Fifteen days ago, this site published an article entitled “Why Celtic’s Biggest Problem With The Aussie Trip Could Be The Fury Of The Ibrox Fans.”
That article maintained that if Celtic’s board was determined to milk the “Old Firm” tit against the wishes of our supporters that they had better be paying attention to events across town.
It may now look prophetic to some, but in fact it was nothing of the sort.
Our board routinely ignores our fans. Theirs routinely panders to theirs. I actually know which is worse, and although I abhor the way Celtic’s directors treat us I would sooner have our problem than theirs, which is a rabid psychotic section of the support which gets treated not only with kid gloves but frequently get the red carpet as well.
This is what I said about that in that piece.
“(Ibrox) dances to the tune of their fans in a way that is sometimes truly reprehensible. No fan base that deranged should ever be taken so seriously by its own club but the simple fact is that they do listen to their lunatic fringe to a worrisome degree.”
Had our board not behaved with such appalling arrogance towards us then some of us may have pointed out to them that the club across the city had a fan-base comprised of Peepul who would be driven crazy over this, and that this was entirely likely to end in the scenario that their supporters now believe to be on the cards; their withdrawal from the event.
For the record, I still doubt they’ll get their way this time, but only because the organisers have made it clear that there will be a seven figure sanction if their club pulls out. Aside from leaving the money on the table they’ll also have to pay a huge fine, and that is something not even their European run will allow them to do.
Nevertheless, they are feeling the heat over there and that their board is even leaking to the hacks that they are considering this tells you a lot right away. It tells you exactly how reckless and dangerous doing business with these Peepul is, something our board seem to be the very last people in the world to realise in spite of countless lessons handed out to others.
The reputational damage from breaching this contract will be immense for that club. I have urged Celtic to do it but then we’ve not got previous for doing stuff like that, and over at Ibrox the opposite is true. I said that in the article I wrote two weeks ago.
“There might be commercial contracts signed and sealed, but let’s not pretend that Ibrox takes any of that seriously because we know that they don’t. They won’t even participate in the SPFL’s sponsorship deals although they are obligated to do so.”
Believe me, if they thought there was the slightest legal mechanism available for exiting this without paying a high price for it then, under pressure from their nutters, they would pursue it without hesitation, even if it collapsed the whole event.
And that speaks again to the utter folly of our directors for climbing into their bed in the first place. The Ibrox club has not the least bit of respect for anything, and when you look at the sort of people it puts on its board is it surprising that they are ever alert for what the nutters in the support might do on any given day?
The lunatics run that asylum over there.
A section of their fan-base has actually spent the last fortnight emailing every Australian news outlet trying to get them “interested” in the Celtic Boys Club “cover up”. They were outraged the other day when one paper did run the story, but happened to mention their own stance on allegations involving the previous Ibrox operation and their contention that the victims there should take the matter up with the liquidators.
So that backfired, but let’s not kid ourselves; this harms us regardless of who runs it or how it is covered, and our board exposed us to that when they set this game up. The lunacy of it is manifest and now we have to face the prospect of Ibrox withdrawing from it and God alone knows what disgraceful reasons they might give for doing so.
The chances of it are low, much lower than the Ibrox support seems to think … but if their board really is sufficiently scared of its own fans that they decide to do it regardless of the financial consequences and they use the moment to scorch the earth, pulling our name through the gutter as a deflection tactic, what exactly is our board going to do about it?
If they do so publicly and drop hints about not wanting an association with Celtic, then what exactly can we respond to that with?
Dead silence would be my bet.
Nobody at Celtic has thought this through at all, and reports now suggest that we were planning for a fixture like this even before COVID hit; they used the manager to try and ram this past us in the way they used the winning of the Treble Treble to ram the appointment of Lennon down our throats knowing it was opposed by most of the support.
The cynical sods in charge of our club are so egotistical that they don’t even stop to consider that we have good reasons for not wanting any part of a fixture like this, and the reaction of the Ibrox support is one of the reasons.
That Michael Nicholson and Ian Bankier and the rest couldn’t see this coming is shocking, it really is, and makes you wonder what the world looks like from inside their bubble.
The view is certainly very different from the one we have in the real world.