If Sunderland’s gubbing at the hands of Newcastle today told us anything, it’s that aside ridiculous kit clashes and Michael Beale’s diabolical management, the atmosphere of Old Firm matches is just not good enough any more.
Thanks to the utter immaturity of Dave King (who started all this nonsense, playing to the galleries) which was then seized upon by his Celtic counterparts, we now have no away fans at Old Firm matches.
Which not a single fan of either side wants. And any of ours who do are hurting not only Rangers but the Scottish game immensely.
Rangers v Celtic is the absolute jewel in the Scottish crown – it is literally the biggest club match on earth aside El Clásico, and maybe even including these days.
Liverpool v Utd, Boca v River, Milan v Inter, these are all gigantic rivalries, but they pale when it comes to Rangers Celtic, and all that it entails.
But that earlier ‘these days’ comment is seriously under threat thanks to the childishness of both clubs’ boards.
Dave King, (playground) may have ‘started it’ but Celtic continued it and Rangers are now just as bad at ground level.
800-odd fans is still feeble, sorry, but it is.
And it’s that massive away support at Ibrox or Parkhead that creates the Old Firm. THAT is the Old Firm.
And without them, it’s just a football match with an eerie atmosphere when the away side scores.
In the UK, the biggest and most intense city club rivalry outside of Rangers Celtic is The Tyne–Wear derby of Sunderland Newcastle – and what an atmosphere it had in the FA Cup, the first meeting between them for around a decade.
Now take away the Geordie fans, and it’s just a match with three big bouts of silence with each goal.
Rangers and Celtic need to get over themselves and restore the one saving grace Scottish football has.
Without the Old Firm as it should be, the Scottish game has nothing to offer.
With the Old Firm as it should be it’s the centre of the football universe a few times a year.
As things stand, it’s a ruined derby.
So if the two boards could kindly resolve this nonsense and give a healthy allocation to away fans, that would be very nice, thank you.