If you want to prove that yours is the most successful club on the planet that is easy to do. If you control all the variables and the regulations about how that success is measured you can put yourself so far in front of the opposition as to defy reason.
Let me give you an example. The “80 Minute League Table” of some years ago, when Ibrox tried to claim that if games lasted only 80 minutes that they would be in front. Great theory, except in reality, where games last 90 and they weren’t.
If you took only league titles that we were won on a Sunday, at home, by teams whose names start with R and end with S you could probably put the club from Ibrox ahead of every side in football forevermore.
But of course there’s slightly more rigid criteria for these things.
One of the things I laughed at most last week was The Mooch telling his own fans – his own fans, not ours, we who know better – than the club had two trophies from the last four. Music to their ears, right? Fans who thought they were worth the clean sweep. Even if that record had not been fictitious it would still have been selective.
Which means it would have had all the legitimacy of the 80 Minute League Table.
The Mooch, as I’ve pointed out, is actually pretty shameless in claiming Steven Gerrard’s title as this own. It would be like if John Kennedy laid claim to Celtic’s at a future job interview, if he told the club he was talking to that they could ignore Lennon and Ange and give him the gig on the proviso that it was all down to him all along.
Funny that The Mooch never puts that whole record on the line, where it wouldn’t be the two in four he claimed but much, much darker. Because one of the two was won by Van Bronckhorst, not by him, and the other was one trophy amidst nine which they competed for, a much, much poorer return when you look at it in that light.
The Ibrox fans, of course, recognise all of this and their banner from the Livingston game sparked a furious response from The Mooch himself, which I’ll be writing about later. But it was the Celtic fans who got to the heart of it, with their own response yesterday.
“22 Trophies In 11 Years. We Set The Standard” was their reply.
And that’s what it comes down to. They talk a good game, we live up to the talk. We aren’t all about hype. We have the achievements to back to the talk up, and after yesterday that’s another one of them in the bag.
The only “standards” which matter are those grounded in reality, offering the full picture. Their “80 Minute League Titles” and all the rest of it don’t mean a damned thing.
Even their fans are no longer in denial about that, which makes yesterday all the sweeter.