It would have been easier to talk about the title run in, the forthcoming matches and the need to utilise every member of the squad to combat fatigue and expectation, but once again the shame rise up and show themselves up for the archaic nonentities they truly are. Walter Smith has urged the fans of the club he manages to drop chants which were ‘maybe not acceptable’ in the modern era. He goes onto state:
“It’s fine when you have a great club, with a great tradition, as Rangers have and people feel that’s a part of it.
“But I think when there is a reaction, as there has been over the last few years, against those traditions then the people who do sing them – and I would stress that I don’t think it’s the majority of Rangers supporters – need to take into account that in a modern era it’s maybe not acceptable for them to do so.
“Therefore they need to realise the club are going to suffer quite drastic consequences if they don’t stop.
“So I would ask them, considering the problems that our club have, to take that into account and stop singing the songs that are offensive.”
Excuse me?! I wiped my glasses, to make sure they were not broken and I was actually processing the words in front of me. I read once more, I stared until the words were blurred into one heap of sectarian justification. Maybe not acceptable in the modern era, Sir Dignity himself offered. The modern era! Is Smith truly justifying that there was a time when reveling in being up to knees in fenian blood was somehow acceptable? Rather than apologising, he seems to almost leave a trail of regret that his loyal supporters have to adopt a politically correct world where glorifying the deaths of innocent Catholics is seen as a taboo by the European governing body. Of course, UEFA are probably just picking on ‘the peepul’ because the SFA have found no evidence of sectarian filth spewing from the mouths of the sons of William. It’s just an Old Firm issue, the Scottish media will again argue, more in hope than fact.
Rangers like to bang the broken drum about tradition, and yet here Smith talks about the sectarian bile as if somehow the songs of hate are an underpinning element of their very existence. Rather than being linked by inclusion and acceptance, the manager is openly admitting what was known amongst Celtic supporters for generations, that they are a hate filled club whose only identity is fuelled from the hatred of others.
Analysing his words further, e seems to be implying that they should stop singing the songs that we have all heard on more occasions than we can truly recall, because if they don’t the club will suffer in some way. Rather than leaving a strong message that these songs are not acceptable because they are sectarian, hate filled evil and completely out of touch with a supposed civilised society, he offers a meek explanation that his beloved club may be punished. If there was no threat of sanction, the words would be spewed as loud as ever, without any thought of the levels of acceptability. The financial turmoil that they find themselves in means that any penny taken away is another step towards vanishing into history’s damning footnotes. If they were as rich as Manchester City, I am sure they would even have a sectarian fund to cover all fines and games played behind closed doors as a result of their century old problem of hatred.
Yet despite all this, Celtic are treated as an equal protagonist in this ill that sweeps through society with a battered brush. We are not the same, we will never be the same, and in a country where newspapers are petrified of standing up to the establishment club, it is only a sickening reinforcement that the songs of shame are endorsed from above. The government sits on the fence and argues that we are both two sides of a tainted coin, and yet their silence speaks louder than the strongest condemnation as to which side they wish to appease. UEFA are the ones oddly being criticised for speaking the truth when the problem has always lay on Glasgow’s doorstep. A club that seems to interpret tradition as an unmovable object, something that cannot be changed under any circumstance, even if the circumstance is actually doing the long ignored right thing. But no, Martin Bain plays the innocent victim card and offers to ‘vigorously defend’ his club against sectarian chanting. Occasionally, and especially whilst dealing with clear simpletons like Bain, things need to be in black and white.
Is the ‘Billy Boys’ sectarian? Yes
Does it contain the line ‘we’re up to our knees in fenian blood’? Yes
Can this be justified in any way? No
Conclusion: Come out and tell your fans who harbour erotic thoughts for 1690 to stop singing their songs because this squalid hatred has no place twelve years into the 21st Century. You are embarrassing yourselves with your pathetic reasons, you are shaming Scotland once again, and your laughable excuse for an argument that Celtic sing some ‘folk songs’ just makes you look like the out of date club you truly are. The attitude of Rangers FC is not acceptable. No maybes about it.