Celtic need to ignore 'guard of honour' and match-throwing conspiracies

By Euan Davidson

March 5, 2021

For Celtic Football Club and their supporters, it’s a tumultuous year.

We don’t need to retrace the steps of where it went wrong. By now, everyone knows the score; it’s been an act of incredible negligence and complacency. We could’ve made history, and it’ll take time to reconcile the fact that we haven’t.

Rangers could win the title this weekend, provided Celtic drop points against Dundee United [Scottish Sun]. It’s bad enough that this situation is occurring, let alone in early March. The next fixture for Celtic is, of course, a Glasgow Derby on the 21st of March.

So, if Celtic do anything other than win on Sunday, our fiercest rivals will win the Premiership at Paradise. It’s an unthinkable scenario. But if you think the Bhoys are going to “throw” the game against Mickey Mellon’s side, then you’re way, way off-base.

There’s plenty of rumour being thrown around that the Bhoys will purposefully play a weak side against Dundee United, in order to prevent the aforementioned title scenario. While, yes, it’d be utterly heartbreaking to watch 10IAR end at Celtic Park, consider this; it’s not like it’ll be the same. For one thing, there won’t be any supporters there.

Now, that isn’t to say what Rangers have achieved isn’t impressive. They’re yet to lose a match this season in the Premiership. As hard as it is to accept, kudos to them. They had a long-term plan with a rookie boss and they’ve achieved it. But Celtic’s primary aim is to win football matches. The last thing the club or supporters want is to perform a “guard of honour” to a small number of staff at Celtic Park.

Celtic supporters / (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic supporters in nightmare Catch-22

Let’s be honest here; neither situation is preferable. If we lose or draw against Dundee United, we welcome the new Champions to Celtic Park later in the month. Or, we win, but risk Rangers winning the title in our own backyard. Talk about your nightmare scenarios.

But at least there’s some sort of pride in the latter. If we’re going down, at least go down fighting. That’s the minimum supporters expect. A few choice quotes about “wanting” to cede points to Dundee United doesn’t represent an entire fanbase. I’m not willing to search out some tweets suggesting we throw the match at the weekend.

That just isn’t Celtic.

Besides, it’s not like we’re forced into a “guard of honour” or whatever shallow pageantry is half-expected of us. They wouldn’t do it for us [Daily Mail], and there’s no need to do it for them.

This is a time for the club to look inward and focus on the problems that stopped us winning the 10. Make no mistake; the club stopped itself. The majority of a squad who won the 9th comfortably were still in place. It’s through the profligacy of the board and bad decision making that we couldn’t reach the ultimate goal.

But as for throwing matches and guards of honour? Give it a rest.

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