Celtic have been encouraged by John Hartson not to give Rangers a guard of honour ahead of next weekend’s Glasgow derby at Parkhead.
The Ibrox side will visit Parkhead in their first game since being crowned champions. Celtic’s 0-0 draw against Dundee United at the weekend confirmed their status.
That’s therefore led to talk about whether Celtic should pay the ultimate sign of respect to their rivals. That’s despite the fact Rangers refused to do the same for us back in 2019 at Ibrox.
And Hartson believes there’s no need to carry one out next weekend as he labelled the idea “nonsense”.
As quoted by the Herald, John said: “Why would you start it now? And where do you stop it? There is respect between players. Celtic don’t need to be told this season that Rangers have deserved it. And the players will appreciate just how well they have played.
“But the guard of honour thing is just a nonsense, really. They are rivals and there has to be mutual respect but you can have that without needing to go down the guard of honour road. What Rangers have achieved this season is there in black and white and will be forever more. They don’t need a guard of honour to be reminded of what they have done.
“Nine successive titles is extraordinary as was four quadruple trebles – that won’t be done again. And I’m fairly sure that in that run there would have been a fair few chances for Rangers to offer a guard of honour at that time which they didn’t. That’s not me being a former Celtic player and speaking like this. I just honestly think that there is no need to start it.”
Celtic guard of honour for Rangers at Parkhead is degrading; we get absolutely nothing for doing it
Some will have you believe that the guard of honour is a good idea. That it would show us to be the bigger club and that it reflects well on Celtic’s class. That’s fine. There are always going to be two sides to this argument.
For me, it’s simply degrading. Especially given our rivals have failed to show a similar level of respect over the years. Rangers could’ve given us a guard of honour back in 2017 or indeed 2019. They refused. I just don’t get in what way it benefits Celtic to then follow through with one for them.
Having our players standing applauding Rangers onto our own pitch? No thanks. All you’re doing there is providing a moment of glory for the opposition that will stand the test of time. Images that will forever be banked in Rangers fans’ memories and providing them with ultimate bragging rights.
We need to show a bit of self-respect. We’ve all acknowledged they’ve been by far the better side this season. That’s the difference between ourselves and Rangers – we can appreciate when we’ve been beaten without needing to shove an asterisk alongside it.
But spare me this idea we should be glorifying them on their way to the pitch. Celtic won’t be remembered for showing class on the day. They would be remembered for embarrassing their supporters.
Celtic won nine-in-a-row and managed quadruple trebles during our era of dominance. Rangers failed to show us that level of respect. I, for one, would get absolutely no satisfaction if we decided to act differently.