Graeme Souness in furious Celtic tirade as ex-Rangers boss brands club 'the unacceptable face of Scottish football'
Graeme Souness has labelled Celtic "the unacceptable face of Scottish football" and questioned whether sponsors will want to be associated with the club in the wake of supporters' anti-monarchy protests.
The former Rangers boss gave his scathing assessment of his former rivals after a weekend that saw Celtic fans disrupt a minute's applause in memory of the Queen ahead of their 2-0 defeat at St Mirren by both singing and displaying a banner which read, 'If you hate the Royal Family clap your hands'.
It followed similar scenes in Warsaw last Wednesday when Hoops fans attending the Champions League match against Shakhtar Dontesk unfurled signs reading 'F*** the Crown' and ‘Sorry for your loss Michael Fagan’, a reference to the intruder who broke into the Queen’s Buckingham Palace bedroom in 1982.
Souness spent five years at Ibrox as both player and manager and revealed he was the person responsible for having a portrait of the Queen displayed in the home dressing room, which remains to this day.
Venting his fury on talkSPORT, the 69-year-old criticised Celtic for failing to condemn their supporters actions and says the club’s reputation has been damaged “throughout the world" by the events of the past week.
Souness said: "Whatever I say on this people will say they expect that because I was employed by Glasgow Rangers and I’m a Rangers fan. But you try to stand back a bit and the eyes of the world were on this country in the last 10 days. Celtic now have a major problem because if you’re a major company looking to sponsor a team in Britain or Scotland, would you consider Celtic any more?
“Not at all. And by the decision-makers at Celtic being silent on this matter they’re compounding the problem. This is not just a talking point of Scotland - it’s a talking point throughout the world. They have shot themselves in the foot big time. It is a minority who are guilty of this but also a minority that are damaging the brand of Celtic - synonymous with being the first British team to win the European Cup, great success and an absolute institution in Scotland - beyond belief.
“If you’re a Rangers fan it’s happy days. They want the silence to continue. They’re (Celtic) shooting themselves in the foot. They should have been out days ago condemning this. And for everyone who doesn’t like Celtic the music is brilliant and want it to keep going.
“In the eyes of the world, Celtic are now the unacceptable face of football in Scotland due to a minority of fans. The eyes of the world were on Great Britain and I have to stress it’s a minority. I have pals who are Celtic fans and are condemning this so why aren’t the club?”
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