The “politics” of football

I had the pleasure to read a tremendous article recently on the Do The Bouncy forums, by Locutus :-

http://dothebouncy.com/main/threads/sharks-trolls-headstones-and-apathy.59319/

I love articles you can tell come from the heart, oozing in sheer passion for our club.

One particular phrase though set me thinking “Politics should have no place in football , but thats a debate for another day.” Perhaps with events elsewhere – that day has come.

Of course in a nirvana state – Politics should have no place in football, neither for that matter should Racism, Sectarianism nor Illegal betting. Unfortunately we do not live in such a sporting utopia and from time to time we have to cope with things invading our game which are neither welcome, nor enhancing for the reputation of our  so called “Beautiful game”. In fact, if we are totally honest, at times it is downright ugly rather than beautiful.

But if Politics has no place in football – what about Political influence ? For the Rangers support these last 3 years or so have been a real wake up call. As our club lurched from crisis to crisis and was subjected to a catalogue of unjust treatment, the silence from politicians in Scotland was deafening. Compare and contrast such silence with the political response to an illegal procession organised by The Green Brigade.

http://news.stv.tv/west-central/218177-celtics-green-brigade-protest-results-in-msps-policing-question/

That’s not to say of course that Scottish Labour MP’s were silent over the crisis at Rangers, some in fact were only too happy to have something to say.

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/913

Some of you will remember Jim McGovern, Labour MP for Dundee West from some of my previous articles. He has been particularly vocal of late.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/westminster-mps-table-motion-condemning-2867719

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/dundee/dundee-mp-calls-for-probe-into-champions-league-trouble-in-amsterdam-1.158942

The Courier article in particular saw some particularly critical online comments directed towards Mr McGovern – particulary as he was not  so much vocal but noticeably silent after Celtic supporters misbehaved in his constituency of Dundee. Scenes described by Dundee Operations Manager Jim Thomson as “a throwback to the 1970’s” and “I have never seen anything like the behaviour of the Celtic fans in the 20 years I have been running games at Dens Park” warranted not a murmur from Mr McGovern.

Not surprising then with conduct such as this that Mr McGovern requires annual staffing fees of £ 115, 581.17  ( as opposed to his Party leader, and Leader of the Opposition – Ed Miliband’s £ 93, 747.42 ) perhaps his staff are particularly busy answering constituent’s questions about his apparent double standards.

With Baron Reid of Cardowan a recent chairman, as well as Brian Wilson currently serving on the board of Celtic FC, it would be foolhardy to suggest our footballing rivals are suffering from a lack of political influence, particularly within the Scottish Labour Party.

Though such influence appears not to be confined to the bigger stage but also on a more localised level and has been highlighted previously

http://www.vanguardbears.co.uk/same-city-council-same-old-story.html

With the Co-op Bank, with their historical links to the Labour Party, now subject to both scrutiny and investigation, it begs the question if the favourable loan rates afforded to Celtic FC were as a consequence of Celtic’s rather cosy relationship with the Scottish Labour Party ?

And as preliminary enquiries into land deals run their course in Brussels and Tory researchers work long into the night scouring over Co-op loan arrangements, I have a question for the Rangers support.

Is it time we sacrificed “politics has no place in football” – for the love of our club ?

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