"A long time coming"; Lisbon Lion has a strong stance on Celtic derby controversy
Lisbon Lion Willie Wallace says the derby between Celtic and Rangers in Australia has been a ‘long time coming’ and thinks it will be a massive hit with supporters Down Under.
Wallace, who played in two European Cup finals for the Bhoys, has been based in Australia since the 1980s so has a unique perspective on both sides of this debate.
While the decision has angered many supporters in Scotland, plenty of Celtic fans in Ange Postecoglou’s homeland are excited by the prospect of seeing the Hoops.
Wallace is no different, telling The Scottish Sun: “This has been a long time coming because it’s been talked about for a while. I know in the past people were very keen on having Celtic play Rangers in Australia — because the interest has always been massive. For whatever reason, it didn’t get finalised, but I am glad it is now. I am all for it.
“There are thousands of fans from both clubs over here. You can emigrate, but the football doesn’t ever leave you. All the fans gather at their supporters’ clubs for the games, and it’s great they will get a chance to see the Old Firm match in Australia.
“I know it will be billed as a friendly, but that is never the case when Celtic play Rangers. Having played in many Old Firm matches, that simply won’t happen. This will be a competitive match as always and I expect the stadium to sell out completely.
“Fans will be coming from all over the country to watch this game — you could take it to any city in Australia and the tickets would fly. The Sydney stadium holds 83,000, but that won’t be an issue. I’m really looking forward to it.”
With Ange Postecoglou also speaking positively about the trip, it’s clear it does capture the imagination of some, even if Scottish-based Celtic supporters aren’t exactly the target audience.
Celtic often plough on regardless of fan feeling and they’ll likely do so again here. Although I’d prefer it didn’t happen, I can see the other side of the fence too. The club will feel the benefits of the whole thing and who am I to deny fans in Australia a good time?
I expect many of us back home will be watching live coverage anyway, despite the grumbling.