Celtic Fans Open to Ridicule Over Rangers “Old Firm” Claims – by Rob Atkinson


At Leeds United, we’re no strangers to the unwelcome feeling and experience of your club in crisis. We’ve seen our beloved Whites pushed to the brink of actual expiry and ejection from the league; we’ve seen administration and League sanctions. Spectacular collapse and the plummet from the heights of the game to the depths of despair was a process raised almost to a perverse art form by United – to the point that it became known as “doing a Leeds”. So we know what crisis, despair and poverty are all about – the only thing that can really surprise a Whites fan these days is to see a club in straits even more dire.

Which brings me on to Glasgow Rangers FC. There is no need for me to re-hash here exactly what has happened to them over the past few years. In short, it was a precipitous fall, and an unprecedented reduction in status. From being permanent members of a top two cartel, Rangers were sent spinning into the gloom and obscurity of Scotland’s lowest major league. The journey back is well under way, but problems beset them still. On Sunday, for the first time since their fall from grace, Rangers face Celtic in the Scottish League Cup semi-final at Hampden Park. The Old Firm rivalry is back, right? Well, not according to the hardly unbiased fans of Celtic FC. Take a moment to look at the rationale espoused by a group of their fans in an advert placed recently.

Celtic fans - are they kidding?

Celtic fans – are they kidding?

Now, surely – these Celtic fans cannot be serious? It’s a wind-up, right? Are they quite barking mad, these loose-lipped Bhoys? What are they worried or insecure about, that they should resort to this? The whole “argument” stated above smacks of trying too hard, a mean-spirited attempt to cast back down a club trying to recover from an almost terminal decline. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Rangers’ fall – and without declaring any particular affiliation on either side of the Old Firm divide – this blog has to state in the strongest possible terms that what we have here is a bunch of partisan yet clueless fans talking fluent rubbish.

Whatever arguments you might summon, whatever contortions you might go through, leaning over backwards to show that black is white – surely the one thing any set of football fans must agree on is the major factor in any football club’s identity. It is the fans, it has to be. The fans embody the tradition and continuity of any club. Football shirts might change colour, as with Cardiff. Ground moves are commonplace these days and have never been unknown. Players, directors, managers and staff come and go, without necessarily having any real connection to the clubs they serve for a time.

So what is the one thread that runs right through a club’s very soul and being? It is the fans, the loyal supporters who follow, follow, through thick and thin, passing on the supporting tradition down the generations, wedded to their club in good times and bad. And it is those Rangers fans, the ones who have stuck by the Rangers FC as they sank to the depths and rose again – they embody Glasgow Rangers and in so doing, they give unquestionable continuity to the institution that is Glasgow Rangers FC. They also make a total mockery of this laughable stance from a set of fans who feel just as passionately about their club – and who have thus allowed themselves to go out on a limb, in trying to kick a club when it’s down, succeeding only in making arrant fools of themselves.

I wouldn’t particularly care, normally, who wins on Sunday at Hampden. I miss the Old Firm games for their passion and spectacle, it’s for those reasons that I always tune in to watch and would one day like to attend one of these occasions. The tradition of atmospheric support from both sets of fans, with tempers frequently running high on the park and referees praying for the final whistle to come with as little as possible actual violence – that’s so much of what football should be about. These are factors which are gradually being marginalised in the modern game as a whole, with increasing gentrification everywhere and a diminution of the raucous passion we of a certain age remember. But all of that is still present at certain fixtures – Leeds against Man U is one, Newcastle versus Sunderland bears a mention – there is el Clásico, of course. But the grand-daddy of them all is the Old Firm game – even if a lot of the cause and reason behind this fact isn’t of a particularly savoury or relevant nature.

So where do these Celtic fans get off, trying to defuse, deflate, diminish all of this? Don’t they realise how much the game north of the border needs its return, and in full rude health at that? For goodness’ sake, Celtic need it. Surely, these pompous, paragraph-quoting fools are kidding. If they’re not, then they deserve the ridicule that should be coming their way. And, for the record, against my normal neutral Old Firm stance – I would say to them “If you really do mean this – then you’re idiots; and I hope you get stuffed out of sight on Sunday”. 

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313 responses to “Celtic Fans Open to Ridicule Over Rangers “Old Firm” Claims – by Rob Atkinson

  1. why doesn’t all rangers players,ex rangers players and friends buy shares to help out the club. in years gone by all the ex players arec advising rangers board of directors what they want.. all the old players got wealthy playing for rangers on big wages when Scottish football was all also rans to rangers .they should all have been in there 3 years ago with their money to help the club, all the did was take and pocket big wagesc when the rest of the clubs were in the bebts of despair. either put up boys or shut up, that’s right shut the gates when the horse has bolted

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  2. thar would be tax free wges of course, Would you not be happier if they paid your Queen her taxes?

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    • cooperhero

      Another glue sniffing fiddler.The scheme reduces your tax, not tax free. Of course you do know Lawwell, Riley, Lennon and dozens of ex Bheast FC players also used a tax avoidance scheme. Only difference being theirs have been found to be illegal whilst Rangers haven’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ” reduces your tax” you say? Factually incorrect.

        Find someone who knows about these things and ask them to explain it to you, Then you might, just might, begin to understand why the mighty Rangers could attract top players. You might also understand why the side letters hiding the payments from the football authorities gave rise to the accusations of financial doping.

        Then again you probably won’t!

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      • I hope you guys are reading the odd article and not just using the blog to host your squabbling. You might as well at least boost my stats a bit – you know, don’t be rude 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Patrick yet again you blank the celtic players involvement in an illegal tax avoidance scheme, proving its nothing to do with tax, it’s all about your bigoted hatred of Rangers Football Club. EBTs may not be ethical but they have been judged legal. In a fair and just society equality before the law is paramount. Have you been trolling Rangers Boards hoping for something to take offence to, you tragic bitter old man.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sad? You must be joking!

    To watch the death throes of a bigoted sectarian institution brings nothing but joy. Oh happy day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cooperhero

      Celtic were the first club in Scotland to operate a sectarian policy, they were sectarian from the day they were formed. This policy was only abandoned after years of failure, when it was decided that restricting themselves to playing only Catholics was main reason for the lack of success, much to the disgust of their IRA loving manager Mr Malley, though they carried on with Catholic only directors until the late 1980’s.
      Making up lies, it’s a Celtic thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • And again Patrick refuses to comment on Lennon and COs involvement in an illegal tax scam. Celtic pretending it didn’t happen, it’s like the Peadophile scandal at the Stade De Nonce all over again. Your club really should be closed down, for what it turned a blind eye to. Big Jock Knew……Yewtree will eventually be knocking the door at your rancid club and when they do public opinion will demand your closed down.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. cooperhero

    Patrick, they were classed as loans, therefor allowing the payments to be made free of tax, which reduces the tax paid on the overall payments from club to employee, the loans can be but never are called in.
    It was a loophole that has been closed, and HMRC have lost every case they’ve taken to tribunal, though some companies have settled rather than endure the cost of going to tribunal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The tax case involving the use or EBT’s by the then Rangers has yet to be decided.

      The existence of the side letters demonstrates to you, me and the proverbial man on the Clapham omnibus, that these were part of the contracted salaries of the recipients. Regardless of what the individual who sold the scheme said you can bet that the players very much considered the payment to be part of their salaries otherwise why would they be at Ibrox in the first place?

      I am signing off now,The evermore bitter and disgusting comments by your pal Algy are a perfect example of why Scotland will be a better place without the Rangers tribute act.

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      • cooperhero

        You conveniently have no comment on the numerous Celtic employees using proven tax evasion schemes, the more prominent amongst them ( Lawwell and Lennon) had the bare faced cheek to issue statements on the punishment Rangers should receive for using their proven legal EBT’s.
        Always remember, we would rather die with our history, than live with Celtics.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. No comment on Celtic Employees tax dodging, what a sanctimonious old hypocrite you are Patrick. Your club have always been a social cancer in Scotland. The bile drips from every post you make. Please stop pretending you care about a just tax system, it’s solely about your sectarian hatred nothing more.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. How many of the clubs mentioned were liquidated? I blame David Murray,when asked why he was taking so long to sell the club he said due diligence.He handed the club over to White for1£to a bankrupt con man. Where was due diligence? Without Rangers back in fighting for titles,any honest Celtic fan would agree.Scottish football will end up like the Irish league, that would suit nobody especialy Celtic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Celtic are convinced they will be invited into the EPL, they’re Anti British Ethos would not be tolerated by the FA or the Media like it is in Scotland.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ‘this blog has to state in the strongest possible terms that what we have here is a bunch of partisan yet clueless fans talking fluent rubbish.’

    Great blog and really enjoyable reading. You sound like a good football man. The type which is sadly in decline it seems. I support Rangers but live in England and can’t believe the way football down here has changed. Sky Tv has stolen its soul.

    Before Sky income and how many shirts it helps your club sell in China, most football clubs could go into a season with high hopes. But now its difficult to take a lot of football seriously because most matches and honours are bought and paid for in a way they never were before. Regardless of size clubs were all closer to each other in finance. A good manager and some astute signings and anything could happen.

    This was the case even in Scotland, despite the old firms power, as Ferguson and M’clean demonstrated with Aberdeen and Dundee Utd. In England things were even greater with loads of clubs having a chance of winning silverware. Sad to see the change.

    The change in supporters is even sadder. I’ve seen Arsenal, Man Utd, and Man City fans trying to lord it over each other on the basis of who has the most fans in western Africa haha This type of plastic nonsense is ruining football. It will lose all touch with its roots and reality if it keeps going this way.

    Anyway, won’t keep you much longer 🙂 but your bang on the money about Celtic supporters. It is impossible to describe the obsession they have for all things Rangers to someone who does not follow the club. But I’ll quickly point out a few things that make them stand out on their own with regards to being embarrassingly devoted to your rivals. Their supporters write and buy books about us, their bloggers only discuss Rangers, the biggest threads on their forums are about Rangers, most of their posts in newspapers and calls to radio stations are about Rangers, and they pay good money nearly every month on an ever evolving list of ludicrous campaigns against Rangers like the Newspaper advert you sited. I no longer let their nonsense irritate me but instead welcome it. You see Rangers made them that way. It took twenty years of pumpings to completely capture and own them. It is unequalled in world football and a very fine achievement.

    Hope Leeds Utd get back to were you belong mate. A fine football club. The 1992 games will live with me the rest of my life. Sort of matches that are hard to find now as I said because the finances make too many games one sided affairs or mis-matches. Will never forget how quickly you lot scored at Ibrox and the stunned silence, its comedy gold looking back, haha.

    Remember raising a glass when Cantona scored in the second match because he was so good and deserved it. First time I’d seen him. Leeds always seemed to have fine players and good teams. Never heard any of your supporters acting like the supporters of these other English clubs I mention either. Hope you get success but stay real 🙂

    AS for the old firm matches not existing any more. Doubt any Celtic fans will ever let a chance to see the Rangers go to waste. That’s the true reality as you put so well yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Football has changed for the worse and SKY has done the damage.

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  10. Agree mate. Down here in England Ferguson finished the league off about a decade ago. He basically did what Rangers and Celtic did along time ago. Made the club too big and successful for its domestic rivals.

    Man Utd always seemed to get a lot of undeserved limelight down here even when they were poor before Ferguson but after he brought success the media love in became full blown and it all combined with sky tv backing to make the club a commercial giant.

    Every country seems to have one or two truly dominant clubs so its no surprise to see this happen but in England it was becoming a one horse race with even Arsenal falling away. In an attempt to solve this problem the FA allowed billionaires to get involved and pump up a few clubs. Its made the top league a bit ridiculous if you ask me because football is supposed to be about real achievement. If it carries on it could reach the stage were old English titles are considered to be worth three times that of the modern ones.

    Rob, Rangers just got beat by Falkirk. I’ve no complaints they were worthy of the three points but it made me laugh at the way their players and fans celebrated. It was liking winning a trophy. It actually makes me laugh because we’ve been mostly beating these teams for a century so I can see were they’re coming from. Do Leeds get that with being in the championship because most people in my life time have always considered Leeds to be a true heavyweight of the English top flight. Its why if money was equal I’d still choose to play for the club above most English sides. Because in a 100 years it’ll probably still mean a great deal more. But do supporters of opposition teams love to beat Leeds that little bit more than the other clubs?

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  11. Stuart Gardner

    Excellent read, and yes we (Rangers fans) have shown support week in week out with our attendance, which cannot be equated most weeks in the UK

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  12. Rob,
    Fanttastic piece sir.
    Written by a true football fan for the benefit of true football fans.
    As a diehard Rangers fan ( who incidentally was present at Ibrox and Elland Road for that legendary meeting of our respective sides in ’92 ) I would also like to extend a welcome to yourself to attend any future fixture, home or away, of your choosing and I will guarantee you a ticket and a good match day experience.
    JR

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    • This was a piece I wrote some time ago. As I recall, it generated the biggest “postbag” this blog has ever known – which says a lot for how fervent the rivalry really is up there, however much some would like to wish it away. Well, it all starts again for real, in the league, next season – after a forthcoming cup tie “rehearsal”.

      Many thanks for your kind offer, JR, it’s one I’d love to take you up on when circumstances permit. Perhaps an Old Firm game to provide material for another article? You’re a gentleman, sir.

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    • Rob,
      More power to you and, as I said, the TRUE football fans amongst us will appreciate your thoughts and views.
      The problem Sellik fans have is that they hate us but they also hate the fact that they can’t live without us…..therein lies the problem.
      My offer stands…..name the game and I will sort it, obviously it will be next season.

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      • It’s really good of you. I’d really love to see another game up there – my only one so far was a 0-0 Hibs v Hearts affair in 1991. For now I’ll just say congratulations to all Rangers fans on your latest Old Firm success 👍

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  13. Robert skidmore

    Timmy is bitter envious and obsessed….. Then , now and always they seem to carry a belief that anything pro British is wrong even to the extent of adopting a foreign nationality and disgracing war dead connected to their own club…. Speaks volumes really bout how they roll offended by everything shamed by nothing

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  14. andrew oneill

    I am a celtic supporter
    But forget football stuff for one minute.
    ARE you telling me that rangers werent liquidated in 2112??
    If yes WHO WAS liquidated in 2112.
    Why did servco apply for a license to join the scottish football league then transfer the name to THE rangers international???
    Note they werent relegated
    Why now all of a sudden are rangers saying they were hard done by??
    I would have thought the people that were wrongly done out of their money are the people that are hard done by not forgetting HMRC.
    So it would be safe to say that you all agree that to build up mountains of debt.
    Then liquidate and carry on as if nothing happened will you please form an ordely que and JOIN the real world

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  15. Peter McKinlay

    So, A window cleaner starts his own business called “Billy the window cleaner” but finds out he cant pay his bills and goes into liquidation.He sells the ladders (assets) to his pal who starts up his own window cleaning business called “Bill the window cleaner”.Both companys have similar names however the moral of the story is , same ladders now belonging to a different company with a different name.

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  16. Peter McKinlay

    The new company has taken the old companys customer base,Still a new/different Company .

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    • It matters a lot to you, doesn’t it. I ask myself, why are people so keen to sweep history under the carpet? They say it’s written by the winners – is it discarded by losers?

      Like

  17. Sean O'Kane

    It reads a well balanced piece, although it’s the Scottish Cup semi NOT the Scottish League cup semi. Anyway!! I will put it this way. If i was a Celtic fan, i wouldn’t be interested in what this ‘newco’ was doing, unless Celtic were playing them. If Celtic fans believe this is the 2nd meeting , then fine, that means if they lose to Rangers ( or whatever name they’re calling em this week) it should be viewed only as a bad day at the office. There should be a few disappointed statuses but that’s it , most will have moved on. The inconsistency here is, after a couple of seasons of terrible attendances for ‘The best Team in Scotland’ they’ve all been clamouring like desperate men down the Corn Exchange ( heh heh) for a ticket!! Why? Why do these ‘greatest fans in the world’ make it obvious they’re so desperate for a ticket to watch Celtic play lower league opposition? If they were playing against…. Raith Rovers, Elgin City, Stranraer, Arbroath, Stenhousemuir, East Stirling etc… would their saliva like enthusiasm be as thirsty for a ticket? There can only be one answer and i’m sure all the non Celtic and non Rangers fans know what it already is. One final thing, when FIFA, UEFA, SFA, SKY to name but a few all recognise Rangers FC as the same FOOTBALL club since 1872, there aint too much a £3000 advert can really change , is there? Oh and i’m a Hibernian fan…. btw.

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    • I think it was the League Cup semi in the offing when the article originally appeared. It’s an old article that’s having a revival for some reason – maybe the fact that the Old Firm are due to meet again?

      Like

  18. Peter McKinlay

    Rob , It does not matter one way or another for me , I had a laugh when it all kicked off about 4 years ago but to be honest I got bored of the whole thing after a couple of years.The point I am trying to make is Rangers fans dont want to accept they are a newco and I totally get that. They want to keep a hold of there history. However with Celtic fans being there “rivals” why would they not want to point out that Rangers are not the same Coy.As a prev comment on here stated Lord Nimmo Did hold in Rangers favour however There was an appeal in which another Three Lords (judges) found 2-1 that Rangers where a new co.I also take onboard FiFa recognise them a as a continues club.Who is right ? who is wrong ?,No doubt this will be a debate that will carry on for years.

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    • I can understand them wanting to have a go. But to take an advert out? It smacks of desperation.

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      • its madness to be honest but thats celtic fans for you

        the facts are the sfa, spl, sfl , spfl, the european clubs association, uefa and fifa all recognise us as officially the same club

        lord nimmo and lord glennie stated that club and company can be separated and in rangers case it was

        the asa also recognise us as the same club , along with hmrc, the stock market and every other credible source that has commented

        bdo and duff and phelps who were responsable for the admin and liquidation of oldco both stated that the club was sold from oldco to newco and is the same club

        then we have the various examples of clubs forming new companies to run then, including leeds, luton and about ten other english clubs and well as hearts in scotland in 1905 and continuining on as the same club with the same honours, titles etc

        the only actual evidence the new clubbers can draw on is 4 year old newspaper headlines and various non expert opinions from pundits and ex footballers, most of these people have since changed their mind or the orignal quotes were taken out of context and the same newspapers reported celtic were dead in the early 90s

        peter – a few points no one is denying the club is run by a newco (which means new company)

        and as for your other comment “There was an appeal in which another Three Lords (judges) found 2-1 that Rangers where a new co” – would love to see a link to this as its not something i have seen (newco as already pointed out means new company not new club, im assuming you meant new club?)

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  19. Simple Rob Celtic fans hate Rangers more than they love their own team. There is a certain ironic hypocrisy about the whole thing as all the while the Bheasts were slabbering about financial integrity re Rangers tax avoidence scheme (the legality of which is still undecided) their own players, manager and directors were up to their necks in this Film investment scam, that has been ruled illegal by HMRC.
    Although I think a young inexperienced Rangers team will struggle on Sunday I’ve got the battle fever on and can’t wait for Sunday.

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  20. Rob Celtic fans hate Rangers more than they love their own paedophile harbouring club.
    There is a certain ironic hypocrisy in all of this, as while the Bheasts were slabbering about a lack of financial integrity at Ibrox, re the EBT tax avoidance scheme Rangers employed (which is still undecided) their own players, manager, CEO and directors were using an illegal film investment scam to avoid tax.

    Like

    • I’m a beginner where this particular rivalry is concerned. But what I would like to know, from any Celtic fans reading this is – if the roles were reversed, and it had been a new company taking the name of Glasgow Celtic forwards – would the fans who would stay loyal to that name be ready and willing to have the 1967 European Cup expunged from their history? Frankly, I doubt it.

      Like

  21. John Stewart.

    My old firm ticket awaits your arrival with pleasure if it means reading more of what you write. Excellent article. And that comes from a lifelong bluenose who considers Billy Bremner as an all time legend.
    No Surrender.🇬🇧

    Like

    • You’re very welcome to carry on reading, I always find it flattering that anyone would wish to. Most of it’s just my view on the lows and lowers of following Leeds, but anyone who shows that much respect to King Billy is always welcome. However, I couldn’t bring myself to deny a fanatic his local derby ticket – but I do appreciate the very kind offer!

      MOT

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  22. Rob, thanks for the unbiased slant on this. Refreshing to hear how fans of clubs who’ve gone thru troubled times stick by their club regardless of boards/directors/players/agents etc. All clubs have their closest and deadly rivals but the amount of unbridled hate aimed at Rangers in the last 4 years has been unprecedented, but we’re still here, pushing it all they way till were back to where we belong. I think most LUFC can relate to that.

    Like

  23. Murray Young

    How did the Rangers Celtic game go anyway…..We are back, just need Leeds to do the same now, brothers in adversity.

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  24. Murray Young

    Their bitterness is unmatched, personally I don’t give a toss how Celtic are doing, they are obsessed with Rangers, I just don’t get it, it will always be known as the Old Firm to the rest of the world…lol. Good Luck Rob…MoT !!

    Like

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