Ross County boss and former Celtic player John Hughes is nothing if not forthcoming with his opinions.
So, it’s little surprise that he’s given his verdict on the “guard of honour”, an act of clapping that Celtic fans aren’t exactly keen on. Us included.
Speaking frankly ahead of his side’s weekend meeting with Hibs, Hughes said [Daily Record]:
“Rangers have been outstanding and there should be a guard of honour, it’s an unwritten rule.
“The next team has to take their medicine, take it on the chin. Rangers have been outstanding, there has been no noise coming out of there and too much coming out of Celtic.
“Not signing a goalkeeper, Leigh Griffiths and all that – too much noise. Now the challenge for them is to get it back.
“But sometimes in sport you have to just tip your hat, say they have raised the bar and focus on going out to beat them.”
Perhaps John Hughes is classier than us, but Celtic should hold firm
This debate has already become tiresome, but at least Hughes’ refreshing honesty is worthy of discussion.
While it’s childish and small-time to argue “well they didn’t do one for us”, they didn’t do one for us. Yes, it’s probably the sportsmanly move to applaud the league champions, but Celtic are under no obligation to do so.
If Celtic were to give a guard of honour, it would give credence to the section of the support who don’t feel the club were strong enough on the punishment Rangers received back in 2012.
Also, it’s hardly a seismic event if Celtic choose not to do it. There’s far, far more discussion about whether it’ll happen than the result if it does or doesn’t. The news cycle will move on, as it invariably does.
Ultimately, there aren’t going to be supporters there. Does it really matter if either club congratulates the other on winning trophies?
Hughes’ comments about the noise coming from Celtic are bang on, however. It’s been an absolutely bizarre season, and the usual quiet dignity of the club has been replaced by haphazard statements, video apologies and bad decisions. While results on the pitch have hardly helped matters, the relationship between the board and fans has deteriorated to an untenable state.
When we were winning titles, the club carried itself with an air of class. Class is much easier when you’re winning, after all.
Now, there’s an entirely different argument about “class” altogether.