Many Ex-Celts comment on the sensitive question that the media constantly fire out at them whenever they do a media appearance. The question of course is ‘Do Celtic need Rangers?’. It’s so easy for these ex-players to weigh in with their opinions, most of them detached from Celtic in one way or another from the days they played at Celtic Park. Yes, players who play for Celtic more often than not develop an affinity for the club which lasts a lifetime once they have rode off into the sunset but very few have their finger on the pulse of the Celtic Fans and the club in general.
They speak about the passion from Celtic fans and what it was like when they played there but very few of them can’t speak to what’s happening right now as they watch from afar. We’ve seen many ex-Celts coming out in the press and saying Celtic need a strong Rangers etc. all the stuff the media in this country lap up to keep Rangers in the same conversation as Celtic – Quite a feet when they are literally not in our league.
It comes as no surprise to me however that when the question was put to former Celtic captain Tom Boyd he was less than receptive to any meaningful reunion between Celtic and whatever club plays at Ibrox. Here’s what he had to say when asked:
“No – they need the Champions League money”
“Celtic certainly need competition, which I think they got – to a degree – from Aberdeen last season.”
“Look at where Celtic are now and where Rangers are. There is a massive gap and it will take a good few years to bridge that.”
“Celtic need to play against the best teams in Europe. That is certainly more of an attraction just now than playing Rangers.”
The former captain not mincing his words.
It’s no surprise because Tom is still deeply entrenched in the club and follows the team home and away, regularly among the fans and he knows more than most where the majority of Celtic fans opinions lie on this matter.
Of course this will send some foaming at the mouth and trying to trudge out financial, attendance, tv deal and even dental records to try and disprove the feeling among the Celtic fans. Some in pain so much that the only way they can get through “the journey” as if they convince themselves that they are missed and that their rivals are obsessed with them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As Tom Boyd said, the Champions League is where we want and need to be. I’d be hard pressed to find any Celtic fan that would choose a meet up with a team from Govan over the potential of having a Real Madrid or Bayern Munich come to town. We are moving on, if it doesn’t seem like that it’s because the media in this country are trying their best to keep them as relevant to us as possible.
The fact is Celtic have no control over when Rangers will debut in the Premiership so asking ex-celts the question does nothing but create a flimsy headline for a day to keep their dwindling circulation above water.
Good luck to them.