reputation over years.
A handful of ignorant goons aren’t going to be allowed to tarnish it, not in any way shape or form.
Celtic is yet to comment – but I expect that they will.
But the initial backlash had to come from us, from the fans, from those who care about the reputation of the club and more; those of us who genuinely believe it when Celtic is advertised as a “club open to all.”
And that is what makes us different.
We aren’t paying lip-service to this concept in the interests of PR.
It is an article of faith. It is in our DNA.
Celtic has been one of the few institutions in this country which truly makes all feel welcome beneath its roof … and that allowed many, many thousands of folk to make friends and put down roots within its orbit.
Nobody gets to jeopardise that, it is too important.
This club has never had an exclusionary outlook, and that’s why so many of us value it is as one of the most important things in our lives. Anybody who thinks they’re going to harm that … guess again.
What these people have perhaps failed to grasp is that this isn’t a convenient slogan to make us sound better than we are.
Some of us passionately believe in and care about that idea … and we will fight for it.