Requiem for a rivalry

Regular readers will know that what they peruse here is often at variance with what the stenographers obediently churn out.

It is self-evident that they are operating at a different Level to your humble correspondent in Donegal.

In the OTT build up to the League match at Celtic Park yesterday the hacks were marching in step.

This, they breathlessly told their dwindling readership, was the Old Firm and it was back!

Of course, in the week that was in it, they obediently failed to mention the sectarian selfie at Linfield.

I suppose that’s what I’m here for dear reader.

Shankill Selfie 2

Actually, the Admirable Warburton might have been better if he had deployed the Shankill Road Defenders instead of Philippe Senderos.


Shankill Selfie 1

Many of the shell-shocked Sevco supporters decided To Do Walking Away before Celtic scored their fifth goal.

However, I suspect that weren’t the only ones in shock.

In the summer of 2012 there were quite a few cardboard coffins in the Celtic end signifying the death of Rangers (1872-2012).

However, what has replaced Celtic’s old rivals is also made of cardboard.

The calamitous performance by the Parkhead club at the Scottish Cup semi-final last season allowed the hacks and The People to believe that it was all a bad dream.

Celtic’s failure in the day helped them with their dignified denial that Rangers had died in 2012.

The celebratory antics that day within earshot of an Irish billionaire meant that it was the final episode from Heated Driveway Productions.

Heated Driveway

The fact that Brendan Rodgers was in the home dugout yesterday directing the efforts of Moussa Dembélé and Scott Sinclair is rooted in what Dermot Desmond had to endure that day in Hampden.

That the champions trounced the newly promoted team should be the sports writing equivalent of ‘diner bites dinner’.

It was expected.

However, because the hacks are instructed to pretend that this Ibrox outfit is the original Rangers, then yesterday was always going to be a rude awakening.

Celtic have now played the teams that came second and third last year and Aberdeen and Hearts remain the Parkhead club’s strongest rivals in Scotland.

Of course, the stenographers are under orders to state that it’s all about ‘Rangers’, but it isn’t.

The story at Ibrox now, for real journalists, is how the administrators of the game tried to parachute Charlie’s basket of assets into the top flight in 2012.

Thankfully that was thwarted by the Scottish spring and the late great Turnbull Hutton.

Since then the real journalistic action at Ibrox has been charting what the new club has been up off the field.

Sevco was set up by Charles of Normandy to make the original investors LOTS of money.

It worked beautifully throughout 2013 when the money from the share issue was gobbled up by the famous ‘Onerous Contacts’.

Then there was the interregnum of Ashley influence from October 2014 until March 2015.

Since the King hostile takeover, there have been chaps in the Blue Room with an emotional investment that Sevco really IS the original Rangers.

However, I would not include the Chairman in that misguided group.

He remains a businessman and how he thinks that he can actually make money from his involvement in Sevco is yet another great developing story.

However, don’t expect anyone in Scotland to go after it.

One of the constants in the Rangers and Sevco stories has been a compliant local media.

Here is Graham Spiers in confessional mood about the Murray years…

In 2012 they had the chance, to tell the truth about the Murray years at Ibrox.

Moreover, there was an opportunity to expose the nightmare on Edmiston Drive that Charlie and the boys had been allowed to create.

Instead, they pretended that Sevco was Rangers, the original Rangers and that all was well.

Well, it isn’t.

What currently operates out of the dilapidated Ibrox is a loss making business without a credit line from a bank.

Consequently, they need to access external finance to see out this season AND pay for extensive stadium repairs.

It is also likely that the chaps in the Blue Room might have to pay some hefty legal fees if Puma decides to pounce.

This season I would be surprised if Sevco gets as close to Celtic in the league as Philippe Senderos got to Moussa Dembélé yesterday.

However, that isn’t the real story.

What we saw 24 hours ago at Celtic Park was the death of pretense.

It was the funeral for a media constructed lie that Rangers didn’t die.

In the press area and in the away end it was a séance for a lost rivalry.

When Scott Sinclair put in that corner kick the Hacks, and The People were praying for a presence to appear.

Unfortunately, it was youngster wearing the Hoops.

Although it was a tribute act playing Celtic, it was the same fascist groupies, and they left their dignified mark on the stadium.

Celtic Toilets vandalised

Perhaps this season will see some of The People progress on a genuine journey.

Senderos Journey

They should let Elisabeth Kübler-Ross be their guide.

Sevco’s league challenge, like Rangers, is dead.

Discover Phil’s dramatic play Rebellion