It doesn’t matter about the split of the supports when Rangers and Celtic meet. Some of those in attendance will invariably induce queasiness about how low they are willing to stoop and yesterday proved no different with all but 750 in the stadium roaring on the home team.
Celtic’s reduced backing did not prevent their fans deliberately disrupting the minute’s silence to remember the victims of the Ibrox disaster with a cacophony of mock coughs. When shouts from the Rangers support – which included one of “you f***** terrorist-supporting scum” – also began to puncture the air in response, referee John Beaton blew to end the minute’s silence after under 30 seconds.
It goes without saying that the Rangers support regularly belted out anti-Catholic anthems, but they also held up banners relating to the Celtic Boys’ Club child abuse scandal in the form of “Big Jock knew” – which relates to unsubstantiated claims that the late Celtic manager Jock Stein had alleged knowledge of the abusers’ actions – while at various stages chanting “paedos” in reference to the recent convictions.
However, they also had new dirt to dish with a ditty mocking the personal and mental health issues that have forced Leigh Griffiths to take time out of the game. Bellowed round the ground at intervals came a song exhorting “f*** Leigh Griffiths, you won’t be playing football any more”.
Maybe one day they should consider playing these derbies behind closed doors to spare the rest of us such vile behaviour.