The dangers of the Old Firm

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Looking back some years ago, I
posited this entry on the potential worries for the next time the Old Firm
played each other since Rangers’ effective demotion to Division 3. My base
point was that, with the new level of hatred bubbling within Scottish football,
regardless of who it was aimed at or perpetrated by, the pressure cooker that
was the anticipation of a re-acquaintance between the two sides had serious
potential to spill over into real violence.
Since Rangers began working their
way up from the lowest tier of Scottish football, the longer the wait for
another Old Firm, the nastier and more vindictive Scottish football, and
especially, the feelings of Rangers and Celtic towards each other became.

And the longer it was left for
the two to meet again, the more poisonous relations became.
Thanks to an excellent tweet from
John Hartson praising Fernando Ricksen, thanks to Celtic donating £10,000 to
Ricksen and MND Scotland, a little perspective has perhaps helped break some of
the ice and possibly defused some of the hatred, but sadly the iceberg is much
bigger.
As such, there is real and
genuine danger for supporters of both sides come Sunday, and this is an appeal
for calm as much as anything else. Even Strathclyde Police are doing their
utmost to avoid downright chaos by appealing to players not to go ape over any
goal celebrations to avoid antagonising rival fans. They even visited both
Ibrox and Parkhead, with McDowall saying the following:
“I hope football comes out on top and
there’s nothing on the outside that tarnishes it. The police have been to our
place and Celtic Park and spoken with the players and
told them the job they have to do and what they aren’t allowed to do. We get
the warning. We’ve waited nearly three years for this so I expect the people on
Pluto will be watching it. Hopefully it will be a great spectacle.”
There have even been warnings
about what songs are and are not allowed. The Famine Song, Billy Boys, Ibrox
Disaster, Glasgow Celtic IRA are all prohibited and offenders will be
prosecuted on sight.
The point is there is real danger
brimming here. Celtic fans will clearly taunt Rangers with ‘Sevco’ rubbish,
Craig Whyte masks, Zombie guff and repeated references to their misguided
belief Rangers are dead. I appeal to our fanbase not to rise to it, because
frankly, lives are at stake here. I also appeal to Celtic fans to reel
themselves in, for anything antagonistic has real cause for violent
retribution.
Melodramatic though that sounds
this may be the biggest Strathclyde Police operation for a football match ever,
and there is a reason for that.
Three years in the making,
arguably the most keenly-anticipated Old Firm fixture there has ever been.
Tickets selling out like hotcakes.
Let us try to remember it is
football, and not life or death.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Well said the media hype is unwarranted then you get people like The Duck alias Tom Boyd making comments regards newco!! which doesnt help also Stan Collymore the well known female basher making silly remarks also I wonder how many redundancies will there be in the media once we get back on track

  2. "The Duck" name calling on the very first post about a Celtic captain, not a very good start, is it? It is his option whether others agree or not, less we forget the disturbances most recently in Govan after the abandoned Hearts game.

    • I don't understand "The Duck" remark, but he's probably been called worse. The poster's dead right about Boyd's comments, though. The subject about Rangers being the same Club isn't down to a matter of opinion or whether people agree or disagree. Maybe Boyd, like many Rangers-haters would like us to be a new club, but the facts are different. (If in doubt consult the relevant football authorities) So, "opinions" are irrelevant and I'm pretty sure Boyd will be well aware this. He's just taken the opportunity to wind up the Rangers support while ingratiating himself with the more unsavoury elements of the Celtic support. Not very clever.

  3. Can I start by saying…It's a sensible article..for a change.. You're usually greetin in yer beer about how you's have been done over….again and again.
    This is more like it…and I agree with it…well said.
    As for your first poster….
    Yeah..there will always be peace when idiots like him are around.

  4. A good article and I hadn't realised a rangers fan site like this one existed. Well said (celtic fan – have started reading this site as always find it a good read from another perspective)

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