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Celtic Will Almost Certainly Be Dragged Into Ibrox’s Latest Ridiculous Legal Battle.

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Earlier this week, the organisers of the Australian event announced that they would be suing the Ibrox club for £1.5 million. This was not a surprise to a single living soul. When you have a signed contract you cannot simply tear it up at will.

Ibrox then used their press lapdogs to announce that they were going to counter-sue, claiming that the Australians did not fulfil their end of the bargain. One of the things that the Ibrox club is moaning about is the branding; apparently it did not advertise “the Old Firm” as they had instructed. But this is typical of their bubbling bitchery.

Because they were never in any position to instruct that. The only way they could have done so was with Celtic’s agreement, and our club renewed the trade mark for the explicit purpose of blocking any such effort. The Australians couldn’t promise that because that would have relied on our support. We would never have given them such a thing, because that would have doomed the entire enterprise in the eyes of our fans.

I have made no secret of my disgust that we ever agreed to a “friendly” with them in the first place; we should have steered well clear of the whole idea. But right from the off, we were on top of the PR battle and we had resoundingly won it by the time fan pressure on their end resulted in their board withdrawing from the event.

With us nine points clear, and Van Bronckhorst on the brink, their club would have looked worse than ever had they agreed to play in that event as our support act. But in bowing to their own fans and the clamour from their forums they didn’t just leave the participation fee on the table – less than what we earned but substantial nonetheless – but they exposed themselves to precisely the sort of legal consequences that are now coming their way.

Unless Ibrox settles this quietly, it will certainly go to court. If it does, expect us to be an unwilling participant. Because if they are going down this road in claiming that their rights were breached over the lack of “Old Firm” branding then that naturally involves us, as a co-holder of that name and the only people who could have blocked its use.

Whether we like it or not – and I’m sure our board don’t like it one bit – we are being dragged into their squalid little fight, and I’m almost certain that’s one of their intentions. They hope to somehow embarrass us with details of how this came together.

Like most other Ibrox fantasies, this is based on a faulty premise.

The issue has moved on. We’re all past it now. It was a shocking decision our club made, regardless of the financial upsides, but Celtic has been sufficiently burned by their involvement to such an extent that I cannot see any way in which we would agree to any such fixture happening in the future. Neither club’s fans will tolerate it and in such circumstances their club could not be trusted to maintain their stance under pressure.

They will not embarrass us with this, but our directors and senior staff have better uses for their time than being sucked into another one of Ibrox’s insane melt-downs. We get enough of this in the domestic game with their breaches of contracts there.

The Ibrox operations are like a black hole sometimes, sucking everything towards the centre, and doing untold damage. This time they’ve only damaged themselves, but we need to be pulled towards this like we need a dose of the runs.

Still, we risk getting dragged into their shit. I don’t see how we avoid it.

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5 comments

  • BhilltheTim says:

    Could be interesting if someone from Celtic has to tell a court why they don’t want the ‘Old Firm’ tag used.

  • Benjamin says:

    I will be surprised if their countersuit goes anywhere. For them to have any hope whatsoever, the term ‘Old Firm’ will have to be explicitly in the contract with terms mandating its use in marketing materials. Absent that evidence, there is no basis whatsoever for the countersuit.

    And even if that evidence exists, it’s still an uphill battle for them. There’s a long-standing legal principal that if there is a contractual dispute that both parties are required to make a good faith effort to resolve that dispute before going to court or terminating the agreement. Rangers made no such effort in this case and jumped straight to voiding the contract and in the process were unwilling to fulfill their contractual obligations. The organizers will be able to say ‘hey look, we were working on rectifying the “old firm” branding issue and would have had it resolved within a week or two, but Rangers never gave us that opportunity. We shouldn’t be held responsible for that.’ And that argument is going to carry the day because there’s ample evidence that Rangers weren’t acting in good faith when they terminated the deal.

  • Somerset Bhoy says:

    Why did we allow The Rangers to renew the old Rangers right to the Old Firm name. We should have blocked this from the start . If it wasn’t renewed by the new club then they have no right to use it as it was held jointly by Celtic and the Old Club. If we are blocking the use of it why are we not objecting to the BBC and Sky etc using the term?

  • Bennybhoy57 says:

    no complaint from Celtic when the team ran out to we are old firm arches and banners last season.
    Presumably getting their evidence in place for a up incoming law suit after pulling out of Oz tournament.
    As for Celtic board and fans we just had a good laugh at OFFC.

  • SSMPM says:

    I read somewhere at the time that we can’t legally stop them, bbc, sky, dr, etc, using the ‘old firm’ title under UK law (ie our agreement isn’t required), hence them desperately advertising it everywhere at the midden, on UK tele, etc. They done so because they want to stand up to Celtic, more importantly to show that they can. Outside of the UK we can legally prevent its use (ie it requires our agreement as well for it to be used), hence the Aussie scenario. Can’t remember the source sadly.
    I would totally welcome and support our club standing up in court stating that they didn’t agree to the use of the ‘old firm’ title in Australia and never will. Furthermore, I would welcome our club clearly stating they’re in control of that use, clearly and with clarity, in a court of law with a ruling agreeing that it’s our decision, not theirs.
    It’s time we stood up against them more, heaping increasingly more pressure on them and their bag of liars.
    Hurt them in the pocket, that’s where it hurts most with them. Why? Because we CAN.

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