A Broad Church?

“I was born to be a Rangers supporter.I had no real choice in the matter.My father was a Ger, as was his father and his father.It was accepted that as soon as I was old enough to be lifted over a turnstile I would attend Ibrox, faithfully.I worshipped at the shrine of Rangers for several decades.Fortunately for me, my father was the least religious and the least bigoted man you could wish to meet. His religions were the trade unions…..and Rangers.Also fortuitously and because he was not bigoted, our next door neighbour and dad’s friend used to take me to Parkhead to watch Celtic too. Something I enjoyed immensely as I felt convinced the ‘Tims’ could see right through me…..exciting! This caused me a bit of confusion at school when I was supposed to hate the ‘Tims. Some of my family were ‘Tims’…in fact my favourite aunty was a convert to Catholicism and was as devout and decent a Catholic as you will ever meet. The conflation of football and religion was as normal as the smog filled air we breathed in 60’s Glasgow.It just was what it was.You were either Proddy Ranger or Timmy Celtic.It wasn’t to be questioned. Only my dad did question it…loudly and often. He tried to explain the wrongs of the situation to me many times. I remember asking him why he still was a Rangers man if he disliked the whole Proddy/Tim thing that went with it.“They are my team son….the morons can’t change that” he told me.I accepted this dichotomy for quite a few years or at least until I started attending Ibrox on my own and watched the rampant cretinism happening around me. My normal position in the stand was immersed in a sea of fuckwits who came over on ferries from Northern Ireland to spew out unspeakable shite at anyone stupid enough not to be wearing a Rangers strip or scarf.I grew increasingly uncomfortable with the songs, the chants and the bile. I had heard stuff at Parkhead of a similar type…but it just seemed more…..intense…definite..meant…at Ibrox.More than once I pulled up someone sitting next to me about the stuff they were spewing out…either they just looked at me and shut up or it got very unpleasant as they questioned my ’loyalty’. I spent more time listening to the chants and songs of utter hatred for ‘Fenians’ than I did watching my team play. Ironically, I truly believe that 98% of those prattling on about fenians couldn’t tell you what one was…beyond the inaccurate and rather pathetic….’Kafflik’. Eventually I just stopped going.But even then I still supported Rangers as a couch potato supporter.Then something happened that changed my attitude totally. I had a son.At first, like my dad, I assumed the boy was going to be a Ranger…then I thought about it at length.There was no way I was going to take him to a game and spend endless hours explaining to him that what his fellow fans were belting out was ‘just a bit of fun’ and some ‘tradition’ that they maybe really didn’t mean…or maybe did….or not…at least not the good ones.“How can you tell the good ones dad?” was the future question that bounced around my head.The answer “The ones not singing” just seemed more and more pathetic.I resolved that he would grow up to be whatever form of football fan (or not) as took his fancy.I also resolved that my half hidden hypocrisy and plainly turned blind eye was no use to either Rangers or me. I decide we would part company.That was in 1992.I have been back to Ibrox once since then.As the supporter of another club and to watch my son play there.My wife and myself, along with all the other small band of supporters isolated in a corner were subjected to non-stop venom, bile, foul-mouthed abuse and threats for the entire 90 minutes.My son’s girlfriend and her father came to see him play but left at half-time…utterly disgusted at the things they saw and heard.We also had the distinct privilege of witnessing an Armed Forces Day degenerate into a farce as many of those in uniform went to the Blue Order and danced and sang the same crap that had driven me away from Ibrox in the first place. One particularly helpful RAF type came over to us to give us the benefit of his knowledge about how we were all ‘Bitter c@@@@…cheer up’.Commendably, a Royal Navy Commander (who I believe was sent down from the stands by the GOC) tried to break up this ‘celebration’ of all things blue….to little avail.The scenes were disgraceful and convinced me that my decision all those years ago had been 100% correct.Those of a Rangers persuasion can call me a liar if they so choose. I don’t lie about anything accept my height.Recently and because of the troubles they have inflicted on themselves as a club, Rangers have decided to play the victim card. It would be funny were it not for the hypocrisy involved.The recent press release regarding the idiotic actions of Hibs fans is a case in point.It is at once, hilarious and pathetically lacking in self-awareness.The great chant of “We are Rangers..super Rangers…no one likes us…we don’t care…..we hate…” (Let’s not carry the next bit on) rings a bit hollow these days.Perhaps they should be asking themselves why they are indeed, almost universally detested within the Scottish game. There will be supporters who disagree with that view….but I will go by my own experience of visiting grounds and talking to other fans.Are all those supporters of all those clubs just jealous bitter bastards? Is that it? Are they all just wrong?I still have mates who attend Ibrox…they are good guys…they are just as ashamed of the crap as I am. But even though they are the majority, they feel intimidated into not challenging the shite….such is the brutal vehemence of the large vocal minority of Ranger’s ‘support’.To my mind, the past few years have encouraged a problem that was an improving situation.The bitter nasty bastards have the upper hand again and there seems to be no will at the top of either Rangers or the puerile SFA to change things. Don’t get me started on the lick-spittle sports journalists who fall over themselves to whitewash what happens at Ibrox.So….that’s my wee rant. I expect to get the usual pelters for it…but I’m sick of the whole thing. Perhaps I will once more get some cretin from Belfast publishing a google earth picture of my home on Twitter?Blocking and reporting is easy. Getting rid of the source….not so much.“They are my team son….the morons can’t change that”.Sadly in many ways….I’m not my father. Good luck to the many decent Rangers men and women……you will need it”.

In a previous article I outlined my ‘EuroMillions’ fantasy for Rangers. My first order of business would be to withdraw ticket sales to Northern Ireland. I don’t want their politics and hatred anywhere near football. The Harland & Wolff shipyard opened in Glasgow in 1912, adding to the foment of Billy Fullerton’s gang which was formed in the 1920s. As keen followers of this site will know, I worked and lived for many years in Asia. I recall a visit to Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It’s a sensational Bhuddist temple that is routinely attacked by Muslim fundamentalists who consider it a blight on their landscape. A young Indonesian couple asked me to take a photograph. My Indonesian girlfriend at that time explained that what they actually wanted was a photograph of me with them. They had never encountered a man with my eye colouring. To them I was a different species. As we engaged in converstion, with my girlfriend translating, I was asked whether I was a Christian. This was a binary question, as there was no awareness of the different strands of Christianity. I replied honestly that I was not a Christian. Jesus Christ to me was a man. He was not, to me, the son of a god that I did not believe in. They then asked a really clever question. How can you prepare for death if you have no religion?

I could have decided to respond with a secular Humanist argument, but I decided to concede the point. The advent of chidren in a man’s life is a reminder of his mortality. I chose to take my children to an Anglican church. I wanted them to have an understanding of Christianity. When they were old enough to make their own minds up, they could look back fondly on those years of family outings followed by a delicious village lunch, or embrace the  Christianity that I had introduced to them. I offered them a way to marry and to die.

Rangers is a football club. It is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. There are those who consider it the Protestant club, but I don’t ever recall any religious services at Ibrox , or the singing of hymns, other than at a time of tragedy. I don’t recall any Sunday school outings to Ibrox. Rangers are not the defenders of a faith or defenders of the realm. This has been imposed upon them by individuals like Fullerton and The Harland & Wolff émigrés.

However, as noted in the anonymous preface to this article, the bigots are running the show, aided and abetted by boards who pander to them. One of the best examples of this is Charles Green. Mr Green and his board were under siege by King and Paul Murray. Mud was being thrown at his board.When reporting restrictions are lifted I will go into specifics.To get people on his side, to win the PR war, Mr Green played the WATP (We are THE People) card. This is a firm favourite of the bigots. I would have difficulty in explaining this concept to my erstwhile Indonesian acquaintances, but I can easily explain it to readers of this site. What this expression conveys is that those who are of an Irish extraction are an inferior subculture. Not Northern Ireland as they are gerrymandered to be British. It’s an appalling concept. It was not Mr Green’s finest hour.

I will state for the record that I’m not an admirer of Roman Catholicism, however I respect the rights of those who wish to worship at this church.I formerly attended Ibrox with what we fondly regarded as our token Tim. However, he can no longer stomach the bile of the vocal minority. Ibrox is no longer a place to take your children. I had hoped that the renascence of Rangers, the new club, would be a new broom to sweep away the detritus of the old. However it’s evident that you cannot sell 38,000 season tickets to play games against part-time footballers unless you package them in a sectarian livery.

As there have only been two cup games against CFC during ‘the journey’ the games against Hibs were a field day for the bigots. The invective at these games was a paradigm shift in hatred. Was it any surprise when Rangers supporters of a certain stripe entered the field of play to pick off the most stupid of the Hibs support who goaded them?  The responsible respectable Rangers supporters, the non-vocal majority, had left the stadium.

If Rangers wish to be a family club, they must curb the excesses of the bigots. The Billy Boys and other odious chants must be prohibited. The current board is led by a career criminal, so we don’t expect any reform to emanate from him. The term moral compass has no resonance in his life. The spineless SFA should introduce the deduction of points to curb the sectarian chants. However, we all know that they won’t and that this cancer in Scottish football will be malignant.



69 thoughts on “A Broad Church?”

  1. Well Done JJ.
    I hope in reality you actually do represent the real views of a big percentage of the ‘congregation in the pews ‘
    As for the automatic 3 point deduction in league matches and thrown out of cup competitions including Europe ..it isn’t very difficult .
    However as posted previously I think only the intervention at the level of Nicola Sturgeon to mandate this will force SFA change .
    There are just too many Rangers minded men in authority at the governing bodies to make or even propose this blindingly obvious simple fix .

    PS How on Earth do you even marshal the reasonable fans on this when you have halfwits like Derek Johnstone saying this morning that singing never hurt anyone . As usual he doesn’t even get the real point at stake and the kind of people he is encouraging ….or maybe he does .
    In either case . HelpM’Boab!

  2. JJ

    I am a first time contributor to your site, although I have been reading on a daily basis for a few months.

    Like yourself I am appalled and disgusted at the invective that comes from the mouths of so called Rangers supporters. The people are no more football fans than I am in line to be the next president of the USA.

    I come from opposite ends of the football divide as yourself but have had very much similar experiences of the scum that inhabit the beautiful game. I regularly attended Celtic Park with my father and enjoyed getting lifted over the turnstiles and playing about in the stadium. I have to be honest, in those early years I did not really pay much attention to the action on the park.

    One of the last games I attended was back in 1970 in Milan at a certain European Cup Final as a 15 year old. I have attended a few games since but not in the last 20 years. I became fed up of the bile and republican dross emanating from my so called fellow supporters. I still follow Celtic but from the comfort of my armchair. I am glad to say that my three sons followed me in playing games with the oval ball and I am proud of the fact that if asked they would struggle to name the managers or any of the players of the two Glasgow clubs.

    The football authorities in Scotland are not fit for purpose but while they self govern themselves and oversee the game no action will be taken to rid our society of the sectarian bile that goes from both sides.

    I do believe that action such as has been suggested of points penalties when ‘supporters’ sing their ditties may be the way forward. These supporters would then have no one to blame for their club failing to qualify for Europe or even being relegated as they continue to offend.

    Keep up the good work, and keep writing. By the way I would love to have a read at that short story and those unpublished novels.

  3. It may be of interest that Linfield FC recently stated that they would bar fans they caught singing the Billy Boys. If they can do it what is stopping The Rangers.

  4. As with the famine song it was only the intervention of the Irish government that resulted in the ditty being outed as racist.
    I think that Ms Sturgeon will very soon be receiving another call from Ireland to express dismay at the lack of action by the authorities on TBB.
    Any other organisation would be embarrassed to be in such a position…..but heck, not the SFA….?….there’s to many of them singing it, what do you expect Police Scotland to do……arrest them all?

    No Stuey, start with 30 or 40 at random at every match wbere it’s sung, with snatch squads on duty specifically to do so, give it a couple of weeks and the problem will be removed from the terraces?….there fixed that for you.

  5. I am the product of a “mixed marriage”..Dad was a Catholic…Mum remained a Protestant until she passed away.
    There were 8 children and Mum made sure that we attended Mass every Sunday…washed and dressed appropriately.
    In later years I asked her how she felt about bringing up the children as Catholics..and she said the only “problem” she had was “job prospects”..as the West of Scotland and employment for Catholics wasn’t exactly easy at that time.
    She needn’t have worried..all of us..without exception..went on to have good jobs.
    I am also in a “mixed marriage” and we celebrate our Golden Wedding (Hopefully) next year.
    Our children were baptised Catholics..but attended non-denominational schools.
    I invited all of them,at various stages, to accompany me to Mass…Two did..and two didn’t.
    Only one of them now is a practising Catholic…the others do their own thing.
    As far as religion goes..I have no hang ups whatsoever..and its thanks to my wonderful parents who set the tone.
    Hating someone because of their nationality or religion is,to me, absolutely pitiful.
    Here endeth the Lesson.

    1. TN,you’re experience echoes my own,hence no place for anything that came close to bigotry in the household. Indeed my auld man (who was a choir boy) encouraged my siblings and i to find our own path when it came to religious matters. Same applied when it came to what football team we wanted to support,but he qualified that with a reminder that us boys could NEVER expect to be able to play for Rangers,no matter how good we were. As you mentioned re employment,that was a concern shared by my parents,i remember (circa 1970) telling the auld yins “those days are gone” only to be deflated when the first question asked at my first ever job interview was “and what school did you go to”. No query as to my academic achievements was ever asked. Needless to say i never got that job but found my way to more than decent employment and quality of life as did my siblings. The fact that we can still be talking about these issues in 21st century reflects poorly on modern? Scotland. I’m proud to say my household is free of ANY bigotry (wife,two daughters and one son bluenoses/three boys and myself Celtic supporters) we support our teams free of any baggage though as you can imagine heated debate at times. A chance was missed in 2012 to really clean up the game for ALL and the current incumbents at ibrox seem to be steering things back to the darkest days. I have encouraged the bluenose contingent of my family to get vocal in their opposition to this revisionism,but they feel they are fighting a losing battle,but try to carry the message to those who will listen. They are sick and tired of the long line of spivs who have parked up at ibrox (beginning with SDM) and are disgusted with the recent “statements” attempting to justify loutish sectarian behaviour. Change needs to come,and soon,starting with a root and branch overhaul of the governing bodies. At the end of the day it’s only a game,but sport should be free of racism,sexism and religious bigotry. J J, Brilliant piece today my already high opinion of you has soared.

    1. Every other Saturday on the Stranraer ferry you can experience the inferior culture from that land first hand.

      And what about Flann O’ Brien?

  6. jj another great article with some good replies.It certainly shows that there are a lot of supporters who have stopped going to games because of the bigotry.It’s up to the clubs and the governing bodies to sort it out.I am not a Hearts supporter but I have a lot of time for Mrs Budge who is at least trying to rid Hearts of their bad element.She has shown that if you step out of line you will be barred.Once the fans realise that action will be taken if they are caught then they will start to realise that causing bother has it’s consequences.That is a lot better than burying your head in the sand and pretending there isn’t a problem.

  7. Greetings from Jakarta.

    I have been a lurker on your site for some time and I have always been impressed with your honesty and balanced views regarding your team.

    I (from a football sense) am from the other half of the great divide, but I would like to think that I share some of your views. Supporting Celtic was a family tradition and I have no problem with people who were raised to support Rangers.

    During my life I have met and worked with Rangers men and I count some (not all) of them as dear friends and colleagues.

    There is no easy answer to stem the hatred on both sides, except to hope that people like you and I continue to denounce those who promote such bigotry.

    Yours in sport

    Blue Gila
    PS for the record, I was raised as a Catholic but I now follow the Hindu faith in accordance with my wife’s wishes.

    1. Did you marry a Balinese girl, or as this is practically unheard of an Indian girl? It’s a city I know well. I miss my apartment in South Jakarta, the golf and the fabulous nightlife. Is BATS still on the go?

      1. Yes, I should have said Balinese Hindu. BATS is still on the go, but it’s years since I’ve been there.

        I recently spent a couple of years in Vietnam which is, I believe, another destination that we share. Lovely country and lovely people.

        Carry on the good work with your blog and I will continue to enjoy your thoughts and views regarding the Scottish scene.

        Yours in sport

        Bule Gila

        Unfortunately my phone changed bule to blue (DYAC). But I’m sure you could have guessed that.

        JJ: I picked up on Bule. You did well to marry a Balinese girl. When I invited one out to dinner I was provided with an insight on the ‘Casta’ system and the fact that as a Bule I was lower than the lowest of lows.I have three friends who are married to Balinese girls who live on the island, but as a rule my other friends married Indonesian girls. As for Vietnam, particulaly HCMC where I resided, it was the best of times. If you would care to keep in touch feel free to drop me a line by direct message on Twitter: @sitonfence

      2. Appreciate the Twitter invite, but I don’t Tweet.

        However, you have my email and are more than welcome to write to me anytime.

        Yours in sport

        Bule Gila

  8. ‘Divident, et vincet’ , Divide & Conquer, this is the same trick that keeps politicians mouths shut on this very issue that has kept Scotland divided for centuries.

    As stated above, any proscribed song would be stopped by points deductions but the thought of any political puppet stepping in to tell the Billy Boys at the top of the pyramid to be quiet makes me laugh out loud.

    For if Scotland was truly united and healed from its fabricated religious divide, every last one of these grinning parliamentary muppets would be out of a job.

    They need this divide to maintain their grip and no paid muppet can ever rock the boat enough to change it without endangering themselves in the process.

    1. I must also add, this is an excellent and invaluable piece, from both yourself and your contributor, JJ.

      I’ve known a few Rangers supporters go through the same struggle but none have expressed it so articulately, nor with such heartfelt emphasis, as stated here.

      If such clarity of understanding were to become contagious, from whatever source the rancour may spring, then I don’t think it too much of a stretch to imagine the psychological division of Scotland could be healed and we would see a fully united nation once again.

      It’s only through our belief in such dreams can we ever hope to see them fulfilled for the betterment of all.

  9. Brilliant and insightive piece as usual jj. I feel sorry for the decent Rangers supporters who seem to be helpless and intimidated by the baying mob.

    Everyone has been let down by those in authority who have at the same time been complicit and inept, by a media which looks the other way, often because they are Rangers supporters with laptops.
    Rangers supporters have been taken in by one charleton after another who have picked over the carcass of Rangers, extracting profit to line their pockets while the carcass rots.
    These vultures have had their path to this profit smoothed for them by the laptop bearing fans in the Scottish MSM.

  10. It would be impossible, in my opinion, to try to arrest anyone seen to be singing a banned song in a crowd environment. The guy could just claim that he was just miming the words. I know that this may sound silly but it would be difficult to disprove unless a microphone had been placed under his chin. The only way to stop this odious practice is to punish the clubs, not by fines but by points deduction or elimination from cup competitions. That will soon put an end to it!

  11. JJ, “we are the people”, is not related to a belief that Ireland is a sub-culture per se. It refers to a belief in British Israel and that “they” are the “chosen ones”. I can expand ?

    Regards and thanks.

    1. Do you genuinely believe that for the bulk of the people who chant “We Are The People” or write WATP they are referring to “British Israel and that “they” are the “chosen ones”.

      1. In terms of the chanters that JJ refers to in this article, i.e. the ferry boarding NI element, then yes is the answer, the bulk of them do believe such.

        It is not confined, it was not too long ago that the Scottish Kirk produced a, since redacted, report on Israel which stated :

        “The ‘promised land’ in the Bible is not a place, so much as a metaphor of how things ought to be among the people of God. This ‘promised land’ can be found – or built – anywhere.”

        I can provide a link if required.


  12. JJ, I have commented briefly with regard to a couple of technical tax issues in the past as that is my profession of choice. However, I read your original post of this in a previous thread and having read today’s missive, I felt I had to commend you for the honesty, decency and integrity that is clearly part of your make up and which is written large throughout this post. As a “Fenian” who has received death threats via FB for saying much as you have said here during exchanges with guys who claim to be Rangers fans, I find it refreshing and reassuring to realise that there are other people out there, regardless of what mast their colours may be nailed to, who recognise that football is nothing to do with religion and should never be allowed to be an avenue, or as an excuse for, racism, brutal violence or any kind of prejudice. Humanity, civility and decency aren’t expensive values. I can only hope and pray, in as much as I don’t truly believe in the God concept, that one day, the insanity of it all will be over. It may well be that I will long have shuffled off to whatever awaits after my time is up before that happens. I remain grateful that my kids have been born and grown up here in the Midlands of England, far, far away from the madness that the West of Scotland in particular, calls civilised society. They do not need to be poisoned by that.
    Keep up the good work JJ. One day, the darkness will disappear.

  13. I don’t see sectarianism ending while it’s interwoven with football in this country, it’s in its DNA. On both sides fans are ‘hardwired’ for the Glasgow derby and they honestly believe they are defending their heritage surrounded around a game of football. Madness.

  14. An excellent piece.

    In my view, when the club went into administration, it had a unique opportunity to start again. A CLEANSING operation from top to bottom. Fiscal carnage had ravaged the club for years under SDM’s toxic governance. And the bigotry, which was rife under his stewardship was actively encouraged at the club. Because it sold tickets.

    When the club ended up gathering dust on a desk at BDO offices in London, that was the time for a fresh start. But no one of quality wanted to go near this loss making, toxic club. NOT ONE. Which is why the club, which was on the market for sale for ten long years, ended up with SDM’s patsy, CW, followed by the odious CG.

    And that chance for a clean up, top to bottom, was missed. If anything, mob rule has taken over. The masses, initially whipped up by deranged ex players like John Brown, have taken over and now give unquestioned loyalty to Dave King, a RRM, and a career criminal.

    This club has seriously lost its moral compass. The spin and non stop nonsense from the club following the Cup Final defeat to Hibs is a shocking indictment of the club. It’s a quite shameful tactic of playing to the masses, blaming everyone for the past few years, when, in actual fact, Rangers’ problems were entirely self inflicted. A club which became addicted to self harm

    As for that ill educated DJ commenting that ‘a few songs harmed no one’, well, he should get out more. History is full of battles, pogroms, and mayhem, which started off as rabble rousing songs over a few beers and schnapps.

    A few songs, coupled with food and alcohol, we’re the basis of pillage across Europe. And in the wrong context, they do real damage, and continue to do so.

    Rangers, under, King, will continue to pander to these louts because these louts are increasingly the folks who will buy the tickets.

    This club has lost its way, both corporately and morally.

  15. Incidentally, I do like your new Nietzsche, ‘thoughts from a tub’.

    But, I would ask you to be careful. Pal Joey has the copyright to philosophers’ quotes.

    Just you wait………….

    1. “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.” Rather apposite don’t you think?

  16. Total respect, if more were like you & adopted your attitude, then we all could look forward to resuming the rivalries which truly leave the hairs on the back of your neck standing up, without the bigotry.
    Maybe there are more like you that want their club back and will find the will to speak up after reading your blog.

  17. What surprises me is how young the Rangers support look these days, generally speaking, when one looks at the photos of fans involved in any disquiet concerning the post-liquidation of Rangers, they all look so young (like teenagers mostly). This is depressing. The next generation of bigots.

  18. Wow, just wow. I haven’t read the comments yet JJ but what an article; it took my breath away at times. I am going to think about composing a reply to this; I don’t normally do such a thing on blogs. Stunning. Fair play to you.

  19. On the subject of bigotry, I was forced to stand for 15 minutes on Union Street in Glasgow today whilst a huge Orange Walk went past. A police escort comprising of many officers on foot and a couple of riot wagons, replete with American style flashing lights, completed the non edifying spectacle. That part of town was brought to a standstill.

    As a child, my father took my older sister and me to see the walk in Govan, where he was born, and my memories, doubtless clouded by a youthful lack of knowledge of what it was about, were of a carnival like atmosphere and some great tunes. I was also taken along to Ibrox by my dad as a child and lifted over the boy’s gate. I too became sickened and haven’t been back for decades but that’s for another post.

    Today I was able to study, up close and personal, the faces of those who were walking. I’m also much more aware these days of what it’s all about and why they seem to enjoy it so much. I can honestly say I have never in my life seen so many bitter looking people in one gathering. Several of the Lambeg drum enthusiasts were swaggering from one side of the road to the other, staring at people waiting patiently to cross the road with a look of real disdain and quasi hatred in their eyes as they seemingly attempted to burst through the very skin of the drum with each mighty blow. I’m a reasonable student of human nature and behaviour and was not imagining this.

    One thing that struck me though was the almost complete lack of public support on the pavements following the walk. Every time I’ve seen this in the past, there has always been a considerable number of (usually drunk) people following them.

    It gives me hope that this odious form of triumphalism is on the wane amongst ordinary, decent, people. I know there’s an argument about not banning them because you’d have to ban all public marches but I struggle to see why this hate fest is allowed to fester in 2016 Scotland.

  20. “We are the people….” Is from the New Testament. A letter from St Paul to the Romans.

    It is read during funerary rights of various Christian Churches and pertains to early Christians identifying themselves as Christ’s people.

    Another insightful piece. Highlighting personal witness to living Scottish football, particularly at Rangers.

    My own experience is of normal Scottish folks who fortnightly went to Ibrox to be bigots for 90 mins and returned to their mixed neighbourhoods, passing themselves as RFC supporters but not bigots. With an expectation of being looked after in the job marketplace before others, particularly Catholics.

    Catholics, being excluded from the trades careers, went to uni and college and joined the professions.

    1. The irony of course is that most think its a social model for making contacts and getting ahead in life when the precise opposite is true.

      Low social intelligence.

  21. I have,considerably,condensed this reply from my original which you have deemed ‘unacceptable’. Perhaps, a debate on Anglican/Catholic viewpoints, indeed similarities, should best be avoided on a site such as this?

    Your, somewhat, flippant remark: “I will state for the record that I’m not an admirer of Roman Catholicism, however I respect the rights of those who wish to worship at this church,” is, in itself, derogatory. It smacks of in-bred ignorance and suspicion.

    For one who speaks, so elequently, about tolerance, acceptance and a better way forward I cannot, for the life of me,understand the need for such a comment.

    I’m not an admirer of any religion. However, those who practise it and use it as a vessel of hate are people I shall neither tolerate nor fail to tackle head on. Truly religious people who practise their faith in a loving, respectful of others and humble manner shall continue to earn my respect.

    Disappointed in you today, JJ.

    1. Since you would not let it lie, I will tell you why I don’t admire Roman Catholicism. Child rape. Here is just one of thousands of examples. In this article one of the children abused is four years old. This is not in-bred (how dare you) antipathy to Catholicism. My anathema is predicated on child abuse. I’m going to retire you from this site for your audacity.


  22. JJ….off topic I apologise.

    But how interesting is is that BT was forced to make tonight’s 🆑 final free on utube tonight.

    Obviously forced upon them by UEFA, with the significant downturn in numbers watching previous rounds, and the sponsors and advertisers looking for a wider audience.
    May be to soon to arrive at a judgement but BT have exclusive 🆑 coverage tied up in the UK, unfortunately the number of subscribers don’t justify the BT outlay, and certainly not the numbers required by their advertisers.
    It was only last night that I found out that the CL final was not available free to view on the normal channels….what was my reaction?
    Not so bothered that I’m going to leave the house on a Saturday night to watch the match elsewhere………….UEFA has made a huge mistake and I would be very surprised if the flow of funds from their advertisers has been greatly reduced as the numbers watching have dropped significantly.

    And yes, I did catch the match free on utube…..

  23. scotia boy

    In this day of electronic communications, would it not be possible for from the SFA get on line to touch base wit other sporting groups, i.e NFL. MLB, NHL, NBA and ask how they would handle the problem with one club that is off the page in regards to rules, regulations. etc .. I can’t understand or see any of the teams in these leagues allowing any other of their teams to flaunt their rules or any of the other teams involved in any of the leagues permitting such overt abuse and disrespect of the governing bodies. Perhaps, this comes down to the ruling bodies having the stones to apply the rules, regulations, regardless of the team/club/ownership involved. None of the leagues mentioned earlier seems to have encountered the difficulties encountered in applying the rules/lawsA)?) ofa game sport/fairly or without favour. .. These sports all have websites that provide contact info. .. grow a pair, reach out and find out how to run a professional (?) sports league

    1. The SFA worked hand in glove with Rangers during Murray’s rein. If they were to take down the 11 years of systemic cheating, they have to take down those at the SFA who allowed it.

  24. JJ off issue again, but for what’s it worth here is my prediction for 12 games through next season.

    CFC W11 D1 L O Points 34
    Aberdeen W7, D3, L2, points 24
    HFC W7, D3, L2, points 24.
    RFC W6, D3, L3, points 21
    The league could be over before Xmas………..watch the Magic Hat fly out of the door…..that’s if he’s not already pissed off by realising that he was hired on the back of porkies.

    1. On what basis will CFC be undefeated? Brendan Rodgers cannot transform the base metal of Boyata, Ambrose, Kazim Richards and Biton into gold. I’m also unimpressed by McGregor, and Forrest, who lack the ability to make a telling pass to Griffiths.Mr Warburton will be back to swallow his downgraded package as he has no other options now that Derby chose to hire Pearson.

  25. Are these statements from Govan just a prelude to what’s coming down the pike and the start of a softening up campaign?

    For the first time I’m confident that the 2011 fraudulent licence application will be dealt with by CAS…….this will not be good news for RFC or the SFA.
    Telling porkies to UEFA will result in a ban for the club and expose the collusion between the SFA and the establishment club. Those involved at Hampden will have to be dragged kicking and screaming from their cosy sinecure and dumped in Mount Florida.
    Cue faux outrage from Level 5 and their media placemen……….more Rangers haters, obsessed CFC fans, move on it was 2011 ffs!

    This could get very interesting. The licence application was made by Oldco so feck all to do with Newco you might argue.
    However Newco signed up to the 5 way agreement, part of which entails Newco accepting any punishments handed down by the football authorities.

    I believe that the current statements coming out of Ibrox are just noise, the real battle is still to be played out and what we are seeing is a dry run by Level 5 and their acolytes in the media.

    Of course this single topic on it’s own exposes the continuity sham and the mess that that the SFA has helped create.

    A possible 3 year ban from UEFA competitions will be a dagger to King’s wallet and Joey Barton’s European aspirations.

    1. I will write an article on this issue when I have more time. I have read James Forrest’s article, and the TJN addendum, which I will consider. Facts are important to me. I have just discovered that H&W opened their Glasgow yard in 1912, which led to an edit to this post. My initial take is that it holes the same club myth under the waterline. The five way agreement was signed by the SFL/SPL/SFA/Sevco Scotland and Duff & Phelps (For Rangers). I do not recall an explicit UEFA component. Punishing the new club for the fraudulent application of the old seems unlikely. There is also UEFA’s five year rule to consider.

  26. If you want to have a good wallow in crackpottery, you really do have to visit these sites occasionally. The very idea that Rangers should stop selling tickets in N. Ireland is so absurd as to be barely worth commenting on. How would this be enforced? Perhaps extra stewards could be posted on all turnstiles to detect Northern Irish accents. And doesn’t it smack of the anti-Irish racism we hear so much about on another site. And once again the poor Harland & Wolff workers from Belfast are wheeled out and blamed for exacerbating sectarianism in Scotland, a Scotland that had seen steady immigration of both Catholic and Protestant Irish since the mid-19th Century, with orange and green rivalries well established long before the 1930s.

    1. Its interesting Liam, how you use the Anti Irish card to forward your agenda when it suits …. did you comment on JJs site about your view that sectarian singing is acceptable, as you did on Phils ?

      1. I didn’t say that sectarian singing was acceptable, I merely said that singing, of whatever kind, at football matches has no effect on behaviour in wider society, a society where there is now more intermarriage and less sectarianism than there has ever been. The only sectarianism there now is, is the phoney, faux sectarianism of the occasional singing of these songs at football matches. I am Irish by the way and if being anti-Irish Catholics is unacceptable, then by the same token I would assume that being anti-Irish Protestants is also unacceptable. J.J.’s suggestion re Rangers ticketing policy, would institutionalise discrimination against the latter group and is unacceptable in any liberal democracy, as well as being unenforceable.

  27. That’s a belter on one of the RFC blogs. …….poster wants Petrie removed from anywhere near an enquiry as he may well be a wee bit…….,er conflicted.

    No kidding mate, conflicted…….naw.

    Just leave irony at the door and pick it back up on the way out.

  28. Phil, yes indeed I meant when the club was LIQUIDATED subsequent to the administration event.

    My apologies……….and well spotted.

  29. ‘Cash wise, we are just about breaking even- or maybe just a wee bit below that.

    You may say a loss but I’d say there is investment needed to be made in the club.’

    Wow, could someone explain what the feck Robertson means………..the above two lines from him are pure gibberish.

    I believe the gentleman is a CA, then again Mr King claims that honour as well but due to some admin error you will not find his name on the ICAS register.

  30. Excuse me for being sceptical, but I really do not accept the idea that a points deduction for sectarian singing would be a good solution, and my doubts arise from the fact that I am supposedly a PARANOID Celtic supporter. While this unsavoury behaviour has been against the law for many years now, the Club mainly punished for the wrong doings has been Celtic and the Celtic fans. Celtic have been fined many times for inappropriate political banners, for flare and smoke bomb incidents and fans have been arrested and punished for sectarian singing, but Police Scotland and the football authorities seem quite deliberate on their choice of transgressors. So why should I have any faith in the authorities when it comes to the deduction of points? Will their preferential vision and hearing come in to play just as often as before, and will it not be Celtic who will still be the harshest treated despite being the lesser of two evils. I still remember very well ex-referee and Match Commander Eddie Smith’s fantastic hearing ability whenever he attended Celtic Park and duly reported the Celtic fans to the SPL several times and to UEFA. What is to stop Celtic getting more of the same with the points deductions and in doing so possibly handing the league to another Club on a plate?

  31. As an addendum to my last message, and I know it is far fetched but not out of the question, but say two teams were a couple of points within each other in the League and there were only a handful of games to play. What is to stop one of those teams fans, and it wouldn’t take a lot, going to one of their opponents home games and letting rip with the offensive songs?

    Food for thought.

    1. Offensive songs are started by a small group and then adopted by the majority. If a group of individuals attempted this strategy they would find themselves exposed to the wrath of the majority. It would be a very dangerous game to play.

  32. JJ

    I am not being an apologist for Curtis – far from it. There are more tolerant and civilised ways of making a point. However, my interpretation of what he was trying to say is that Roman Catholicism per se, is not inherently linked with child abuse.

    However, a significant number of people have used the avenue of a life in the Church to pursue their disgusting abuse of children, as they have also done through teaching, social work and other careers that give close contact and power, in one form or another, over children. This statement is, of course, not designed to condemn all in these worthy professions/vocations. To me it is a simple statement of fact, based on information now made known, which has been covered up for decades by institutions and authorities alike.

    Where the RC church, in particular, failed, is in the lack of public scrutiny and accountability where such abuse has been uncovered, instead committing a sin as grievous as the abuse, by covering up or simply remaining silent on behalf of the offender. This is not a situation unique to the RC church though – and that statement is not whataboutery – again it is a simple statement of fact.

    Any child abuser – and those that that are complicit in any cover up – should rot for eternity in the worst hell imaginable to them.

    As for myself, I’d have preferred it if you’d said “I’m not an admirer of the way the RC church has dealt with systematic child abuse…” rather than just saying “I’m not an admirer of Roman Catholicism”. I might be wrong, but I believe this is what may have irked Curtis.

    More power to your elbow JJ and keep fighting the good fight on behalf of not just decent Rangers supporters, but decent people everywhere.

    And to paraphrase the late great Ian Archer, although I shouldn’t have to, I shall end my submission by stating that I am not a practising Roman Catholic.

    1. I took offence to his claim of in-bred antipathy to the RC religion, which is an insult to my family and its values. I disagree with the central premise of your argument that this church is just one of many offenders. I recommend that you view ‘Spotlight’ as it accurately represents an investigation by The Boston Globe. At the end of this movie it specifies the countries that have been exposed to this abhorrent child abuse. It is so widespread that I would not allow my children to be exposed to any school where priests are given free rein, or where priests were in positions of authority.

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