Thursday, June 8, 2023

Celtic and Rangers let down Scottish football

Lack of responsibility

There has been much talk about the quality, or lack of it, within the Scottish Premier League. It is believed, and the league tables of recent years tend to support that belief, that only Celtic and Rangers possess anything like the quality of teams in other top leagues around Europe.


There has also been much talk about Celtic and Rangers wanting to move out of the Scottish leagues and to pursue their future south of the border in the English Premier League. Although that looks very unlikely to happen, the two sides are enormous clubs with enormous fan bases and probably could make the move.

The question is, have Celtic and Rangers actually got the quality on the pitch? European results have generally tended to suggest that they haven’t.


When the two teams meet, as they have done several times this season, it is bound to be a tense affair and you wouldn’t expect anything less than 100% commitment and absolute passion from both teams as you would in any derby game. However, what you would also like to see is the two best teams in the country producing some decent football and acting as a good advertisement for the league they represent.

In the Scottish Cup fifth round replay on Wednesday night, a game eventually won by the solitary goal by Celtic, neither side did themselves, the game or Scottish football, the slightest bit of good.


Rangers came off worst, having Steven Whittaker and Madjid Bougherra sent off for second yellow cards and the awful El-Hadji Diouf sent off after the final whistle for what he said to the referee. There were a total of thirteen yellow cards in the game to add to the three red ones.

During the game Diouf had been involved in a touchline argument with Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Lennon then had to be pulled away from Rangers‘ assistant manager Ally McCoist after the game. There were also unedifying scenes in the players tunnel at half time as the sides left the field.


How sad for Scottish football that the SFA chief executive Stewart Regan needed to make the following statement after the game,

“I was saddened and deeply embarrassed to witness the scenes during what’s supposed to be Scottish football’s flagship fixture. The SFA condemns the inflammatory and irresponsible behaviour. These images were broadcast around the world and shows our game in a poor light. I acknowledge the pressures of expectation on both clubs, but last night’s behaviour crossed the boundaries of acceptable conduct at a football match.

“We have already launched an investigation into all incidents that occurred and will do everything in our power to ensure there is no repeat. The events at Celtic Park, however, run deeper than the Scottish FA’s disciplinary procedures. The unedifying sight of two of the country’s most recognisable and respected coaches engaged in an angry confrontation was not only unsavoury but exacerbated an already incendiary atmosphere inside the stadium and throughout the West of Scotland.

“The clubs have a duty of care to ensure that the image and integrity of the game is upheld at all times. This was not adhered to last night. It is incumbent on Rangers and Celtic to ensure a far more responsible level of behaviour. A degree of faith in Scottish football was lost last night. All parties must work together to help restore it.”

That statement says it all really. The whole game and what happened afterwards, let down the whole of Scottish football.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell saw things very differently.


“Celtic had three players booked last night. To put this in the context of other matches, St Johnstone last night received two bookings in their match against Aberdeen, while Motherwell received five bookings against Celtic last Sunday.

“Contrary to Stewart’s statement, I do not think that our players showed a lack of respect to officials.

“The team remained composed throughout what was, at times, a difficult game and the fact that only three of our players were booked is evidence of that composure and discipline which provided the foundation for us to go and win the match.

“They should be congratulated in this regard.”

Also trying to play down the reaction to events was Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who said that things were amicable between him and McCoist.


“Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, things can be said. However, we were still able to sit down after the game and, as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed. It is a passionate game and both of us want our team to win.”

Somebody has got it wrong and having watched the scenes at the game, I can’t help but feel that the Scottish FA chief executive is the one who has got it right.


Graham Fisher



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mick dee
mick dee
12 years ago

Naughty schoolboy Rangers-manager-in-waiting MCCoist must shoulder the blame for the after match spat. His cowardly , snidey remarks whispered in the celtic managers ear. Caused an unsavoury situation. If his daddy wasn’t there I don’t think he would have did this.

12 years ago

Quote “The question is, have Celtic and Rangers actually got the quality on the pitch? European results have generally tended to suggest that they haven’t” What a stupid comment and I’ve heard it several times before, don’t people think that with both teams moving south and the amount of revenue that would generate, do you actually think they would be stuck with the same players we have at the moment. Of course not they would have completely different teams with much better quality players, how many of our present players could at the moment walk into a premiership team even… Read more »

12 years ago

How dare you state Celtic let down Scottish football, there were only three bookings all night for Celtic. They composed themselves impecably. Get your facts correct before dragging the Clubs name down to Rangers level.

12 years ago

Lennon has a track record in football of being a belligerent odious prick. It started years ago as a player for Leicester when Alan Shearer almost kicked his head from his shoulders when he was behaving yet again like a moron and it is his nature. He cannot behave himself anymore than a dog could stop sniffing other dog’s arseholes but it is the fact that the support of CFC find his behaviour so endearing that really gives cause for concern. The sooner this revolting man departs the country the better for anyone not involved with CFC.

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