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TOPIC: Myths, Lies and Jon Daly

Myths, Lies and Jon Daly 8 years 3 months ago #2563

  • johndcgow
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For only the third time, I took my boy with me to Ibrox on Saturday for the game against Stenhousemuir. He had come along previously to games, but his level of interest once there was lower than the level enjoyed on a Co-Operative Bank overdraft facility if you happen to be Celtic Football Club or the Labour Party!

This time was different. This time he volunteered to go. When offered the chance, which I present him with fairly often, he replied “yes” with such a hefty amount of enthusiasm it suggested he would see it through this time rather than change his mind at the last minute, as has happened in the past.

So off we went. Other fathers will know the proud feeling you get when taking your boy to the game. It almost feels like a rite of passage; something that is almost mandatory and part of their education. You take them to football, show them your team in the hope they’ll adopt the same level of passion for them as you, and then a journey and a connection begins that you hope will last a few years and some shared experiences before they set off to have their own adventures supporting the club.

So we sat in the Govan stand and, for the first time, he managed to keep fairly up to speed with the goings on which, given he is only eight, was good enough for me.

We had a good day, he was high-fived by more than a few of the guys and gals sitting around us at every one of the eight goals, and there was generally a good feeling to proceedings. He went home happy, and I went home thinking that he might just take an interest in Rangers and want to pursue it a bit more as he got older. And going by what we had witnessed, who could blame him?

Fast-forward a couple of days and the pleasant aftertaste that we both enjoyed from Saturday’s experience was starting to leave a sour taste in the mouth – well for me it was, at any rate.

Apparently we didn’t attend a football match on Saturday. No, we attended a sectarian festival and love-in between the Rangers support and the Armed Forces, which has offended some people to the extent of lobbying MSP’s to raise the issue in the Scottish Parliament and with the police.

I feel I should point out at this stage that I am not really a fan of these Armed Forces events. I feel they’re well intended, but given this countries recent military action record, I cannot say I’m overly comfortable with celebrating the military at this present stage.

I am also uncomfortable with the way the poppy has now turned into a symbol of the club. It was never this way before. Now, like Che Guvera & Basque flags on the other side, it has somehow transcended into one of the odder symbols of Old Firm rivalry.

I felt when the club started putting the poppy on the kit on and around Remembrance Sunday it made its feelings and position clear on HM Forces. It has, however, grown and grown to a level that I am no longer comfortable with. I wear a poppy every year, it’s a simple and dignified gesture with little or no fuss. Putting the troops on the pitch at half-time has become a bit overblown for my liking. I realise I’m probably in the minority on this issue as a Rangers supporter, but I feel I have to state my opinion before continuing.

Regardless of my opinion, however, what has come out of Saturday’s Armed Forces Day at Ibrox is yet another indication of the current and constant vilification of the club.

It started with Matt McGlone and Phil Mac Giolla Bhain – those well know admirers of Rangers Football Club – who posted YouTube footage which they claimed showed members of the Armed Forces and Rangers supporters in a unison of sectarian chanting.

This was news to me. I was sat in the Govan rear and can’t say I saw or heard anything of that nature during the half-time presentation of the troops.

Then George Galloway joined in with the mock outrage – yet another man who has no conflict of interest when it comes to the fortunes a certain footballing institution down Govan way or our Armed Forces. Next to join in was our old friend Alex Thomson, who has more than demonstrated over the last few months that he is no friend of Rangers.

The above gallery of rogues is to be expected when it comes to putting the boot into Rangers Football Club, but the next one to pick up the gauntlet, Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow region, was one that took me by surprise.

Harvie posted on Twitter that he had written to Police Scotland regarding the incident. When I challenged him on the version of events being put forward, he assured me that he wasn’t a supporter of the Offence Behaviour at Football Act but, if the act was in place then it had to be “applied fairly”.

Now Harvie has always struck me as one of Holyrood’s better and more level-headed MSP’s. He has always impressed me on Question Time and other political programmes, but I have to say I found his answer unsatisfactory and unconvincing – and it didn’t address the concerns I raised regarding the false version of events being put forward.

By the time the morning papers had hit the streets on Tuesday a police investigation was underway and the club, yet again, was having to deal with the issue of sectarianism.

Now I am aware that as a Rangers supporter I am biased when it comes to issues surrounding my club. However, that does not make me blind to some of the faults within it. Yes, there are issues surrounding a minority within the Rangers support when it comes to sectarianism – as there are issues surrounding other supports too – but when we are at the point that a couple of prominent Celtic fans can mobilise MSP’s through fictitious claims into taking action that, regardless of the outcome, has already damaged their main and historic rivals, then we are living in dangerous times.

In the last few months alone we have had “No To Newco”, a campaign to strip us of titles, petitions to have the five stars removed from our shirt and a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency. Is it any wonder that fair few of the Rangers support feel that there is an unhealthy obsession and willingness to kick the club from pillar to post?

Yet it continues. The MSM seem to be blinded by fear of the those who pull the strings on these issues and the demonization of the club continues apace – with no real will, it would appear, from those within the boardroom to stand firm and act in an assertive manner on the issue. In fact, the only time the current board seem to act is when it’s their own necks are in the noose, and it is time for that to change before Rangers become toxic to the point of no return.

I left Ibrox on Saturday feeling good about the club. My boy and I had a great shared experience, we had witnessed eight goals and the patter by those sitting around us had been of such a level that were both never far away from a smile.

Now? I’m told that we attended a festival of sectarianism. That is a million miles away from the truth – and needs to be challenged.

The most ironic thing about this whole issue is that, on the day those who seek to damage the club raise the age old accusation of sectarianism, we were all celebrating the performance and goal-scoring exploits of man-of-the-match, Jon Daly. He is already a fans favourite and to a man the support purred at his exploits on Saturday.

A Catholic from Dublin scoring four goals for Rangers? Wouldn’t have happened in the days my dad first took me to Ibrox. So maybe those who point fingers at Rangers and argue that club should “move on from its sectarian past” would do better if they minded about their own clubs affairs and allowed us to as well.

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Myths, Lies and Jon Daly 8 years 3 months ago #2564

  • Rick Roberts
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"...but when we are at the point that a couple of prominent Celtic fans can mobilise MSP’s through fictitious claims into taking action that, regardless of the outcome, has already damaged their main and historic rivals, then we are living in dangerous times"

The template is well pressed and there's scores of examples of this over the past few years. I'm almost beginning to think they earmark such dates in a diary and get round a table and plan it. Sadly i think they are just pre-programmed to jump on anything Rangers and set about it.

The damage is done now. Another link in the public psyhce between Rangers and sectarianism.

Interesting to see John DC Gow talking to some of the parties on twitter. You are a better man than I, John. But i get the feeling it is dawning on you that decency simply doesnt reside in some of these people?

And one for NBM and others tasked with tackling "sectarian" divides. Who is doing more damage here, the people sharing some genuine heart-felt, wholesome fun under the Ibrox sun or the wolves lurking in the shadows and spiking society with genuine hate. I know who I'd throw in jail first.
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Myths, Lies and Jon Daly 8 years 3 months ago #2565

  • AJohnston
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I think the song that's upset all them all so much is Father's Advice, and specifically the extra reference to Bobby Sands. Whilst I think it's as political as any song sung over in the East, had we been playing Celtic or Hibs it may fall foul of the Offensive Behaviour at Football act, but against Stenhousemuir I think we're probably fine.

More generally, I agree that the armed forces thing is getting excessive and it feels a lot like the petty game of oneupmanship we play with Celtic fans. I also think it's unwise to start singing about Northern Ireland whilst there were soldiers on the pitch as it was bound to get out and cause this mock outrage.
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Myths, Lies and Jon Daly 8 years 3 months ago #2566

  • Yojimbo56
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I too sat in the Govan Rear Andy and was oblivious to the 'fact' that I was attending a Sectarian hatefest. Unfortunately it seems that simple patriotism gets blurred with some fans need to express darker emotions. Rangers had a history of anti-Catholicism and I'm afraid we need to be more careful than most clubs in ensuring that this baggage remains marginalised. For your boys sake and other young bears..
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Myths, Lies and Jon Daly 8 years 3 months ago #2567

  • iaincampbelli
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Great article. The demonization of all Rangers supports on a regular basis is now so consistent on certain sections of the media that the club has to take a consistently aggressive response in my opinion. The clubs approach to these constant attacks on its integrity is inconsistent and half hearted. Fair enough the response to the bbc has been forthright but what about the rest. Radio Clyde seem to me to be well down the list of organisations who seem to have a agenda yet they were named by the club at the start of the season. The club needs to robustly defend itself on a almost daily basis and should be doing this as a good use of the many resources it has available to it.
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Myths, Lies and Jon Daly 8 years 3 months ago #2574

  • anguswalker
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I agree with most of the comments in the article.

I felt after last Novembers remembrance day celebrations at Ibrox that the whole thing was over the top and to be honest a bit undignified. I enjoyed the troops being there last Saturday but given the complaints the last time we needed to be vigilant. I also agree,as a poppy weare myself, that the whole popy thing is over the top at Ibrox.

In saying all of that, it really gets my goat that the likes of Patrick Harvie and others in high public positions in Scotland, are so quick to use their positions to attack Rangers yet when Alex Salmond announced, a couple of years ago, that IRA songs needed to stop needed to stop many politicians such as John Reid, Brian Wilson and Michael Kelly (all Labour) came out openly in national newspapers to actually defend this behaivour.

There is a very clear double standard being used here in Scottish society and it is indeed sinister. The club and the supporters clubs need to come up with a strategy to rebutt these constant attacks, but part of that means Rangers supporters and the club need to bin some of the behaivour that makes us an easy targets for zealots such as McGlone, Galloway and Kelly etc
Last Edit: 8 years 3 months ago by johndcgow.
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