"Who on earth makes these things up"; John Hartson on unnecessary Celtic Park derby chatter

By John McGinley

March 19, 2021

John Hartson has welcomed John Kennedy’s update that Celtic will not provide a guard of honour for Rangers prior to Sunday’s derby.

Kennedy confirmed the news to Sky Sports earlier today, telling the broadcaster: “It is something that we have discussed. It is a subject that has been brought up and I have seen several people talking about it.

“It was the same two years ago when we were champions and if I am being honest, I don’t think such a fuss was being made about it. I don’t see it as a big issue.

“For us, we spoke collectively about it and we won’t do it. It is not about lacking class, nothing like that, because we are a club that always shows class and dignity and do what is right.

“But ultimately this same group of players went in as champions and didn’t get the respect that time if you want to call it that. They are the same players who are being asked to stand there. We have decided collectively as a group. We will just get on with the game, park that, so we will focus fully on the game and just put that to bed.”

It shuts down a pretty tiresome media narrative that has rumbled on for nearly two weeks since Celtic’s last match that confirmed Rangers as champions.

Brendan Rodgers was one of the most outspoken proponents of bowing to the Ibrox side.

Hartson has clearly had enough of it all, stating on Twitter: “No guard of honour this weekend… thank goodness.. who on earth makes these things up! Totally unnecessary. Let’s get back to a good old handshake at the end of 90 mins!”

That’ll probably sum up the feelings of plenty of supporters ahead of the weekend.

Now that Kennedy has ‘put it to bed’, hopefully we can get on with the business of restoring some pride, being aggressive and taking the game to Rangers.

In other news, Celtic show solidarity with anti-racism statement.