Celtic, Rangers and The Old Firm: the Enlightenment of a Leeds Fan – by Rob Atkinson

Old Firm - healthy rivalry?

Old Firm – healthy rivalry?

Following on from yesterday’s Old Firm piece which was provoked by an advert placed by Celtic fans in the Scottish Sunday Herald, I find myself one day on having taken quite a lot on board. I’m somewhat bewildered by the strength of feeling on both sides of the argument, considerably better informed as to the legal position insofar as it defines the status and existence of Glasgow Rangers FC – and not one whit persuaded away from my original position that trying to wish or argue a rival football club out of existence is just plain wrong.

I’ve been accused of many things by those outraged over yesterday’s piece. Some of these people have been Leeds fans – the very last people I would expect to support the idea of football fans wishing the worst that can happen to rivals – to lose their very history. One Leeds guy asked me why I was speaking up for the Rangers end of things “as Leeds have far more links with Celtic”. It’s difficult to know whether to take people seriously at times. Am I really to be guided by the irrelevant fact of which clubs are closest or more nearly linked to my own team?

I should say yet again that I am not a Rangers fan. I’ve never really been able to decide who to back in Old Firm games, but I’ve always watched them for the sheer spectacle. So I’ve tended to hope that whichever team seems currently to be playing the better and more attractive should prevail. I’ve generally enjoyed the blood and thunder of these fixtures. From now on, though, I’ll probably be hoping (vainly, I’m sure, on Sunday) for Rangers success whenever these two meet. I’ve just been so shocked and horrified by the sheer spite and malicious venom displayed by the majority of Celtic fans who responded.

The thing is, I know what it is truly to hate another football club. I find it hard to describe the depths of my loathing for Manchester United. I despise them and all they stand for – I feel they’ve been instrumental in bending our game completely out of shape this past two decades. But wish them out of existence? No, not at all. I want that rivalry, I want them there so that I can carry on hating them. I’ve published articles decrying their debatable achievements since Murdoch bought the game and skewed it in their favour – but I wouldn’t want to be without them. They’re the gift that keeps on giving for someone who relishes a bit of sporting hatred.

So the attitude of so many Celtic fans simply baffles me, as well as leaving me a bit cold. I can’t relate to such dog-in-the-manger lack of empathy with fellow fans, it is alien to me – and I hope to most proper fans of the game. I’m also persuaded by a lot of what I’ve read in an extensive comments thread that not only do Rangers have a tradition and history case for claiming to have survived as a club – this appears to be the legal position too – despite the wishful thinking clung to, against all logic and precedent, by so many Celtic fans.

I hope the Old Firm game tomorrow is a good one. I expect Celtic to win – and it will be interesting to see the fans’ reaction when they score, against what they are claiming is a new club with no history and no tradition of rivalry with the Celts. And yet I’m willing to bet there’s not a ticket to be had with a sold-out Celtic allocation – and that they’ll celebrate with joyful abandon any goals scored against a team they now deny makes up the Old Firm of glorious tradition.

Hypocrisy, a lack of feeling for the game and what it means to be a fan – and rank, vicious hatred not just for Rangers FC, but for their history and the fact that they have out-performed Celtic over the century-plus of the Scottish League. That sums up what I’ve gleaned of the green and white psyche this past twelve hours or so. It’s not something I’d have thought anyone could be proud of – whereas everything I’ve heard from Rangers fans has rung with pride and passion – despite their long fall and slow climb back.

Enjoy the match tomorrow, may the best team win. And may we have many more Old Firm games in the future.

105 responses to “Celtic, Rangers and The Old Firm: the Enlightenment of a Leeds Fan – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Gerry Boland

    Celtic fans are not wishing Rangers out of existence , they went out of existance when they were liquidated. Scottish football want them to accept this and not just behave as though it never happened .


    • Rangers were the victims of criminal activity and you will be well aware of the pending court case . You know that Rangers financial difficulties were totally connected to a tax claim by HMRC which the courts ruled against and then also threw out their appeal. Yet you want Rangers supporters to accept they went out of existence when every legal and sporting body tell them that is not the case.


      • Simply not true Mendes. Rangers were in hoc to Lloyds Bank for £25-30m and had admitted tax liability in the Wee Tax Case and even in the Big Tax Case (currently the tax man is appealing) found in favour of HMRC for some of the charges.


      • Jocky , I am sure the Leeds fans don’t want to read the boring chapter and verse legal stories and financial argument. If they are interested there are many dedicated sites set up by obsessed Celtic supporters where you pour over every last detail of The Rangers story. You know the ones, where they know more about the facts than Rangers supporters, Tax Directors and Judges.

        For the purposes of keeping it brief I was makings the point that the Rangers problems did not come from …..we owe the tax people hundreds of millions and now we cannot afford to pay because we spent all our money on trying to beat Celtic .

        David Murray had lost interest due to the wider economic problems in business. He could not sell the club which as you say had a modest and easily manageable debt for a club with our revenue streams. The problem was the over inflated media hyped potential penalty should we have lost the tax case – figures close on £200m were openly banded about in the media. No sane person would buy a club thinking they could get stung for that figure. Instead we were sold to someone who seen the opportunity to make a fast buck. That gentleman will be facing the courts very soon unless as I hope he declares he was only the patsy for the real brains behind the scam. That is the person I and every Rangers supporter want in the dock.

        Does it not seem strange that the tax people settled with most of the EPL clubs, they even moved on from your own players EBT yet they took Rangers to court and lost. They appealed and lost. They have appealed again. Is it because they wanted to make an example of Rangers and send a message or murkier than that.


  2. ‘whereas everything I’ve heard from Rangers fans has rung with pride and passion – despite their long fall and slow climb back.’

    For a club steeped in right wing sectarian bigotry you seem to warm to their fans so easily, perhaps this explains your stance. The Celtic support will rejoice a victory because it will be against ‘The People’ no mater which version of the club ‘The People’ are there to support.


    • Both teams are steeped in sectarian bigotry, its why I like to see both of them loose.


      • Which is why I fucking love Leeds so much, lads I go with, half of us are catholic, other half are c of e or Methodist or Pentecostal or whatever. But none of us give a fuck about what religion we are, we are brothers In arms.


      • LOSE!


  3. Reblogged this on All about the blue and commented:
    Obsessed vitriol is an eye opener for Leeds fan.


  4. The thing your forgetting is that for a lot of the fans of both clubs. (Unfortunately the ones who are most likely to reply to an article like yesterdays) there’s more to the hatred than just supporting different teams. It’s a sectarian hatred that’s drummed into a lot of people from their birth. I know a lot of people who have this pre programmed dislike of the opposition because that’s just always been the way. On top of that you have the perception that rangers and their fans hold the belief that they are better than any others in Scotland. Entitled to success and unwilling to admit that they bought and paid for trophies for about 2 decades with money they didn’t have through excessive loans and avoiding tax. They argue that this was done to them by the powers that be and that they were harshly treated and ‘relegated’ or ‘dumped out of the league’. These view points irk more than just Celtic fans as there was no relegation. The team were liquidated. Someone else bought their assets started a new team and applied to join the league setup. This is a demonstrable fact the new team and the old team held fa registrations at the same time. Now whether this was a new top team at a club which can never die as its fans that make a club as you say or a brand new club applying to join the set up is a pointless discussion as fans of either persuasion will never agree on the issue. I’m not interested in arguing about the soul of a club and the continuity of their history as it doesn’t effect what happens in the next game they play or remove the excitement of any game. but the reason a lot of people won’t let this go is the refusal of most of their fans to accept that any of this was brought on the club by the club And lack of any kind of shame about that.They’re the same club when it comes to the benefits of being so and they’re not when there are none to be had. The history books show that Celtic won 9 in a row and rangers won 9 in a row. You will never change anyone’s oppinion on the validity of the equivalency of these two acchievements. And that’s a big sore point too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The club is separate from the holding company,when the club transferred into the hands of sevco the old company had not been liquidated therefore there was no broken timeline


      • hearts man

        The players who walked away after the club died, did they not have contracts with the club? Was their contracts with the holding company? Think about it if it is not beyond you ,they were able to walk away because their contracts ended when the club was liquidated. If their contracts where with the “holding company ” and not the club the SFA should have acted on this.


      • Tyneside No1

        Pay the creditors then, right down to the cleaners and the paper lad


    • You outline a lot of prevalent misconceptions rather eloquently, but they are, nonetheless, misconceptions.


  5. «but for their history and the fact that they have out-performed Celtic over the century-plus of the Scottish League”. You obviously do not have a clue about the history of Scottish football with a statement like that.


  6. Same flies, different turd.


  7. ‘I can’t relate to such dog-in-the-manger lack of empathy with fellow fans, it is alien to me’.

    They wanted us dead in the 90s when we were on the brink so we celebrated when they died in 2012. Also a club and a company are legally entwined under Scots law.


  8. well Rob,

    you seem bemused as to why celtic fans hate rangers

    you are either being delibratley stupid

    ranger are renowned as having a sectarian emplyment policy anti-catholic for many many years
    their fans sing songs-
    -supporting the murder of catholics
    – seeking ethnic cleansing of irish people
    – the biggest sales of BNP magazinges every 2 weeks are at ibrox
    – theyare a right wing facists

    and your disengenuios support of them suggests to me latent sympahties

    a plague on both of your houses


    • What an unbelievable statement! I don’t support either of them, but my friend gave up his season ticket at Celtic recently, as he just couldn’t take the sick songs about the beheading of Lee Rigby anymore. I saw them play against Inverness once, & at half time their fans unfurled 3 massive banners with people with balaclavas & revolvers on them, & then proceeded to sing about Bobby Sands! What’s that got to do with football then? Give me a rendition of We Are Leeds any day!


      • Never heard a Lee Rigby song at Celtic game. There will be some pro Republican songs at the game I am sure. These are not illiegal. Songs that are racist or sectarian or glorify terrorists of either side are illegal and the police have been briefed on those.


    • Take the blinkers off you clown! Celtic fans fined for displaying banner of IRA member Bobby Sands i.e. A convicted terrorist! I am sure you will hear a number of pro IRA songs tomorrow as well!


      • Not sure if that’s aimed at me “anon” but the main songs i heard to day were the NewGers fans singing the racist (deemed as such in court) “famine song” telling the Irish to go home. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good old bigoted singsong.

        Given the bizarre accusations on here, i do hope Rob continues to give us Celts the right of reply…


    • Ha ha ha,you don’t do irony do you.Celtic had a board policy that spanned 106 years,ask Jock Stein.
      Celtic park was closed for a month in the 40’s due to their support for Nazi Germany’

      I could go on especially re.songs but I want to apologise to Rob.
      Sorry you have to read all this but I need to defend my club or at least remind Celtic fans that they’re not the Angels they would have you believe.

      They are trying to rewrite history and law,they cannot handle the fact rangers have retained their titles and history.they really are the most hateful support in british football

      It’s a shame a Leeds fan has to endure this crap.good luck to the whites


    • Eddie , I lived and worked in scotland for 5 yrs and attened both ibrox and celtic park , every time I went to celtic park I was stopped in the car park and asked to make a contribution to the “cause” , so what is the difference in what you are saying and the murder of brits ? Now before you accuse me of siding with anyone , im a life long leeds fan and just wanted to attend two great scottish grounds , I also went to hampden park v france and had to sit for 90 mins while most of the ground sang stand up if you hate england but that another story


    • eddie, this kind of nonsense makes you look like the bigot. Some of the bitterest people in the game are cetlic fans, as Rob has recently discovered.

      Your own fans frequently racially abuse Rangers players, online or in stadiums, from Mark Walters in the 80s and on an industrial scale to Diouf in 2011, yet claim some moral high ground as you glorify the terrorist murderers of the IRA.

      Your own club started with a sectarian signing policy

      It’s all boring stuff that we’ve been over before and it’s more and more a thing of the past. I fit into none of your stereotypes, but you certainly come across as a hateful and bigoted person.

      Why can’t we move on and start talking about the football? Why is there always this deranged obsessive nonsense from your lot?

      It’s 2015 for God’s sake and we’ve got more to moan about than you lot given recent years, but somehow you’re the victim?

      I don’t get this mass insanity that so many of your colleagues share with you. Don’t you see that you’re becoming everything you claim you hate?

      You have no moral high ground.

      Neutral people can see that. It all looks rather silly and embarrassing.


      • Rangers banned some of their own fans for racist abuse aimed at their own Mark Walters. And this was a generation ago. All clubs have their own shameful incidents from back then; as for Diouf well spitting in the faces of Celtic fans is hardly going to endear you to them, though clearly racist abuse cannot be tolerated and it wasn’t. The fan abusing Diouf was jailed and banned from games for 5 years.


    • Robs very lefty, an old labour type


    • And Celtic fans are squeaky clean of course…Hatred, racism and sectarian bigotry spews from the stands at Parkhead every second week….IRA sympathisers t oa man.


  9. Well written, there comes a point when the ’90 minute’ hatred ends and normal civility re-instates itself.I applaud the nature of this article. I am a Rangers fan and shareholder and I am disgusted with many things in the world at the moment. Most of these thing have some true importance, terrorism, hate crimes, the list goes on. but football is a game and for a petty hated filled few (such as the authors of this Celtic article published in the Herald) to add more hate for the sake of it is beyond me. It wasn’t so long ago that Celtic themselves were on the brink of being no more- their memories are very short but at no point did we go after them in such a distasteful way, after their club was ‘renamed’/’reborn’.

    You will find the green bile flowing through this page soon, as per the comments from Tommy and Gerry ( and these guys were no too bad) and it is really embarrassing that these people call themselves football fans, the facts : Rangers are the most successful side in Glasgow and Scottish Football – we hold more wins and more trophies (115 trophies won by Rangers vs 96 won by Celtic). A fact stuck very firmly in the throats of those that continue to pursue the ‘SEVCO’ route. An admission by them on all counts that the only way they will better Rangers FC (in the short term) is by pretending they are not the same club. Something which is making the whole club a laughing stock

    I too think Celtic will win tomorrow, or at least they really should, but I will never not support my club win or lose. 3rd division or premiership.

    Will these fans want their managers head IF they do lose to Rangers tomorrow -absolutely, the pressure is all on them and they are obviously feeling it.


  10. Remember the AOL days of the old firm fans eh Rob 😉


    • Dave! Certainly do mate.


    • ‘It wasn’t so long ago that Celtic themselves were on the brink of being no more- their memories are very short but at no point did we go after them in such a distasteful way, after their club was ‘renamed’/’reborn’.

      Celtic didn’t go into administration or liquidation so you couldn’t go after us. Rangers went bust trying to emulate Celtics European cup success spending money that wasn’t theirs (and refused to pay it back)
      How many scottish league cups equal a European cup win? Whatever the numbers you mention Celtic will overtake old and new Rangers combined unless that is a billionaires ales over Rangers,,,oh wait!.


  11. Jim Schofield

    Rangers were not liquidated, they were bought out of administration and that’s where the story ends, the old company has still not been liquidated

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s just not true or possible.


    • Chucky R Law

      Sevco Scotland Ltd was formed on 29 March 2012 [30] as a means for Charles Green to acquire the assets of Rangers FC. Sevco Scotland Ltd (subsequently renamed The Rangers Football Club Ltd) was formed to ensure that if the formation of a new company was required in the event of a CVA being rejected, then the Club’s corporate entity would be a Scottish registered company as it has always been. When the CVA failed the assets of The Rangers Football Club Plc (subsequently renamed RFC 2012 plc) were then sold for £5.5 million.[31][32][33]

      On 14 June 2012, the HMRC’s formal rejection of the proposed CVA[34] meant that the company would enter the liquidation process.[35] The accountancy firm BDO were appointed to reveal why the company running the club failed.[36][37]

      Sevco Scotland Ltd acquired Ibrox Stadium and Murray Park on 14 June 2012 after the rejection of a proposed CVA meant that RFC 2012 plc would enterliquidation,[38] along with various other assets including intellectual property, goodwill and various contracts.[39][40] An application to transfer the Scottish Premier League membership from the ‘oldco’ to the ‘newco’ was rejected on a 10–1 vote.[41] Thereafter, an application to the Scottish Football League was successful with Rangers securing associate membership and a place in the 4th tier of Scottish Football, Division 3, for the 2012–13 season.[42][43] Agreement was reached on the transfer of SFA membership, with the new company accepting a number of conditions relating to the old company.[44] The club also awaits the conclusion of an investigation of alleged rule breaking by use of dual contracts by Rangers over the period 2001 to 2010.[45] Former Rangers owner David Murray has denied any cheating took place during his stewardship.[20]

      As a result of Rangers’ “assets, business and history” being sold to a new company when The Rangers Football Club Plc (subsequently renamed as RFC 2012 plc) entered the liquidation process, the extent to which Rangers can be regarded as a continuation of the club officially founded in 1872 has been interpreted differently.[46] Rangers Football Club has been described by some in the mainstream media as a “new club”,[47][48] whilst Chief Executive Charles Green has maintained “this is still Rangers”,

      Charlie Big “ands” Green ran off with circa 75 Million of those mugs money. It’s a tragic-comedy that is still ongoing!! .


      • Chucky

        Rangers FC were bought as a going concern through a business and asset sale. The business is the Football Club. The CVA was rejected on 14th June and a few hours later Sevco Scotland Ltd (now RFC Ltd) completed the purchase of the club. The Oldco remained a dormant company in ADMIN for four months until 31st October 2012 when a judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh granted the winding up order and BDO were appointed as Liquidators. The company is still in existence today as it has not yet been wound up due to ongoing Police Investigations into Craig Whyte’s original takeover and his subsequent running it into Admin.


        Rangers FC never ceased to exist at any time, despite your wishful thinking. Years of being 2nd best in Scotland have really messed with your head haven’t they! Celtic fans are so consumed by what is happening at Ibrox that they don’t realise that their own club has downsized massively due to not having Rangers there as competition. The rest of the teams in the SPFL have not improved, it’s Celtic who have got worse.

        You may win tomorrow but how do you celebrate it? Do you brag about beating a so-called “New Club” going through turbulent times, or do you celebrate it like you did any other Celtic win against Rangers? Simply because you KNOW it’s the same Rangers that Celtic have been in the shadow of for the last 127 years


    • Factually correct, but totally irrelevant to some of the disbelieving respondents.


  12. I would really like for you to point out the inaccuracies in last Sunday’s article to me please, I sat with a corporate lawyer this week, in Leeds as a matter of fact as its where I live and he stated there is no inaccuracies in the article. I really look forward to your reply so I can let him know that all these years he has been practise Law that he hasn’t really got any clue what he is talking about, and if he does have any questions in future speak to the man who writes a blog about Leeds Utd.


    • Look elsewhere in the comments, some of the nice Rangers fans have posted the answers you seek. I hope this helps you and your confused lawyer friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah as I am sure they all have degrees in Corporate Law


      • Why are you so desperate for Rangers not to exist? Most of you anxious Bhoys seem pretty stressed about this, and it seems to say something about you all. Running scared, perhaps.


    • Some Celtic supporters have became so obsessed with Rangers they have lost touch with reality. I don’t doubt for a second that Joe sat with a corporate lawyer checking the advert. So many have taken their knowledge on tax law, liquidation, administration to levels most bored accountants can only aspire to. In the meantime while they study law they have forgotten to attend football. Their attendances have halved, all their decent players have moved on and they are managed by a guy I would need do to google before I could type his name.


  13. Opensecrets

    Another good read rob,in fairness it’s not all celtic fans that feel that way about Rangers yes they hate us but the pure evil in some of the rest of their support beggars belief,they are haunted by Rangers every second of the day,they hate the fact that we survived a hmrc witch hunt that could yet see lots of people going to jail,but they also hate the fact that we will always be bigger and more successful than them,they reek of jealousy they know the only they could surpass our records if for them to try this pathetic tactic which has failed on every turn,I thank you rob as these nut cases are rabid they live and breath Rangers 24/7,you have found your self some new friends in the Rangers support and when we get back to where we should be you will recieve an invite up to ibrox for an old firm mate keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pink Floyd

    Remember Woolworths, they were liquidated. done, finished,gone, no more, The company’s occupying their old shops are somebody else, they are not Woolworths. The old Rangers were liquidated, the new Rangers are not the same, as they were liquidated.


  15. You will never beat them mate,they will hound you ,pester you,abuse you,they will lie and lie and lie

    They will re-write history

    If you dare argue with them you will be accused of having a sinister agenda against them.

    They are almost the establishment in Scotland now


  16. My My Eddie..

    Celtic fans …ANGELS…..
    I dont know where to start and to be honest Im not going to
    Just watch hundreds if not thousands of them standing in the stand constant crossing(blessing) themselves , what for yup to so-called wind-up Rangers fans, not realising they are making a mockery of their own religion. You can cross yourselves as much as you want, to be honest I couldnt care, Im well past by caring. Shame on your club but more importantly the religion you profess to follow!!


  17. The gift that keeps on giving

    Maybe IF big words like ‘Liquidation’ weren’t used you might get it Rob. Look it up in your union jack bound lexicon.


    • That’s so cutting, I could almost care.


      • the hmrc ‘witch hunt’ Was a genuine contention in court which they pursued with several football clubs down south also. The club was avoiding tax like many others. They didn’t just decide to single out rangers with no reason.

        Starbucks avoid tax and everyone is outraged but football teams do it and they shouldn’t be questioned?


  18. ROB,
    I just took a few moments to read the offending article and after just one paragraph it shot itself in the foot.
    What matters is the fans and how they feel, history, tradition etc. We are LEEDS and always will be, Rangers will always be Rangers and Celtic will always be Celtic so long as there are real fan’s of the clubs left.
    It’s as simple as that and legalities can go to hell.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. You know, if they get a favourable scoreline tomorrow, I expect a whole load of them will drop this newco nonsense.

    Thanks for bringing a more impartial perspective on the issue, and I’m sorry that you got dragged into this nonsense.

    This has been our existence since our rivals discovered the internet.

    Personally, I was hoping that we could have used the events of recent years to escape the small-minded goldfish bowl that is the Scottish football culture. That may have been unrealistic, but fighting back to resume this tedious nonsense is a bit deflating.

    But they’ll never sour my love for Rangers. It’s all about the football for me and I will never give up on my Club. Small minded zealots matter not a jot.


  20. Wilkins' screamer

    thankyou Mr Atkinson for showing celtic fans for what they are.

    It needs to be exposed.

    you get used to it after a while but it still is pathetic.

    they will always be green with jealousy.

    good luck to leeds.


  21. The reason that Celtic fans are wanting rid off the Old firm tag and the association with them, keeps getting missed. It is simply because we have moved on. I have watched Northern Ireland try to to break down the barriers, that’s one of the reasons Celtic and the old rfc are getting less support over there, they have had enough too. Rangers and their supporters have kept it going so much so they only signed there first open catholic in the 90’s, the 90’s for f@ck sake. When they were liquidated and they were, many Celtic supporters saw it as an end to the bigotry at long last. Only to see with the aid of the Scottish MSM their corpse reanimated. When they died, and they did, they the fans had a chance to reclaim a club free from all the hatred for the Irish and Catholics, but they chose not too, they carried on. We on the other hand are sick of it all, but every time we try to close that chapter we have people like yourself who don’t understand what its like. We had just this very week one of the rag red tops telling everybody that they had a list from the police of banned songs, but because it did not contain any vile celtic songs they made one up called the ibrox disaster song, which has caused anger from many supporters as no one had even heard of it never mind sung it. Turns out the police did not even give the paper a list, and that was made up too. The point I am trying to make is, we are made to look as bad as them at every turn and dragged into every thing they do wrong. We no longer want anything to do with them no more old firm!


    • Really, mate. Get a life.

      All your “facts” are wrong and you, like many of your ilk, show yourself up to be the real bigot.

      I never went out of my way to grab the moral high ground, but your pathetic attempts to do just that leave you looking like the small minded and bitter ones.

      Some of you are actually grown men in your 40s, 50s and 60s and all this nonsense is more indicative of an immature teenager who hates the world.

      Grow up, move on, and let’s, for once in Scotland, let us focus on the football in a way more apt for the 21st century.


      • m1kksbhoy

        We have moved on cant you read! Get over yourself, why are you so desperate to hang on. Dont you get it. If its no big deal disassociate yourself with us that’s all we want. The league this year has been the most competitive it has been for years and crowds are up. Why, because we are all playing within the rules and spending within our limits. And no bombs or bullets in the post either, that’s apt for the 21st century. As for “all your facts are wrong” wtf are you talking about! Anger and denial are signs that you may be working through this breakup we can talk again when you reach acceptance.


    • It would be wrong of me to point out the obvious flaw in your argument regarding Rangers signing policy so let’s fast forward to Mo Johnston. That had always been the argument that although there had been others it had to a “proper one” . So Mo arrives and it all changed no more problems with the signing policy so what would happen next. Well you wanted more as one was just a token gesture. They arrived by the plane load . Captains, managers , star signings, youth signings and even dud signings. You then wanted a Southern IRish RC as we never had one of them. We never had a Hungarian , Ugandan or Kenyan one either however that didn’t trouble you so much. The strange thing is we did actually have one Irishman as reserve goalkeeper however just to keep you happy we got another good Dublin boy. The strange thing is when the team takes the field tomorrow the 25k in Blue won,t know or care what religion any of the players are on either side. Can you say the same about the all inclusive Celtic FC. Will you think it is great that a player like Jon Daly is at Rangers or will he be your number one target for your sectarian hatred.


      • m1kksbhoy

        LOL “openly catholic” they used to hide it, Alex Ferguson left because of the treatment his wife got, its in his book. Kenny Dalglish, Davie Provan, Murdo Mcleod, DannyMcGrain, Willie Wallace some of our greats were all rangers and prod. We have always signed for ability even our current captain Broony has an RFC tattoo on his ankle. As our greatest protestant manger said in the 60’s “Jock, if there were two players, one Catholic and one Protestant. Who would you sign?”
        “The Protestant”
        “Because I know that Rangers would never sign the Catholic.”
        Mendes you are talking Baws man.


      • Alex Ferguson was sold because he wasn’t good enough. You and I both know that despite some of the players you name they are never totally accepted. What was the job you offered your greatest ever manager ? Running the lottery. I think the phrase you use internally and externally to describe it is not being “celtic minded”.


  22. Tyneside No1

    I think all Celtic supporters accept Rangers however as some have previously said , Oid Firm , no more.


  23. They stole the food out of sick childrens mouths, to pay millionair football players they could not afford.

    Tell me I lie.


    • Yes, this is a well used line in Scotland.

      Rangers for several years along with many EPL teams used EBT,s which was basically a tax loophole. The government eventually changed the rules and it ceased. They then attempted to retrospectively penalise clubs who had used this system even though it was perfectly legal when it was used. To cut a long story short HMRC failed in their case against Rangers. They appealed and failed again. They are now appealing again.

      Celtic also used EBT’s however this never gets mentioned. The preferred method at Celtic was an avoidance scheme linked to movies. The basis seems to be that you link yourself to a failing movie company and you can then write off a partion of those losses against your tax. That could be over simplifying things however I don’t have the desire to read up on it.

      So Rangers denied sick children the opportunity to recover and Celtic propped up the movie industry. Probably to help those sick children in their hour of need.


  24. I think that this image of a celtci fan preparing for his big day tells you much about their continued obsession.


  25. This nonsense that rangers never signed an RC player do my head in , if you say something often enough you’ll believe it. Here’s one for that all inclusive family club to dwell on. When jock stein stepped down as manager of Celtic he was offered a directors position , but not on the Celtic football club board actually on the board of Celtic pools the reason being he was a Protestant . And that is the reason he left Celtic and joined Leeds utd. Imagine that your greatest ever manager wouldn’t be bestowed with such an honour because of his religion .
    Celtic football club offended by everything , imbarrased by nothing!


  26. It always amazes and perplexes me as to the obsession by Celtic fans in all things Rangers!
    It is a pity they don’t take more notice of their song ‘if you know their history’ for if they did they would find that the manager who gave them their glory years was refused any position on the Parkhead board due to him being a Protestant?
    Fascism, Racism and Bigotry has always been alive and well in the East End of the city, go to any Celtic pub or game and that will sadly only be confirmed!
    Deflect, Deny and Lie, it’s the Celtic way!


    • You know for sure that was the reason right? Your club didnt sign a “high profile” Catholci for what 80 years? Whilst Stein – our greatest manager – a protestant, Dalglish one of our best strikers? A protestant. Danny McGrain wasn’t even given a trial because Danny was deemed a Catholic name, one of our, and indeed Scotland’s greatest captains, defenders, players of all time? Catholic. Gie’s peace with your nonsense.


  27. Nith Valley

    There really is no debate here, the only people’s opinion that matters is the football governing bodies and they have confirmed that Rangers Football Club continues as the same football club that was founded in 1872 with all it’s history intact. Others may have a different opinion on this but their opinion is totally irrelevant, it’s only the governing bodies opinion that counts. As a proud Scotsman, I have always been of the opinion that Geoff Hurst’s second goal in the 1966 World Cup FInal shouldn’t have counted but the people that mattered said it was a goal so it will remain as a goal in the history books forever just like Rangers Football Club formed in 1872 will continue forever unless the football governing bodies say otherwise.


  28. Bob the Builder

    Rangers were sold prior to liquidation, by the administrator who deemed the new company bought ‘the whole, or substantially the whole business’ for £5.5m. If this is not the case then the trading name cannot be transferred. It was. Rangers trading name is still Rangers FC, always has been. All the assets and customers details were sold (the debts obviously were discarded, except the footballing debt, which the new company undertook to pay). The same fans got the same seats in the stadium, some held for over 30 years.

    Rangers situation is not unique. Cadbury’s is over 200 years old, according to their own website, however cadbury’s but were bought by Nestle then de-merged into Mondelez.
    A dairy milk is still a dairy milk to me, and I have never heard of mondelez. The old cadbury’s company no longer exists. Therefore are we seriously saying Cadbury’s are not Cadbury’s?

    Oddbins founded 1963 was liquidated in 2011 however the business was sold prior to liquidation and continues to trade as oddbins ….

    Only the obsessed Celtic fans (not all are obsessed, most accept the continuation) peddle a conspiracy theory. The reality is, if the brand has value, it will be sold and continue. The same would apply for Volkswagen, Apple, Google or Rolex.

    Over the years no one will care, and the SFA, SPFL and UEFA have confirmed Rangers continue as the same club …


  29. Just to tidy up some of the misinformation posted here by the great unwashed, the whole myth regarding rangers didn’t sign Catholics and mojo was the first…

    Catholics who signed for Rangers before Johnston include, before the end of World War I: Pat Lafferty (1886), Tom Dunbar (1891–1892), J Tutty (1899–1900), Archie Kyle (1904–1908), Willie Kivlichan (1906–1907), Colin Mainds (1906–1907), Tom Murray (1907–1908), William Brown (1912), Joe Donnachie (circa.1914–1918) and John Jackson (1917). Thereafter, Catholic players prior to Mo Johnston’s signing include: Laurie Blyth (1951–1952), Don Kitchenbrand (1955–1956), Hugh O’Neill (1976), John Spencer (1985–1992)

    That’s correct back in 1886, thats 2 years before the founding of celtic 1888, rangers signed they’re FIRST catholic player.

    Rangers, More trophys than any other club in the world
    Rangers, More League Titles than any other club in the world

    ^^^ This is the reason for the vile hatred, Delcan just deal with it.
    Celtic FC Scotlands Shame


  30. Clearly as you explain from the get-go, Leeds Utd has had more than its own share of financial problems and in truth they were caused in the same way – debt burden building, securitised ticket sales and so in. I can understand why you would sympathise with Rangers plight, and tbh as a Celtic fan I do sympathise. We were hours away from administration ourselves 20 years ago, but sorted out our own financial problems 20 years ag. We were incredibly lucky with how that played out – fans’ pressure group Celts for Change put the old board under pressure,Fergus McCann and some other “loyal” Celtic fans acted to prevent Celtic BEFORE it went bankrupt – they acted as guarantors, bought the shares off existing shareholders and sorted the bank debt out and all creditors were paid in fuill. The club and company are uninterrrupted. They then recapitalised, rebuilt the stadium and floated as a plc where it has been ever since.

    Let’s be clear, Celtic suffered their travails during that period which, go figure, was the period Rangers win their 9 titles in a row. Celtic were as low as 5th in the league back then but I don’t remember anyone worrying about Celtic’s future, rather the Rangers fans in the street and in the press delighted in our penury and there were constant gags about “the biscuit tin” which is where Celtic’s transfer kitty was held. Fergus McCann was likened to Saddam Hussein by the same tabloid rag that parked a hearse outside our ground as a photo-opportunity. The Rangers fans’ triumphalism was grating to us of course but it was well deserved – they won the league nine straight years. What no-one appreciated at the time was that they were doing it through bank debt and financial chicanery. It turns out that even the money David Murray used to buy the club was borrowed from the Bank of Scotland! Make no mistake Murray is to blame for Rangers problems – he racked up incredible debts, entered into dodgy tax deals (Rangers admitted liability in the Wee Tax Case, the Big Tax Case is still under appeal) and it was he who sanctioned the disastrous sale to Craig Whyte for £1, which ended in liquidation. No millionaire Rangers fans “did a Fergus” and bailed their club out.

    If they had sorted administraton, they would have taken a points hit and either stayed up or still had guys under contract and would have come sraight back up – but they liquidated, players walked away for free because the club they had contracts with no longer existed, and the club had to reapply to join in the third division (again this wouldn’t have been needed if it was the same club!).

    Some of the assets, valued by administrators at over £120m were bought for £5.5m by Green, including Ibrox which had been valued alone at over £100m in the Murray regime to keep things apparently solvent.

    The ongoing shenanigans in the boardroom, in the press and in the stands are well documented as is the fact that Rangers were STILL burning three quarters of a million every month in the third and second divisions. Rather than sort finances out they have not learned ANY lessons and I think that is what rankles with most Scottish football fans. But also lets be clear, this has not be the promed “armageddon” – attendances at all clubs except Celtic have held up or increased, we’ve seen teams like St Johnstone win trophies and reach Europe, and teams have really focused on managing their finances. In truth, other than Rangers (duh) Celtic is the club that has been hurt financially the most by the problems at Ibrox. But still many Celtic fans, myself included, feel that is a price worth paying to clean up Scottish football’s finances.


  31. Hi Rob,

    Nice and refreshing to see a Leeds supporters viewpoint. I think Leeds fans like yourself more than most can relate to whats happening at Rangers. From the highs of Champions League semi finals to lows of League One you support your club in the good times and the bad, both clubs have had their fair share of dodgy owners which the fans can do absolutely nothing about.

    One thing I think today and yesterdays blog has done has maybe opened your eyes to the extent of the hatred within Scottish football. There’s idiots on both sides tbh, i’d like to think they are in their minority though.

    However, I’d like to commend you regarding your listening to the facts and making your own mind up. Everyone has their own opinion and the right to that opinion.

    All the best to the Mighty Leeds in the future!



  32. So far no one has mentioned the cover up of child abuse at Parkhead that went on for decades. ( Jim Torbett and associates). They call us (Rangers). “Scotland’s shame”. Rangers were found not guilty of cheating but we’re still punished as if they were. But if you mention the child abuse that Celtic were guilty of. They reply in a way that’s seems to imply that you are worse than the paedophiles that committed the crimes or their club that covered it up. Add to that the fact they are brought up in a country that provided their grandparents with a home and work when they came here to escape the famine. But their poor hearts long for home and they despise this country. Their religion is their crutch and the education system and segregation of schools teaches the bigotry from birth. Celtic were formed by a priest, apparently to keep the starving from using Protestant soup kitchens. Of Course they are terrorist supporters, not just ira but also some of the oddball Palestinian terrorists. They decry us for remembering our dead from the wars, you won’t see them wearing poppies, and it’s quite ironic they call us “Huns”. As their ira heroes had strong ties with Germany during both wars. The Irish flag above Parkhead tells you everything you need to know really, or if you were at a football match they are playing in, you will. Hear the ira songs see the flags and banners you will feel the hate they have for the country they were born in, brought up educated and live in. Welcome to Celtic. We call them the “kid on Oirish” It’s a shame when you think how much they love and miss their old country, the majority having never seen it. It’s only an hour away by Easyjet. As I said, welcome to Celtic, anyone who wants them is welcome to them.


    • They did, we know you guys bring this in at any opportunity.

      Most normal people would think it sick to use abuse of children to score points here “my friend”. If that’s your view you have lost the argument before it was begun. I hope the moderator of this site has a higher moral frame than you.

      As for the “go home” arguments that’s been used against all sorts of immigrants in thto the UK: Indians, Caribbeans, Eastern Europeans, Jews, et al – used by all sorts to keep “their country” pure. What’s your view on the transplantation of protestant Scots and Northern English into seized lands in Northern Ireland? Should they “go home” too?

      As for Catholic schools, I live in England, there is, I believe as many Catholic schools in the Birmingham metro area as there is in Scotland, it’s certainly the biggest “private sector” educator in the USA – do they have the same issues with “sectarianism” as the West Coast of Scotland? I’ll give you a hint. No. Maybe WE Scots should look at ourselves rather than blame immigrants?


  33. Rob ur a ranger. Stick up for the team u support fair enough but admit u support them.that article Is garbage. Celtic have played by the rules for their entire history rangers did not and that’s why they are now Sevco and they’re gonna get pumped tomorrow.


    • You think you know best, just get on with it.


    • Leeds – did Celtic play by the rules when the signed Juninho using the same EBT scheme that their support slaughter Rangers for. Did they play by the rules when we got to the UEFA final and asked for an extension to the season to avoid playing four games in one week. I think your CEO said that you were going on a Far East tour and couldn’t agree. Did those matches ever take place ? What about the game you got cancelled following the death of a player who had left you years previously. If you can’t remember it then it was when you were in the middle of an injury crisis. Remember the qame where you had to beat our score to win the league and your star striker accused the team we beat at home 6-1 of cheating while his team mates accused the goalkeeper of the team you were beating 4-0 at the same time away from home of trying to hard. I think you even missed a penalty that day. What about when you caused a referee strike in Scotland and we had to import refs from Europe because you said they were all cheats. Oh you play by the rules all right. That’s why you ran to the SFA to try and get titles and trophies stripped from us so that you could jump from our shadows. You knew the rules all right when you got the Swiss team thrown out of Europe who had just humped you and then a few years later your knowledge of the rules came to the fore again when Legia had to get thrown out of the CL after also humping you because a player they had assumed had served a suspension played two minutes when they were 6-1 up on aggregate. Remember a few weeks later when you signed the guy on loan and you went to the SPL and said I know we signed him late however it is just a technicality …..don’t be sticking to them rules.

      Playing by the rules…..pass the sick bucket.


      • If it’s OK with you, I’d like to quote this in full for a separate blog piece 👍


      • Yes no problem and I am sorry that you have had to read through what we have to live with week after week. You end up with two choices as a Rangers supporter , ignore or defend . Generally I try and do the former as they do tend to over react when challenged.


      • Brian Quinn, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, arrived as Chairmand of Celtic and IMMEDIATELY noted Celtic’s use of one EBT, edned it, notified HMRC and Celtic paid the tax owed withour being asked by the taxman.

        The strike WE caused? Because a referee changed his decision (in a game we won btw) and browbeat the linesman to back his story? The linesman blew the whistle (sic) but never worked again i think, the head of Scottish referees subsequently resigned from the pressure of “Dougie Dougie gate” and his posting of an anti-Catholic cartoon from his SFA email account. His son referees Scottish football matches including Celtic games. Funnily enough, the referee selected for this game today was a formerRangers season ticket holder until somebody realised that was a dumb idea. Was that our fault too?

        Also Celtic didn’t have anyone thrown out of any European competition, UEFA did that all by themselves. FC Sion were told by UEFA beforehand not to play the 5 (!) ineligible players they hand on their books but they played them anyway. What happened to them (and Legia Warsaw) were those teams own fault for not sticking to the rules, remember them? They are written down before the season starts and are available to all teams. It ain’t rocket science.

        Feel free to run a blog post on any of these subjects Rob (hey it’s your site!) but might I suggest a wee bit of due diligence before doing so?


      • If we can for a minute get back to my original point – I wrote about the grotesque actions of a bunch of fans seeking to deny the existence of rivals going back well over a century, the longest standing derby rivalry in the world and, you’d have thought, something to be proud of. To actually take out an ad in a newspaper, wishing the Old Firm out of existence, struck me as hideous and bizarre. What would your grand daddies say, Bhoys?? For the rest – all the legal shenanigans and who’s done what to whom – I don’t really care and I’ve mostly left that for you to squabble over among yourselves. The better team won at Hampden; now any true football fan should be looking forward to the next Old Firm match.


  34. Fact for you Leeds, if indeed you really are a Whites Fan, Celtic Captain Billy McNeil admitted the abuse of children at Celtic Park was and I quote word for word AN OPEN SECRET AT PARKHEAD, The late Jock Stien was made aware of it but persuaded Fergus McCann not to inform the police, to protect Celtics “Good name” instead Stein physically removed the predatory Peadophile from Celtic Park, when Stein left amazingly the Bheast was welcomed back to the Stade Nonce. The Bheast was youth coach Jim Torbertt and he was jailed. So keep telling yourself it didn’t happen but it most certainly did. Yewtree will eventually get round to investigating your vile clubs cover up and when they do a few more will be jailed.


    • Stein was dead 9 years before MCann got involved in Celtic, the rest of your post is of a similar factual integrity. Thanks for your input.


  35. Celtic acuse Rangers of letting babies die because they didn’t pay enough tax yet they are strangely silent when the discredited film scam so many of their players partook in is mentioned. For reasons listed above the Bheasts will never have the moral high ground they crave.


  36. Do you care about Austrian football (clubs)? To be honest, that would suprise me. So it needs a little bit of an explanation. Sorry to all Leeds supporters, I respect your club very much, but you won’t find anything about Leeds in this posting.

    My local team, GAK (Grazer Athletik-Sport Klub), were founded in 1902. They’ve won the Austrian title in 2003/04 (their one and only major championship, but nevertheless I was just so proud and glad about it).
    In the following season we met Liverpool in the 3rd (and then last) qualifier for the Champions League. We’ve grabbed a famous 1-0 victory at Anfield in the second leg, but had already lost 0-2 at home. Liverpool went on to win the UEFA Champions League in that season… In the same season GAK met Rangers in the UEFA Cup group stage and lost 3-0 at Ibrox (but nothing to do with my writting), despite that result GAK qualified ahead of Rangers for the knock-out stages but lost to then strong Middlesbrough (2:2 home, 1:2 away).

    GAK went in administration in 2006/07… a 28 points deduction and relegation to the 3rd tier were the consequences. In the coming years the club entered adminstration another two times, but both times they were able to exit administration. Nothing to be proud of it, of course… In 2012 the club were finally (and sadly) liquidated. So they formed a new club and had to start in the 8th tier of the Austrian football pyramid.
    (Oh, by the way, Rangers were NOT relegated, their new club had the privilege to start in the 4th tier.)

    The Austrian and the British laws are different, of course, but not essentially! Given the fact that I (as a supporter) have experienced both of it, you can truly believe me that I know the differences between adminstration and liquitation. And it’s laughable that Celtic supporters (or ANY other people) are in the need to spent hours of time with company law… The basic principle of liquidation is really simple. Isn’t it?

    I appreciate your view that the fans are the major factor for a club’s identity. As you said, it has to be. I hold the history of GAK in high regard – the championship, the four cup titles, a few decent results in Europe and most of all 100 years of tradition. But, truth be told, GAK were liquitated and they aren’t the same club anymore. That can’t be denied.

    Rangers fans also hold their history in very high regards, which is fair enough. In terms of achievements you can hardly compare Rangers and GAK, because Rangers had much more success. However, Rangers were liquitated and now they aren’t the same club. This is fact and not a matter of opinion.
    The assets of Rangers (1872) were snapped up and the new club were introduced immediately. This is the bottom line for me, why Rangers supporters think that there was no interruption and that it is the very same club. Or more accurately, they want to believe it.

    Nobody can change the past (or take it away) and nobody can change opinions. The Rangers support will always refer to their history (and rightly so), but it’s NOT an unbroken history. If they were able to admit their faults, rather than pretending to be innocent victims… surely, they would receive much more respect. Not only in Scotland or England, but in the world.
    Rangers supporters have cheered Murray despite (or even for) his megalomania. In the first place, they also have cheered on Green & Whyte. Haven’t they?

    Rangers were so desperate to egalize and excel Celtic’s achievements (9-in-a-row, The European Cup) that they lived beyond their means. They also had illegal shemes like EBT, and they didn’t pay their taxes…
    Rangers gained an unfair advantage, thus they were able to egalize 9-in-a-row (but never ever the European Cup). They not only cheated Celtic, but the Scottish football. Now Rob, if you are indeed so neutral as you pretend, can you really not understand the stance of the Celtic support?

    As you would assume, I’m hoping for a comfortable Celtic victory this afternoon.


  37. just watching the highlights on the T.V and the Celtic fans seem to be taking a hell of a lot of pleasure out of beating a so called new club? They call them a new club publicly but privately they know Rangers have never gone away. I ‘ve always liked Rangers out of the two but there’s not a tab paper in it in terms of how bigoted both sets of supporters are in their hatred towards each other. Another example of Religion causing more problems than it solves!! Stick to the football lads- its far more interesting, plus you don’t get sore knees like you do with praying. NUFC.


    • I must admit, I’ve been shocked by the massively rancid nature of the hatred these two bear for each other. Compared to this, we’re quite fond of the Devon scum and – dare I say it – the Tyne/Wear rivalry seems almost like a pot-fuelled love-in. It’s all relative, I guess. And you’re right – the presence or absence of religious bigotry as a factor seems to make all the difference between a normal, healthy, mutual hate relationship, and the perversion of rivalry that goes on up there.


      • I think part of your problem is that many English people think this is about religion – it’s not. Because of The Troubles in Ireland, and its proximity to the West Coast of Scotland and the two-way traffic therefrom, the issue is not religion but republican/loyalism in Northern Ireland and racism mixed with anti-Catholicism in Scotland. (A live bullet was sent to a Cardinal in Scotland prior to the Pope’s last visit for example). The UK government and press presented Northern Ireland as a religious issue because that was more palatable than being the last “occupied” territory of the old British Empire. Why have “we” offered everyone else self determination but not Northern Irleand?


      • What’s all that got to do with football?


      • Oops no option to edit posts, but should have said that stuff about the North of Ireland is only of importance to about 10% of both sides (but in each 50k stadium that’s 5,000 headbangers), everyone else just wants to watch their team…


    • We take great pleasure at beating a new club for the first time too Grem ;o)


  38. Pingback: An Unhealthy Rivalry? #Football #Celtic /#Rangers | DancingBhoy

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