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Scotland is a better place without an Old Firm tie


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With Inverness triumphantly exiting Ibrox Park after a thumping 3-0 win there are many people bemoaning the fact that the prospect of a swift ‘old firm’ reunion has vanished, at least for the time being.

With the Scottish Government sponsoring the League Cup for a second year running it is perhaps wrong to say the chief sponsors are upset at this reality; but there are other sponsors in the background and it’s something that will be a huge disappointment to them. Rangers will also be disappointed as it could have proved to be a bumper pay-day for them, particularly given their recent difficulties. Celtic, too, would have benefited from increased gate receipts.

Finance, however, is not the be all and end all and I think it is perhaps a blessing that these two Glasgow clubs won’t be playing each other anytime soon. There are two schools of thought on Scottish football at the moment. The school which believes Scottish football is better off with the separation of Celtic (and the SPL) and Rangers and the school which believes it is not. Despite some initial concerns I think it’s fair to say I sit in the first camp, that is to say, I think things are generally better in our game whilst Celtic and Rangers are kept apart.

Despite there being no headline ‘old firm’ derby to talk about and despite the persistent bleating by some journalists about the game being worse off and perhaps even dying, I feel the general attitude towards football is changing in Scotland; and it’s principally down to the re-emergence of the new Rangers in Division 3 rather than the SPL. There is a more relaxed feel about the game and people seem to be able to talk about the SPL with more humour rather than with aggression as is often evidenced whilst there is an ‘old firm’ battle being waged on the pitch.

I found it rather bizarre recently to hear some Rangers fans on the radio calling in to simply have a dig at Celtic for a 2-1 defeat in Barcelona and then a 2-0 home defeat to Kilmarnock. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at this as the rival sniping is something we have always been used to. But, against the backdrop of their team playing in Division 3 and finding the going a little tougher than they may have first thought, it’s perhaps a little rich for them to mock Celtic for a shock, but most unusual, defeat at home to Killie.

Still, there is no harm in banter. However, as was often the case around Celtic v Rangers games, that banter often turned ugly and it wasn’t always down to the fans. The media in this country were, and still are, obsessed with pumping up the rivalry between the two clubs and generating as much hatred as the fans. It’s this element that I am particularly glad to see being somewhat diluted by Rangers’ demise. Although the media haven’t completely let go, there is a distinct lack of material for them to gouge on given the lack of a Celtic v Rangers encounter. For me, the longer this lasts the better. Let the football, not the bitterness, win the day.

By Anton Horan

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Whilst i agree we are much better off without the hate and violence that often comes with 'old firm' games, i still detect a pretty anti-Rangers slant from this article. We are prospering without them in SFL3, and dare i say it, they seem to be without us, so maybe it is better for all concerned if we dont have to see the inbread fenians for at least 3 years or so.

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I can 100% see this guys logic, without a doubt.

A two horse battle for the title, which was broadcast over the world, was doing the Scottish game absolutely no good and, instead, a one horse race is far better for the game on the whole.

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What a load of pish.

I can't stand those cunts accross at the piggery but there's nothing better than putting them in their place.

Yes I can live without playing them for the next couple of seasons but the Scottish game is much better when were together and the sooner we rise, the sooner they fall.

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