Of Course Sunday’s Game Is An Old Firm Fixture



So unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ll know Rangers and Celtic will face off on Sunday at Hampden. The papers and websites have been full of nothing else in Scotland.

Now there is a debate raging on about this fixture; is it an Old Firm match or is this the first meeting between the two clubs as Rangers are a new club?

Well for me, and this is my opinion, it is obviously an Old Firm tie.

My view was cemented when a group of Celtic fans purchased an advert in Sunday’s Herald newspaper (below) explaining in great detail why this to them is a new fixture.

herald ad


All in all they make some decent points. But alas when you hear the other side, Rangers fans will make valid points of their own.

The phrase that comes to mind when viewing this ad is ‘doth protest too much, methinks’.

This advert to me highlights whats needed to be an Old Firm fan; be somewhat sensible, extremely paranoid and completely obsessed with rivals across the city.

The truth is this, if this fixture on Sunday meant absolutely nothing and had no history then we wouldn’t have seen this advert and Celtic fans wouldn’t be so obsessed with the blue half of Glasgow.

Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon and ex-Celtic striker Kenny Dalglish gave their thoughts and both stated that they believe that this fixture is indeed an Old Firm game as far as they are concerned. That has caused Rangers fans to rejoice and Celtic ones to say they only did it to protect themselves from ‘bullets and bombs’ being delivered in the post.

The fact is in Glasgow we just can’t agree to disagree. We always have to have arguments and mainly about football.

Now why do I believe that this match has history?

Well I look at the other end of the argument and it leaves me a bit cold.

Are we letting business accounts and company names dictate our footballing history? Business has been encroaching on our sport pretty much since it was invented. But as fans we usually stand together to fight against it or at least moan about it like TV kick off times, strip prices and potential sponsors (i.e. Wonga).

But unfortunately in the case of Glasgow football fans, they use any situation to get one over the other; from religious beliefs to child abuse to liquidation. There seems to be no lines that can’t be crossed in this rivalry.

I have no problem with the Celtic fans advert (The idea was certainly not supported by all Hoops fans). I do think it’s slightly embarrassing for them and a waste of money. I have an issue with its timing. To do it on the same day 41,000 turned up in Govan to show support for Fernando Ricksen was in poor taste. That day showed Rangers on the park and in the stands have history!

Now that Ricksen tribute match also showed us the better side of the Glasgow rivalry. Celtic’s charity foundation kindly donated £10,000 to the Fernando cause and that show of generosity showed that football isn’t always everything in Scotland and that we can put things to one side and support the same cause. I also noticed quite a lot of Celtic fans on social media sending Ricksen there best wishes and that too was fabulous to see.

Now I don’t blame Celtic fans for constantly having a go at the Ibrox club, calling them ‘Zombies’ and ‘Sevco’ . These feelings have been passed down generations (again giving the fixture history in my opinion). Plus if the shoe was on the other foot how would Rangers fans react? In the exact same way.

It’s that shared bitter mentality that will always keep Rangers and Celtic linked in embrace with each other. Mention either side in Scotland or pretty much anywhere in the world and the other sides name will usually pop up in the same conversation like a bad smell or the dodgy member of your family that you can never distance yourself from.

At the end of the day enjoy the game as best you can. The atmosphere in Glasgow, especially in Hampden, will be volatile to the say the least and the football will be all blood, guts and thunder. Five minutes after kick-off and it will be as if the Old Firm fixture had never left us!

20 Responses to “Of Course Sunday’s Game Is An Old Firm Fixture”

  1. Good honest article.

  2. Look it is like this, Sunday will be the event that we all know and recognise as we used to see it played out 4 times a year – it will involve the same supproters, some of the same players, same colours etc. Of course it brings together the same two tribes – no-one is debating that. BUT in the small print Rangers 1872 have been replaced by Rangers (or the Rangers or Sevco or whatever) and along with the old entity went millions of unpaid bills etc. What material difference it makes I am not sure but I have yet to read an article that takes the advertisment and proves any of it wrong.

  3. ‘Now I don’t blame Celtic fans for constantly having a go at the Ibrox club, calling them ‘Zombies’ and ‘Sevco’ . These feelings have been passed down generations (again giving the fixture history in my opinion). Plus if the shoe was on the other foot how would Rangers fans react? In the exact same way’

    You totally miss the point – the grievance that Celtic fans have is that from the 1990’s on Rangers collected much silverware by spending multiple time the money Celtic spent only for it to be proven that this was money that they could not afford – financial doping if you like – you were happy to use Neil Lennons words in the article well Neil Lennon also used the words financial doping!

  4. Thanks Kenneth.

    Big G – The article isn’t really about trying to persuade others to take same opinion as me, that would be a fruitless task. I mention that quite a few parts of statement made sense.

    As for financial doping, pretty sure Gers bills etc in 90s were paid, unless Lazio are still looking of Gazza fee and I know nothing about it. The EBTs were dodgy and not paying you tax bills are illegal but that was in the 2000s. EBT was deemed legal at time and the court ruled in favour of taxman but not nearly for the money they wanted. So I would say financial doping in 90s is strong and hard to prove in court. Hence keeping league titles. I admire Neil Lennon for his forth right views and he did say financial doping, he is entitled to his opinion.

  5. The article is factually correct and what Celtic fans have been asking of the mainstream media to report on ever since Rangers were liquidated. They died and left a trail of destruction in doing so. When they died they stuck two fingers up to all their creditors including us the taxpayer so along with this they wiped out all previous history when they started again with a “clean slate”. If the media reported this in the first place there would be no need for the article to be printed (it is the only article printed in any paper that have stated the facts on this subject).

    Regarding “the old firm” for the simple reason, we Celtic fans do not want the associated tag “Old Firm” linked with our club, it has been holding us back for years. Whenever there is trouble with the other half we are dragged into it by the term old firm. For us to progress then cutting ties with this tag is all we want. We will never get rid of the blue half of Glasgow in whatever form they may be but Celtic as a club are better off without them. When trouble erupts after Sunday you can guarantee regardless of the facts the headline will be OLD FIRM and we will be guilty by association.

    The old Rangers died the new club get a chance to play the champions of Scotland for the first time ever on Sunday, It will be their biggest game in their short history. Lets hope it passes without any casualties though i doubt it very much.

  6. Some of the comments on this thread are hilarious. Don’t let the facts of the law, the SFA, UEFA or FIFA get in the way of a bitter advert taken out.
    As much as you hate us more than you actually like your team, we are still here.
    And to blame all Old Firm trouble on Rangers is absolutely unreal. The time when Celtic fans own up to their own bam pot element (which Rangers have done and normal fans try and disassociate themselves from), then theyight actually start to solve their problems rather than blame others.

  7. “The Rangers” cant play in UEFA competitions for their first 3 years as they are a new club, dont let facts get in the way of a good fairy tale.

  8. Scott you will probably find that if someone gives you a credit card with £1million of a limit you could have a pretty good time over an extended period treating family and friends and paying every bill that is put in front of you. It is only when this has been maxed out and you want to continue with this lifestyle/pretence that you would have to look at other means of funding. You could try avoiding paying taxes as one means of boosting your income/spending. Eventually though it would all fall down around you and you would lsoe everything and have to start again. At what point did it go wrong – when it all caught up and you got the baliffs notice or when you decided to start spending money that you were not able to afford?

  9. Regarding trouble at or after matches, I am not saying Rangers fans are angels, however just taking the last 2 seasons in Europe alone, I have lost count how many times UEFA have taken Celtic FC and their “supporters” to account. Selective memories I think! But thats the usual for that mob!

  10. I have just read that the Polis has been to Celtic.s training ground to tell them how to celebrate should they have the audacity to score on Sunday, Imagine Bhoys and Ghirls the Monday papers. “It was all Celtic.s fault” They scored and celebrated and everything after that was all because of that, it was on the telly and one respected journalist said this would definitely not have happened if they had not celebrated. You want it to be the old firm mr journalist , I hope you take the responsibility. It will probably not your son involved. Leave the past behind and move on . You are inciting high emotion and even violence.

  11. I don’t claim I still support Rangers because the club is in my heart,we still play in blue and at Ibrox. I say I still support Rangers because the SPFL official website states my club was founded in 1872 (not 2012) and it has won a world record 117 major honours (not 2). I say I still support Rangers because Lord Nimmo Smith one of the most eminent legal minds in Scotland says that do. I say I still support Rangers because the Advertising Standards Authority told me twice that I do,and after consulting both UEFA and the SFA :” We consulted with UEFA, which explained that its rules allowed for the recognition of the “sporting continuity” of a club’s match record, even if that club’s corporate structure had changed. We also consulted with the SFA, which confirmed that its definition of a football “club” varied depending on context, and could sometimes refer to an entity separate from the club’s corporate owner. The SFA further pointed out that, following RFC’s transfer to a new corporate owner, Newco did not take a new membership of the Scottish FA but rather that the previous membership was transferred across to them so they could continue as the same member of the Scottish FA. We considered that consumers would understand that the claim in question related to the football club rather than to its owner and operator and we therefore concluded that it was not misleading for the ad to make reference to RFC’s history, which was separate to that of Newco.” (And btw lying and saying the ASA approved that nonsensical ad also proves how desperate those Celtic fans are,seeing as the ASA have now come out and said they did no such thing,well,hardly surprising they are not going to contradict their own adjudication are they). I say I still support Rangers because even BDO the liquidators themselves told me I do: ” Rangers’ liquidators insist the club will continue to play at Ibrox.
    Malcolm Cohen and James Stephen from financial company BDO have been appointed as Joint Liquidators. “It’s important to understand that the appointment of liquidators will not mean the end of football at Ibrox – only the end of the company that ran the club,” said Cohen. ” As did HMRC :””A liquidation provides the best opportunity to protect taxpayers, by allowing the potential investigation and pursuit of possible claims against those responsible for the company’s financial affairs in recent years. A CVA would restrict the scope of such action. Moreover the liquidation route does not prejudice the proposed sale of the club. This sale can take place either through a CVA or a liquidation.” And I say I still support Rangers because the SFA told me I do: “Agreement on transfer of membership.
    Friday, 27 July 2012.
    Joint statement on behalf of The Scottish FA, The Scottish Premier League, The Scottish Football League and Sevco Scotland Ltd.
    We are pleased to confirm that agreement has been reached on all outstanding points relating to the transfer of the Scottish FA membership between Rangers FC (In Administration), and Sevco Scotland Ltd, who will be the new owners of The Rangers Football Club. There were a number of complex and challenging issues involved but, primarily, the Scottish FA had to be satisfied that the new owners of Rangers would operate in the best interests of the club, its fans and Scottish football in general.” I say I still support Rangers because The European Club Assoc told me I do:” However, Rangers are permitted to hold associate membership, which holds no voting rights, as they are one of the founder members of the ECA. The organisation considers the club’s history to be continuous regardless of the change of company.” In short,yes Rangers FC is in my blood,and yes we still play in blue at Ibrox..but I support the Gers because every credible body and organisation tells me I do..and some crank ad placed in a paper few people read and which is now for wrapping steak pie suppers is a total irrelevance.and an embarrassment.

  12. Steve,

    If that was aimed at me re-read what i wrote i never once blamed all Old Firm trouble on Rangers, I said Whenever there is trouble with the other half(Rangers) we are dragged into it by the term old firm, thus guilty by association.

    As i said and this is only my opinion Celtic are much better off without you’s and in my book the old firm tag died along with Rangers in 2012.

  13. Paul Mac – I actually see your point but really is bringing out this advert or complaining about MSM the way to stop the term ‘Old Firm’? Or would it have been better to ignore that side of Glasgow and not partake in any of this nonsense?

    Stevie – UEFA have banned Rangers as the company can’t provide relevant account history. But they haven’t stated that they are a new club just a new business. That said all the organisations you have mentioned should just come out and give an answer once and for all. But they worry about upsetting one set of fans and so keep away from answering it.

    Big G – I love the analogy but I’d also only be guilty of not paying final debt.

    Woolies – Am I mr Journalist in this story? I am not inciting anything but debate.

  14. Could somebody enlighten me as to why the media and various other organisations at the time reported Rangers died ( RIP headlines etc ) and 140 years of history ended in June 2012.Then Rangers Legends headed by Walter Smith ( who wished the new club every success ) lamented the death of Rangers 1872.

    However after Charles Green bought the assets and the ” history ” ( no laughing at the back !! ) something strange happened – there seemed to be a universal u-turn and the club/company nonsense was peddled and slowly but surely history has been re-written.
    Thoughts anyone ???

  15. I would assume Gerry that this was because at that time they knew the truth and could not handle it. However to avoid Armageddon (and i dont mean the type that was predicted as it is plain to see that never happened, in fact i would argue the opposite), the Armageddon that involved the truth being told and certain people not being able to accept it. This therefore meant that the myth that “history” was bought etc etc was born to appease these certain people. If they were the same club, then explain to me why there membership did not continue and they required to be granted a new one in order to be allowed to play against brechin in the Ramsden Cup. Surely if it was the same club, they would not have required to be granted or transfer membership as they would already have had it?

  16. i am really looking forward to Sunday to hear Gers fans chanting “There is only one Neil Lennon” and “Dalglish”, to really rub in just how childish the East End mob are!!

  17. Double D you use the word childish in your post which is ironic as that’s exactly what your post is !!! Why has no one challenged the factually correct statement in the Herald – as usual the media trots out ex-celts and laughably EBT recipients McLeish De Boer Rae Konterman etc to offer their opinion.Thats all it is opinion not facts – and btw the 2 gentleman you refer to aren’t daft they value their health !!!

  18. Big G – I love the analogy but I’d also only be guilty of not paying final debt.

    yes but looking back hand on heart would you be able to say that you honestly treated your family and friends and provided for yourself a good life or hand on heart was it done with someone elses money that you could not afford?

  19. Big G – SO how many clubs are currently guilty of financial doping? PSG? Man Utd? Chelsea? Man City? Barca? Real? Most of them? Not many not in debt.

  20. Time will tell Scott – though it will take time to see if they can repay their debts or even come to an agreement with their creditors. I suspect a fair few of the clubs you mention will probably avoid going under as they still have pretty high incomes relative to their debts but there are others out there who will go the same way as Rangers. I suppose the issue is not about the amount of debt but rather not paying it back – should Abramovich for example pull out of Chelsea before they have settled the debts he has underwritten then I would say you would have to revise their success – success I already believe has been attained by false means but then he is competing in a league that is clean bananas with some of his main rivals every bit as bad. But because others are at it does not make it right.

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