I don't understand the complex economic narrative unfolding in my home city, whereby Glasgow Rangers football club fights for its life after years of financial stewardship which can only be described as "Greek". As words like "broke", "soup kitchen" and "jail" get bandied around, with me being a former Rangers fan, you'd think I would spend my days crying at the kitchen table. But this will never happen. Why? Because we don't have a kitchen table. And as I allow that revelation to sink into your conscious minds, like a welly in a swamp, I should probably explain why I am a "former" fan.
While it's certainly true that I attended Rangers' Ibrox Stadium many times and sang the songs and ate the pies and shook my fist at the Celtic fans, there came a time when I just couldn't do it any more. Thankfully, once my electronic tag was removed, I returned to the stadium for more singing and eating and shaking. But having done that for a few years, I grew tired of it; tired of the songs about Catholic people being evil, sneaky; spawned by weasels; tired of the chants about we Protestants being altogether better; more groovy and less likely to make potty on the carpet. When all is said and done, football matches between Rangers and Celtic may be the most exciting of their kind in world football, but whatever electricity causes them to vibrate as much as they do is generated by lager, bigotry and, well, lager.
I'm sure I will get hate mail about this column, because I haven't lived in Glasgow for 15 years and I've rejected my kind, blah blah. The bottom line is that I moved to London so I could live and work among people who really don't care which god I bow to. When I tell them about my broken relationship with Rangers, I still get English people (non football fans, I should add) saying to me: "Rangers... that's the Catholic team, right?" And I love their ignorance. Oh, to not know.
So maybe the best thing to happen to my home town would be the dissolution of Rangers. While I wouldn't cry tears, many would. But I may have a solution to their angst. Let's see Celtic (who have always, certainly publicly, been seen to lead the way when it comes to abandoning sectarianism), make the grandest gesture of all and welcome all of those unemployed Rangers players and bereft fans into their arms, creating a combined Glasgow team. Everybody's happy and Scotland moves forward into an optimistic future.
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