It’s no surprise to see certain members of the Scottish Media gravy train rejoicing in Celtic’s current misery. It is however disappointing that a number of former Celtic players, in an attempt to feign neutrality, continue to buy into a narrative that has been a complete lie from the start: The idea that Scottish football “needs a strong Rangers”.
It doesn’t. It never has. So please, let’s stop pushing this obvious lie, shall we?
At 37 years old, I don’t know if I’m quite old enough to be classed as what twitter calls a “Celtic Da”, but I’m old enough to remember the 1990s, when Rangers were winning everything in sight, and the only crumb of comfort we could draw was from watching them crash and burn spectacularly in the UEFA Champions League every year.
I don’t remember anyone in the Scottish press then screaming that a strong Celtic was “good for the Scottish game”.
They were too busy sketching cracked Celtic crests for their back pages and superimposing the club badge onto coffins and hearses.
No, back then you were either one of “the people” or you weren’t. Nobody cared about the imminent collapse of the Scottish national team, nor did they question where all the money was coming from. The Ibrox club were dominant and if the rest of the teams in the league couldn’t compete financially, that wasn’t Rangers’ problem.
Then Fergus McCann came in. He made it clear from day one that Rangers dominance was coming to an end.
Suddenly the narrative started to shift.
By the time Martin O’Neill came to Parkhead in 2000 and swept Celtic to their first domestic treble in decades, suddenly Scotland “needed a competitive league”.
Having one team dominate the rest was “unhealthy” and was even cited as the reason why, after decades of punching above our weight, the Scotland national team had started losing consistently.
It was all, of course, utter pish.
The Jim Traynors of this world must think their readers are truly stupid.
To be fair, looking at the Record Hotline most days, it seems plenty of them are.
And so in 2012, the narrative came to be played to extreme measures. Not only was it “essential to the integrity of the Scottish game” that Rangers survive, but we were assured of both “financial armageddon” and “civil unrest” if they didn’t.
Of course we both know that Rangers died, and neither of these doomsday scenarios came to pass.
Unfortunately for the Klan, when it comes to dealing with the taxman, no amount of dodgy handshakes, lodge meetings or media spin will save you. Rangers died because they believed the hype. They grossly overestimated their own importance.
That was what killed them.
When the carcass was bought over by Charles Green and relaunched as Sevco, the same old narrative immediately kicked in again. This new team needed to be given the place formerly occupied by Rangers in the Scottish Premier League, for “the good of the game”.
Were it not for the bravery of lower league clubs and individuals like the former Raith Rovers chairman Turnbull Hutton, they may have even gotten away with it. The press certainly did nothing to expose this fraud for what it was.
This new Rangers was made to earn its place in the Scottish top flight. To give them their due, over the next few years, they did that.
And so we come to today, the 8 year old club sit atop the Premier League, having not lost a game and barely conceded any goals all season.
Celtic are the only team with any chance of stopping them.
And yet, the articles crying out for a strong challenger “for the good of the Scottish game” are nowhere to be seen.
For you see, dear readers, it was never about competition, it was never about fairness. It was always about maintaining the delusion, the fraud that Rangers are the biggest club in Scotland. They aren’t, they never will be, and no amount of lies from the media will ever change that.
Their sense of entitlement and delusions of supremacy already killed them once. Celtic will always endure, Rangers are doomed to eternally repeat this same, self-destructive cycle, and their pawns in the media will gladly help them do it.
They just never learn.