Peter Grant was obviously watching that dire spectacle at Hampden today when someone had the bright idea to get the two managers together.
You did not have to be an expert in body language to realise that these men are not exactly friends.
Van Bronckhorst and Ange got on very well.
They got on well in part because – and this has to be said – the Dutchman had a modicum of class.
I thought he had the personality of a wet mop, but I never disliked far less hated Van Bronckhorst because he was a respectful man who steered well clear of all the crowd-pleasing guff that The Mooch indulges in.
The Mooch, on the other hand, has no respect. Not for Ange, and not for Van Bronckhorst either as we all know very well. He didn’t respect his previous employer, or their fans, who he made a lot of promises to which he had no intention whatever of keeping.
Grant thinks he has ruined what was becoming a friendlier rivalry.
Oh man, I would not go nearly as far as that.
Aside from the respect the managers had, things between the clubs are as low as they have ever been and that’s not going to change any time soon no matter what the two men in the dugout think of one another.
Indeed, their mutual dislike is one that radiates upward and outward.
I never had any issue with the Celtic and Ibrox bosses liking one another and getting along. It took some of the poison out of the fixture and that’s no bad thing.
But The Mooch was almost grimly determined to make that impossible and he has.
His comments about Ange were dreadful, and even more was the underhanded way he tried to palm them off as not meaning disrespect. Nobody was fooled by that for one minute, far less the Celtic boss who knows exactly what he was up to … pandering to his own fans and trying to stir up some early controversy. At Ange’s expense.
Well, that was never going to fly, and nor should it. Ange doesn’t have to tolerate it and he has already made it clear that he won’t.
It’s not as if the long thaw is over.
For these two it never began. Now it never will.