|WE ARE NOT old firm WE ARE CELTIC|
|18-03-11 09:23 AM|
WE ARE NOT old firm WE ARE CELTIC
I do not see a time, ever, when the bad blood between Celtic and Rangers will be nothing more than a memory. Too much has happened, peoples memories are too long and the systematic way that barriers have been put in front of Celtic FC and the Fans, in terms of football and National identity, strikes at the heart of who and what the majority of Celtic Fans are and this will never be forgotten. On both sides of the divide, miscarriages of justice – real and imagined – have been handed down from parent to child and always will be. This is unstoppable.
Great strides have been made by Celtic FC and our fans and both have done a remarkable job in turning Glasgow Celtic into a modern forward thinking football club with family and social issues – not only local but global – at the heart of what it means to be part of the Celtic family.
There is a part of me that would like to see Celtic and Rangers truly unite to make Glasgow a city to be more proud of. If the two clubs could somehow become closer perhaps the violence would eventually stop. I am aware that some fans will already be forming their replies to this view but I feel that 20 senseless deaths over 20 years are unacceptable and that the families of the victims of hate and ignorance would share my feelings. There is however, I believe, a need to distance ourselves from our neighbours. As we - as a club and support - grow and grow in all ways, not least emotionally, RFC continues to sink ever deeper into a cycle of hatred and shows a complete lack of self awareness. They have the problem of the alcoholic, they are in denial and until they admit they have a problem it won’t go away.
Glasgow Celtic FC, rather than being the other side of the Glasgow coin are a completely different currency. The Celtic Family I believe is unique and if Glasgow Rangers cannot be cajoled into pressing forward into the modern age then I propose that – if they cannot join us in peace – then we leave them behind. I am talking about the practice of labelling the Glasgow clubs as old firm. I know that most fans find this label objectionable and I agree that we have good reason to feel this way. I myself would rather we stood or fell by our own reputation than run the risk of being dragged through the mud due to the faults of others.
I recently tried to start a twitter trend, unfortunately I have very few followers and little influence and very little was said about it. My idea was to have the whole Celtic family say WE ARE NOT old firm WE ARE CELTIC on a regular basis. Place this statement on any communications regarding our club: websites, tweets, Facebook pages and banners at Celtic Park during games. After this notion has taken root and the football world recognises the singularity of our club the statement would be cut down to simply WE ARE CELTIC.
I began to wonder if my notion was ridiculous. Who am I to suggest this? I have no experience of manipulating modern communications, no background in advertising and under the cold light of day I would be seen as nothing more than an over zealous fan. To be honest this still worries me but I feel that it is so important to publicly distance ourselves from RFC, that I am willing to take the chance.
I have had reservations. Would this be seen as elitism and lead to further bad feeling towards our club from the whole of Scottish football? I don’t think so. If it were handled correctly no one could object to our wish to be seen as a club apart from every other, a status that all other clubs in the world enjoy. Is it possible that this could cause more trouble between our club and Rangers? For the same reasons I have mentioned in the first paragraph, I doubt it. Our culture is what it is and any attempt to better oneself must be seen as progress and above reproach.
I truly believe that it is time to cut this chord. Glasgow Rangers have had every opportunity to stand by Neil Lennon at a time when a true unity of purpose in condemning his detractors and haters would have done much to soften attitudes towards their club. They have made the Celtic Family the scapegoat for their own disorder and been complicit – by their lack of action - in the campaign of hatred against Neil Lennon since he signed for the club he loves. Ex Rangers players validate the vile actions against Neil Lennon and cite his character as the root of other individual’s failings. Ranger’s fans continue to sing songs of hatred at home, away and abroad but pay for the privilege and so are allowed to continue without impunity, endangering the reputation of anyone connected with their club. Their fans destroy sections of Celtic Park and there is no public denunciation. Rangers players are sent on a seek and destroy mission and again, ridiculous attempts to blame CFC for their own short comings are released by their Chief Executive.
We have a reputation that has been won through the hard work, stamina, creativity and commitment to the ethos of our club, by a wonderful Celtic Family, which cannot be allowed to be tarnished by our neighbours. While I would insist that it would benefit us as a family and a club to aid any football team in any way we can - out of the sheer humanity and social ethics that our club was founded on - we have a responsibility to each other, to Celtic FC and to the whole Celtic Family to protect and nurture our reputation and let the world know that WE ARE NOT old firm WE ARE CELTIC.
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