Celtic would be well within their rights to point to the some of the weekend’s antics and say: we told you.
Equally, Celtic supporters have talked about the violence, the anti-Catholic, anti-Irish slurs heard over the weekend. As well we should, what we’ve seen and heard was disgraceful. But it certainly wasn’t new, or shocking.
If anything, there being any kind of response is the shocking element. The threat of strict liability, of the First Minister responding, of possible police intervention. That’s the surprising part of all this; after so long, it’s our own authorities who are actually acting.
Because, in normal circumstances, it’s UEFA of all organisations that have the guts to identify this, call it what it is, and punish it [Reuters].
So, you’d expect the Celtic board to respond to this in some way. Perhaps outline its own commitment to abolishing hate speech and racism in society, or maybe talk about work being done in the community. But we’re still to see a direct response about the weekend from the club. And, for once, the silence is a good thing. In fact, I’m going to even quote the board here: we’re not half of anything [Celtic FC].
It seems some, at last, are finally understanding the dynamic and where Celtic fit in this
People often talk about it being “two sides of the same coin”, or talk about Celtic and Rangers are if they’re just as “bad” as each other.
This weekend, surely, was the breaking point for that argument to hold up scrutiny.
We’ve had 9 opportunities to celebrate titles over the last decade, and there was nothing remotely like Saturday. Equally, we’ve been able to celebrate trebles on three successive occasions (of course, we couldn’t really celebrate the Quadruple Treble collectively). Save for a couple of idiots, these went largely without incident.
Whereas, with one title win, our rivals have put Glasgow, and the West of Scotland’s, sectarianism issue back on the map. Well, I say, that has nothing to do with us. And the board shouldn’t have to answer for what our rivals do, just as we shouldn’t have to either.
As far as I see it, Celtic have no case to answer here. They will be asked – repeatedly – for their say on events at the weekend, and face some kind of nonsense about contributing to a “culture”. Presumably, there will be bad faith actors who want to provoke a “fiery” response from the club.
Yet, the club should have nothing to say on this. Let the authorities act, and society make its own conclusions. There will be temptation when commentators drag our name into this “debate”, as if there is anything to realistically argue.
Don’t let them. We’re not half of anything.