MFX Ramblings, More Than A-Peeling

The Old Firm – Scotland’s Shame

As a Scotsman, there’s quite a lot to be embarrassed about most of the time:

  • our national obsession with eating shite food for example.
  • my city (Dundee)’s long reign as the European city with the highest rate of teenage pregnancy. Champiooooneee’s, Champiooooneee’s, ole, ole, ole… Champiooooneee’s, Champiooooneee’s, ole, ole, ole…
  • our inability to produce sportsmen/women of any note (Andy Murray and Chris Hoy aside) for the last couple of decades.

But occasionally, there’s one thing that shames Scotland, or our national game (football), even more than that.

It’s the moronic element of some Old Firm fans (that’s Rangers and Celtic fans for those keeping score at home) who think it’s acceptable to spout their sectarian bile when “supporting” their teams both home and away, whether that’s domestically, or on a European stage.

I’d like to stress at this point that it is a minority of the tens of thousands of fans who support both Rangers and Celtic, but because they’re still the biggest clubs in our country, even when they play away from home, their support still makes us the majority of the crowd at any game they play in. It’s not big and it’s not clever.

There are ways and means of supporting your team without resorting to the sort of crap that some Rangers and Celtic fans do.

Whether it’s Rangers fans singing pro-Ulster songs or Celtic fans singing pro-IRA songs, the simple fact is that they’re embarrassing themselves, their clubs and the majority of their fans. There’s not a curse word in the world that accurately describes these scumbags. Their behaviour has no place in football, much less society.

At a time when Scottish football as a whole is struggling to find sponsorship, or produce any talented young players, the last thing we need is these clowns embarrassing us.

Our Premier League doesn’t have a sponsor, interest in the game is dwindling because of the quality – or lack thereof – of the football and the price it costs to sit and watch turgid, meaningless games.

I’m 32 years old and the general atmosphere at games these days pales in comparison to what it was like when I was a kid. There would always be singing and chanting in an attempt to – surprise, surprise – SUPPORT your team – before and during the match. Nowadays, there’s an overwhelming sense of apathy and a lack of interest.

In fact, I’d say that actually going to the games interrupts what would be a quality Saturday afternoon in the boozer. Get a coupon on, have a few scoops, watch the results come in – get Goldferg’d. Almost the perfect Saturday.

English football fans have NO IDEA what it’s like to sit and watch the standard of football that we have to put up with – they think THEY’VE got it bad. And when they are treated to it thanks to either BT or Sky Sports, they hear this religious shite and nonsense that’s spewed forth by “fans” who claim to “support” Rangers and Celtic.

It makes you feel ashamed, even if you’ve got no affiliation with either of the Glasgow clubs. I would say giants, but fuck me… look at the nick of Rangers just now. (Don’t worry Duckers, I won’t go into that!)

It’s no surprise that the Scottish Premier League doesn’t have a sponsor. Just imagine what it looks like to multi-national companies who MIGHT be persuaded to invest money when Celtic and/or Rangers fans pipe up with their bile.

Celtic and Rangers, as clubs, must be able to pinpoint areas of the ground where this sort of thing happens on a regular basis, and in their role in the community, they’ve got a responsibility to nip this kind of bullshit in the bud to stop it from spreading to other generations. Sectarianism is like a disease, and it’s spreading from generation to generation.

It’s up to the clubs to police it themselves, since the fuzz seem either unable or unwilling to do it. But how can the clubs police it I hear you ask. Well my friends, never fear. Peel is here.

When Celtic or Rangers fans (or any fans for that matter) buy a ticket for an away game, they should have to produce a season ticket. When they hand their season ticket over, the ticket for the away game should either be scanned against their name or a voucher should be taken from their book.

Then, with the help of the local police, identify these pricks who insist on spewing this shite through the tickets they’ve bought, and ban them for life. Seriously. Why should sectarianism be viewed as less serious than racism or homophobia? It’s just as disgusting and a cancer on society, never mind football.

For those of you who might be thinking “ah, but they only do it at the football” or “they only do it because the other one does it”, is that really an excuse? Really? Come on now… Take the moral high ground. Just stop it.

This is a serious time for Scottish football. The cavalcade of clowns, charlatans and crooks who have taken it in turns to “control” Rangers are seemingly hell-bent on running them in to the ground, no matter what happens.

Rangers have a massive fanbase. There’s a huge tradition with that club and fans across the world each have their memories of what Rangers means to them. And it’s the “normal” fans who I feel sorry for. The lads who put their hands in their pockets during these tough times, and how do they get rewarded? By getting Barrymore’d.

I never thought I’d say/type this in my life, but Scottish football can’t survive without a successful, well-run Rangers. Celtic need Rangers, as much as Rangers need Celtic. Even the most ardent Celtic fans would agree with that.

Celtic could play their under-19’s team and still win the Premier League, comfortably. They need Rangers to push them. Otherwise, it’s like what Duckers and Trumps said the other week. Like a 20-year old playing 5-a-side against his 7-year old nephews.

So, at a time when Scottish football is struggling to get any meaningful traction and exposure, the last thing we need are these stupid cunts who claim to be football fans, embarrassing not just their clubs, but their country by spewing vitriolic, nasty, vile abuse just because someone has different beliefs than they do.

They’re Scotland’s shame. And it’s high time both clubs did something about it.

  • Grant Cook

    Great stuff George, but both clubs have made a lot of money by doing nothing about their problem. While they don’t encourage the behaviour,they know that ignoring it is the way to go. The whole of Scotland has witnessed the mayhem that accompanies a visit from either of the bigot brothers,AND the inadequacy of the policing around them. The only way I can see anything happening is with a joint approach,from the clubs,police,politicians,SFA, and fans groups coming together,and together,educating the mindless minority

  • dq

    As bad as Scottish football is, supporting Celtic was a lot more fun than attending catholic mass haha. But yes, you are right of course. My interest in Scottish football dwindled so much (around the same time my interest in religion dwindled, funnily enough) that I did not even know about rangers downfall until I bought a FIFA game at a yard sale and wondered why they weren’t in it! I figured itwassome licensing dispute with ea or something!

    But yeah, growing up in Ireland I was part of the Celtic catholic mob mentality until I grew up and seen how silly it was.