After a thoroughly shameful week for the Ibrox club it was no surprise to see some in the media try, desperately, to turn their shame into ours this week. No fewer than three of the hacks- Keevins, Patullio and McGowan – penned articles on how bad this period has been for “the Old Firm”, a phrase every bit as lazy and infantile and insulting as it is wrong, wrong, wrong.
For this is precisely why Celtic renounced the phrase in the first place; this cynical, cowardly means by which the media can try to transfer whatever disgraceful acts Ibrox indulges in to our club, because, in the views of those who don’t know any better, the sins of one are mirrored exactly in the other. It hasn’t been true for decades. Only complete morons, utter charlatans or brazen liars would attempt to push that narrative in the present day.
Which of these those three represent you can decide for yourselves. Broadly speaking I think we’ve got at least one of each although someone can be both stone stupid and thoroughly dishonest at the same time and so there will always be some obvious overlap.
But the cynicism part – which is born out of a basic cowardice at not wanting to apply criticism to Ibrox without being seen to be “even handed” even when, like McGowan, you have to go back five whole years to find some premise, however flimsy, to support your claim, definitely applies to every single one of them to one degree or another, as it does to much of the press.
Patullio is moaning about the ticketing restrictions and is perfectly happy, as Keevins is in his piece, to repeat the utter lie that Celtic is as responsible for it as Ibrox. Both push the line that Ibrox fans were thought to be in danger travelling to Parkhead. McGowan accuses both clubs of “dog whistling” to their extremist elements, but cannot come up with a single example of us doing so – aside from a club statement in 2018 questioning the refereeing of John Beaton.
That would be shortly before he decided to celebrate one of his performances – between their club and ours no less- in an Ibrox supporter’s club and got photographed there. So obviously we had nothing to be concerned about there, eah? The media has certainly never expressed all that much concern over him although this is not exactly a closely guarded secret.
McGowan is right to call Ibrox out for dog whistling, but of course he never asks – far less tries to answer – the question as to why it’s Collum and Clancy who, alone out of our refs, who have been the subject of very public Ibrox demands. All three of these hacks talk about the leaking of Clancy’s personal information online, but every detail of his background, and that of Collum, has been circulating on their darker fan forums for many, many years now … and everyone with the slightest awareness of these matters knows what the common denominator is here.
Their club knows it too, which is exactly why these are the guys it has singled out. This is a nod and a wink to their own lunatics.
“We know, and we’re on top of it.” But what exactly is it that Ibrox’s board thinks it knows? And why when I think about it do I also think about Britishness days, brown brogues, orange strips and the words We Are The People emblazoned all over their club? Why do I hear directors utter the words No Surrender and think of the monarch’s picture on the wall?
Everyone knows what that club is and what ideology it cleaves to. Rather than say it, these gutless wonders would try to claim that we are just as bad. But show me where the evidence of that exists? Show me where the real equivalence lies? Even on an issue as clear cut as the ticket dispute these people still won’t come right out and talk straight about where the problem started and in whose hands it is to end it … and why they won’t..
They would rather write the kind of bullshit we saw in the papers today. This “Old Firm” shame garbage. But it was not our fans subjecting a referee to death threats this past week in such numbers that the SFA released a statement on it and Police Scotland opened an investigation.
It was not our club issuing statements. It was not our club who were responsible for the fan lockout. It was not our manager who went in front of the press and trotted out inflammatory nonsense, only backtracking on it a week later after the damage had been done.
If they dipped a toe into the Ibrox fan forums they’d have seen a curious, and troubling, thing; I wrote about this yesterday. Far from believing that the treatment Clancy got was disgusting and shaming to their club most of the posters said he deserved what he’d got and thought Ibrox’s statements didn’t go nearly far enough in calling out “the enemy.”
Look at the stuff that their “official club partners” come out with or allow to proliferate on their outlets. Tell me the club itself could not get a grip on them. It chooses not to. It choose, instead, to elevate these lunatics above the more moderate elements … with the results we see.
If any of these three “journalists” wanted to write the real story here then they could. Instead, they continue to push this dire “plague on both your houses” stuff, and as long as they do there is no incentive for that club over there to change … and as long as it doesn’t their fans certainly won’t.