For all I’ve written on Australia, for all I’ve talked about the so-called Old Firm brand, and for all I’ve said about not wanting them even a shadow on the edge of our spotlight, my principal objection to playing the Ibrox club in a “friendly” with the eyes of another continent on it is that they will almost certainly bring shame on the occasion, and that cannot but have an impact on how our club is viewed in relation to them.
Which part of this is our board struggling to understand?
Any association with them, however fleeting, however one-sided, risks bringing disgrace on us.
If we’re seen as “part” of some rivalry involving them then their own behaviour cannot but reflect on us in some small way, and the degrading atmosphere of such an encounter smears us with their filth.
That is unavoidable unless we stay well clear of them.
Last night, I took advantage of simultaneous kick-off times to listen to their game on Radio Scotland as I attended the match at Celtic Park.
It is such a rare thing to be able to do.
What I found most illuminating is that their supporters sang non-stop bile from start to finish.
Even as the teams were lining up for kick-off, The Billy Boys was in full tilt.
Both Phil and myself wrote about this song and its return a few weeks ago.
Last night both stands housing their fans reverberated to it, that and a host of the Gutter’s Greatest Hits from yesteryear.
It was as hateful as I’ve heard them in many a year.
It was so bad, in fact, that it’s a major talking point on their forums today, with many of them delighted to see such songs re-appear whilst other fans are deeply disturbed by it.
The attitude of some of them appears to be that Scotland hates them anyway so to Hell with what anyone thinks, and besides there are no punishments here for singing such filth in the stadiums.
Well there are no punishments whatsoever for singing that degenerate filth in a stadium in Australia.
That’s what the land Down Under has to look forward to.
Worse than their songbook however were some particularly scummy banners which their fans held up in relation to the Australia trip and not wanting to be associated with us.
You can guess at the content. These Peepul are just so immersed in bile all the time.
And that’s my real message to Celtic, and the one they really shouldn’t ignore.
This is who your “friendly” match is against.
This is the backdrop against which you want to “showcase this club.”
Woe betide allf of you if their gutter element turn up in any kind of numbers and shame us with their scandalous conduct.
They did it in Florida some years ago.
They do it almost every time they set foot on the European continent.
If they decide to use the event, and their freak show status in it, to behave like freaks and embarrass Celtic then that will be on the people within our club who thought this was a good idea.
To offer this hostage to fortune on a trip which is supposed to raise our profile in a faraway land is beyond belief.
Our board better hope to God it doesn’t backfire.