On Sunday, a full page advert was taken out in the Sunday Herald containing a statement from a group of Celtic supporters. Those who funded it did so with the intention of setting the record straight on all things “Rangers”.
Whilst many Celtic supporters share the view that has been outlined in the statement, the decision to take out an advert has not. Reaction has been mixed amongst the wider support and as you would imagine the blue half of the divide had their say on the matter as well.
Now we’ve long argued about the term “Old Firm” but no newspaper advert or statement is ever going to prevent the media from using it. The best that can be achieved here is that a group of Celtic supporters have gone on record to air their views, it is not officially club backed.
The timing of this advert is of course in the path of Sunday’s meeting between Celtic and the Rangers team that now occupy Ibrox. Some would suggest that it has only added fuel to the fire, and I would agree, but the real motivation here is that the “Old Firm” term has been wheeled out once more to the disgust of many a Celtic fan.
Many Celtic supporters would like to distance themselves from the usage of the term particularly as it was originally used to describe the historical Celtic v Rangers clashes, not this new one. Having said that, the phrase has never really gone down well with Celtic fans at all, but even more so now that the club that does reside at Ibrox is not recognised by many (not just Celtic supporters) as the club that once did.
The one thing I can say wholeheartedly about the advert, whether I agree with the motion of it or not, is that it was not created to generate conflict. It was merely something which most Celtic fans felt had to be said because no one else was saying it, particularly in the corridors of Hampden and the laptops of the media.
The Rangers debate will go on forever, you can be sure of that. The advert may not sit well with everyone, but it is clear how people feel.
The question is, will it have any effect Scottish football in the weeks and months ahead? That all depends on how strong you feel about it.
If you are a Rangers fan then its likely your view here is that it is still the same club playing at Ibrox these days. I’m sure in the minds of those supporters, its the best they’re going to get so I can’t blame them for trying.
I’ve covered the position of the Celtic community and it is mixed. Celtic Football Club have not declared their position on this and I doubt they ever will.
How do other clubs feel about it though? Is it really that big a deal for everyone else?
Again, I would have to say it appears to be mixed amongst supporters of other Scottish clubs. Though I wouldn’t expect to see any kind of statement from these supporters or clubs.
Come Sunday, two sets of fans will be housed in Hampden Park once more. Technically it will be the first time these two teams have met, but the fans know each other all to well.
Veteran’s of the historical fixtures say that Scotland needs this fixture. In fact most ex-players and managers still use the phrase “Old Firm” so for me, this statement will do little to change anything.
Sky Sports, STV, BBC, BT Sport and all the newspapers will still be using the term years from now. Everyone gets their say in this matter but you cannot change opinions.
There is a big game on Sunday. Lets focus on winning that.