Well, it’s 2019 and here we find ourselves talking about many things we should have to be talking about, and guess what? In Scotland, rather than dealing with problems brought about because of the day and age, we’re talking about Sectarianism. In football. Again.
Why “again”? Well, because we never deal with it when it should be dealt with. It’s a problem in Scottish football and Scottish football keeps trying to avoid it.
There are those that say that it’s a problem across Scottish football but, in reality, we know that it’s a west coast problem and must be dealt with there. That’s where it must start. There’s no point in Peterhead or Aberdeen making a stance on it when the problem lies, prominently, in Glasgow, and you have to have your head in the sand to not acknowledge that.
I have sat in my seat at Easter Road, a mere two blocks from the away stand and listened to ‘Billy Boys’ being sung by the majority of a Rangers support. We all hear it, yet no one in authority seems to hear it. The police, strung along the the front of them, they don’t hear it. If they did, surely they’d do something about it. It’s recorded live on Sky or BT Sports or on the radio by BBC. It’s ignored.
Dave King rolled out a statement saying they were, well, read for yourself. And I have to say, apart from Jim White’s status, I can’t find this statement and it’s not linking well to this blog. I’ll keep trying…
Well, I’ve finally managed to upload it from Jim’s timeline and all I can say is, what the hell is Dave King on about. He has never, ever, in all his time at Rangers, ever tried to eradicate sectarianism from his club. They don’t “abhor” it. They never deal with it. Dave King doesn’t know what day of the week it is, mostly. He’s an absolute haver saying that the club will do everything to root out sectarianism, why haven’t they or him done it before?
The other thing to be considered is strict liability. Now, I am, what might be considered as a “hard bitch”. I take no nonsense whether it be on here or in real life. Act like a dick and you will be told. Anyway, I listened to the boys discuss strict liability and the deduction of points from a team for sectarianism behavior from a support, and I thought about it. I gave it a lot of thought. I imagined a league where this happened and then I thought, no, opposition supporters could sway this and I thought about another idea and this, I think, would work.
For the season 2019/2020 we should theoretically deduct points from teams whose fans commit sectarian offenses. In this, imagine Rangers win a match and get three points well, this would mean three points in the league but, if their fans sing a sectarian song, in the deduction league they lose two points and this applies to every club in the league… the theoretical league would be a lot different from the actual one and then the season after we could apply it. The theoretical league would be different entirely from the real league, but would show where a team would be if they were deducted points for sectarian behaviour.
Rangers and Celtic wouldn’t be the only teams to suffer, but they would suffer more than the rest.
I love football, and more than that, I love Scottish football. It has its flaws, no one will ever deny that, but I want it to succeed and I want it to blossom. I don’t want the next ten years to be dominated, yet again, by sectarianism. I want it done in the next five. We won’t rid in society but we can blooter it in our beautiful game by simply saying “no more”.
I am of an age where this topic has been forefront for far too long. It’s time to boot it. I don’t want to be another forty years into the future and to still be talking about this. It needs to end and it needs to end now.
I go back to my point about BT and Sky actually recording the singing of sectarian songs during games. Where does this footage go? It’s the ultimate evidence. Nooooo, though. The SFA never cite it. Utter nonsense. The only way sectarianism will stop in Scottish football is if people like Steve Clarke front it and deal with it. They make it an issue.
Clarke was glad he was able to go down south so his children grew up without it, Chris Sutton advised his son not to come to uni up here and John Hartson spent most of his time with Celtic in Edinburgh to avoid the hate. And that’s just what we know about. That’s all shameful and none of it is because of the rivalry between Hibs and Hearts or Ross County and Inverness Caley Thistle, it because of two teams in Glasgow.
Scottish football needs to acknowledge that so that a solution can begin.
Here’s another point. All of this comes down to religion. Are they protestant or are they catholic? Tell me this, sectarian football supporters, when did you last darken a church? Apart from a wedding or a funeral or even a christening. You’re not sitting there every week giving your all to a God on either side of a divide.
As a football fan, especially of Scottish football, this has to end now. If the SFA were to expel both Glasgow teams and we had to spend a decade of transition to bring the league up again, I’d go for it. I really would.
As football fans, we won’t end it in society but, we can, and should, stop it in our game. The time is now.