30 Sep 2013

Armed forces’ involvement in a sectarian Rangers ‘party’ a PR disaster

It’s not about Rangers. It’s about the Ministry of Defence.

The one thing any soldier (rightly) runs a mile from is getting into anything deemed “political”. Our armed forces need to be seen to be distanced from politics. Theirs is the lonely and dangerous business of doing the bidding of our politicians for better or worse.

In recent years that has meant fighting long, unwinnable wars, far from these islands, with little support or thanks from voters and politicians who would rather Iraq and Afghanistan just somehow went away.

More from Alex Thomson on Rangers

That is why the scenes at Ibrox on Saturday are scarcely credible and stain the reputation of Britain’s armed forces.

An orderly parade of service personnel from all three forces marched onto the pitch to the accompaniment of a military band. It was dignified. The kind of thing you would see at many a carnival event across Britain.

What happened next was not dignified. It was a PR disaster for all three services, and the MoD has only escaped wider damage because an event that looks so tawdry to outside eyes and ears is still considered normal in this part of Scotland. So normal that is has barely been mentioned in the Scottish media, which speaks volumes.

For a prolonged period, British armed forces in uniform waved, clapped, danced, did the “bouncy” and snapped their selfies in front of fans – as the Ibrox faithful went through their repertoire of Rule Britannia, Derry’s Walls, The Sash and so forth. A number of chants praised the Northern Irish paramilitary organisation the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Like Celtic fans praising the IRA, this is illegal under recent Scottish anti-sectarian laws.

It’s not clear whether or not the scores of uniformed soldiers actually joined in with the singing – but they very much joined in in every other conceivable way, lending their obvious and very public support to a litany of sectarian songs. It was a party – a loud, sectarian, political party. The British Army, air force and navy were taking sides. The evidence is all there, all over YouTube (see above), posted by loyal Rangers fans who thought it was all an innocent grand day out.

Now – love ’em or loathe ’em, sectarian songs are a fact of life and tradition in Ibrox as they are at Celtic Park.

That’s not the key issue here. The problem is with our servicemen and women being exposed to this and hung out to dry by their commanders who seem to have the PR skills of a garden slug. This is the British Army, the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy – and some years into a delicate peace process in Northern Ireland.

You can’t expose young people in the ranks to this and expect them to do anything else but let their hair down. What is idiotic and so far unexplained, is how they were put into this position by their commanding officers.

It was so easy: march on. Stand and enjoy the applause. March off.

Who thought allowing these people to be sucked into this deeply political cauldron and be made idiots of, was somehow a clever plan? The MoD either lost control of this event or, worse, never thought to impose any. We await answers to these questions from the MoD and, in particular, the General Officer Commanding Scotland, Major General Nick Eeles.

A man walks past a Rangers' soccer club poster at their Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland

All this just months after the GOC Scotland wrote to people who complained that last year’s remembrance parade at Ibrox, with abseiling and other attractions, was at best tasteless: “The General Officer Commanding Scotland has now had the opportunity to review the events that took place at Ibrox Park with the other service heads in Scotland. They share your view that the format of the half-time event and the conduct of those taking part in it was inappropriate for remembrance weekend and will take steps to ensure that such events are conducted with appropriate solemnity in the future.”

If the GOC believes a little light abseil action is “inappropriate”, I await with interest his views of what happened at Ibrox this weekend, where professional British forces in uniform were allowed to become sectarian cheerleaders. It wasn’t just ugly – it was unprofessional. All this while the top brass were in a box at Ibrox, watching it unfold.

What should have been a dignified display in belated celebration of armed forces day degenerated into a corporate car crash for HM Forces plc. The regional chief exec, GOC  Eeles, owes the wider public beyond Ibrox some kind of explanation.

The basis of professional armed forces is that they must be, and be seen to be, non-political. The commanding officers of our forces in Scotland seem to have entirely forgotten that. Or, like much of the Scottish media, they simply didn’t see anything amiss here. The former would be grossly naïve. The latter, tragic.’

UPDATE: Following a number of questions to the Ministry of Defence regarding the scenes at Ibrox on Saturday, Channel 4 News has received the following response;

An MoD spokesperson said: “We are aware that Police Scotland are investigating an allegation relating to the behaviour of some fans at Saturday’s game at Ibrox. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.

“Any personnel found to have fallen short of the Armed Forces’ values and standards will be dealt with by the chain of command and, if necessary, by the police.”

Because of the complaint to Police Scotland and the possibility of military disciplinary action being taken against some of the service personnel involved, the MoD was unable to comment further upon what happened.

However the ministry did add that there are no plans at present to stop any future celebrations of Armed Forces Day happening during the autumn at Ibrox.

So the up-sum of all this is that action may or my not be taken against those in uniform deemed to have crossed the line and whilst there are no plans to stop the parade and it’s hard to see why anyone could reasonably object to the parade part of it, the interest will be about whether in future those in uniform on the pitch are left to their own devices to go over and join in with the fans in the way so many did on Saturday.

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283 reader comments

  1. Michael says:

    This needed saying Alex, l can not believe that this has been passed on by the media as some sort of jamboree.

    I really felt for the soldiers who got caught up in all the nonsense and hope it does not cost careers.

    What is wrong with dignified march on and off? Stupid in the extreme.

    1. Yvonne says:

      Just another typical match at Ibrox, except this time the armed forces were there too and completely humiliated themselves in front of the nation…except that the Scottish media didn’t report it, it was an English journalist. The Scottish media put a positive spin on it and didn’t mention the sectarian singing or the soldiers doing the bouncy bouncy. The best word to describe this would be DISGUSTING. Please stop dragging Celtic into anything that these trolls do on the other side of the Clyde, yes we have idiots too but nothing on the scale of what occurs at Ipox. If this was racist chanting about Black people or Muslims something would be done. But if you’re a Catholic or Irish/Irish descent then it’s put up or shut up. This is Scotland shame. And nobody seems to give a damn.

      1. Neil says:

        You’re right Yvonne.

        Why don’t you contact Celtic, get them to do an Armed Forces Day and show Rangers how it should be done? I’m sure being a Scottish team (as most of your other supporters mention) neither you nor Celtic would have a problem with this.

      2. fianna says:

        As is speaking about politics or singing your political aspirations illegal because of the “sectarian bill “, So should any form of public display like this be in a football grounds, especially if the reason is less than admirable, like Rangers Fans Flying the Royal Parachute Regiment at a Bloody Sunday commemoration, this isn’t national pride it’s blatant sectarianism.

        I am not Anti-Army, my brother is a Corporal in the British Army and a Celtic Fan

      3. Jimmy says:

        Neil, Celtic do not need to do an armed forces parade, we give them their place by paying OUR TAXES IN FULL!!

      4. gary mcmillan says:

        Reading some of these comments just shows the hatred for the armed services from so called scottish people and a unhealthy” blame someone else as our club is so squeaky clean “….one comment from “jimmy” was “we pay our taxes”…Were Rangers found guilty of tax evasion ????…no so why spout this nonsense and in regards to service people being invited onto the pitch at half time at ibrox….if you asked each and everyone of them they will tell you to a man and woman that they all felt especially proud to hear 45,000 people cheering them and signing Rule Brittania to them….proud to be scottish ,proud to be british…and if think you will see and i can send a video from youtube of IRA sympathisers trying to collect money outside Celtic Park late last year……usual left wing rubbish

      5. gordon says:

        Yvonne typical of your response. Trying to justify by making out Celtic are not as bad as rangers. Don’t be so stupid and branding everyone. I am of Irish catholic decent and I support rangers. Leave football out of this crap. These are stupid people it doesn’t matter but you have an absolute cheek to brand the team or the majority of its fans like that. You wouldn’t like it if I branded you in line with some of the disgusting things to come from Celtic.

      6. Ivor Trewth says:

        Oh, aye, you lot are white as the driven snow, Yvonne. Gie’s a break, eh? Your hypocrisy is nothing short of astonishing.

      7. ron says:

        bet that took you ages hours even to find something on celtic to cover up what rangers fans done on saturday ya idiot

      8. stuart says:

        were you at the game yvonne no you werent i was and there wasnt any sectarian singing happening go read up on the meanings of derrys walls and fathers advice and you will find they arent sectarian songs your just choosing to believe a journalist who is clearly anti rangers and out to give the armed forces a bad name and what is wrong with doing the bouncy theres nothing wrong with it just like theres nothing wrong with singing rule brittania. now alex thomson has been caught out lying by me already on this as he claimed the sash was sung aswell which it clearly wasnt and if it was sung it still cant be classed as sectarian as its been ruled in courts and is actually classed as a folk song.

    2. David Robertson says:

      The new rangers had the chance to get rid of all this sectarian bile when they reformed but choose not to as they need to pander to the knuckle dragers.
      The rangers could not care less about the armed forces and only use them to hold on to some kind of history that for some reason they are proud of. If the troops had any education they would realise how they are used.
      Im from a protestant background but support Celtic as they may have some idiot’s but no way as many as the rangers.
      I have 2 family members at the game and they said the troops were singing the sash etc.

    3. dougize says:

      I hope that all loyal brittish people will take this for what it is an auntie british coment end of , it was allright I suppose for your ira killers tae walk the streets of Scotland though , and u were not there so shut up you shite stirring ira supporter ; NS Y BECOS W.A.T.P.

      1. T says:
  2. John Hamill says:

    This event has been totally body swerved by all Scottish media BBC, STV and all newspapers in Scotland. Protecting the Union at all costs. We get unbiased Referendum reporting from Russian TV but not our own.

    1. william says:

      I agree and Alex and Channel 4 could do themselves and us Scots a favour as to what is happening in Scotland regarding what passes for news coverage. Ever since the SNP landslide in 2011, the BBC in Scotland has shut down any comment on its political and business bloggs. Any potentially damaging stories to the Union simply dont appear, or if they do, are reported partially and heavily spun. Our referendum ” debate” is being dragged into the gutter by Better Together and those linked to Labour, with influence in the media. As I say, this can do with a closer look.

    2. joe strummer says:

      You’re correct. This wonderful event of celebrating the Service of our Armed Personnel at Ibrox, which was thoroughly enjoyed by both both participants and spectators, SHOULD be given prime-time viewing on all of our major news outlets.

      It was a marvellous occasion and should be mandatory at all British football grounds.

      1. MichaelM says:

        Those comments will have THE Joe Strummer, a man of principle and a vociferous opponent of British involvement in Ireland, spinning in his grave. You’re not fit to lace his boots.

      2. joe strummer says:

        Joe Strummer loathed fascism. He would loathe Celtic fans chanting in support of the IRA, who as the world knows, were open Nazi collaborators during WW2.

      3. Fianna says:

        You knew him that well? where u can confidently give his perceptions of a group of people. Remember one thing William Wallace was a terrorist in the eyes of England, is he in Scotland.

      4. Bruce says:

        You’re half right. Which is a 100% improvement on your usual comments. If only you’d stopped at Joe Strummer loathed fascism. He’s also have loathed what happened at Ibrox the other day.

  3. Kevin says:

    I have to disagree with your assertion that sectarian songs and chants are a part of tradition and a fixture at Celtic Park.

    I appreciate th difficulty you have in reporting anything about events at Ibrox, and it may well be the safest path to tread by making sure to drag Celtic in to this, but quite frankly that has been a major part of the problems in Govan – very few will ever just tell it as it is without dragging Celtic in to it. Celtic supporters and Celtic FC have nothing to do with the disgraceful scenes shown above. Why mention them?

    1. Bruce says:

      Totally agree Kevin. There was absolutely no need to bring Celtic into this piece.

    2. Ronan says:

      I have to agree with Kevin above in terms of dragging the name of Celtic into this. I would add that you will not hear sectarian songs at Celtic matches either. What you may hear is what we in Ireland term “rebel” songs. These songs are political and in my view have no place at a sporting event, but sectarianism is not an issue with Celtic or the supporters.

      1. David says:

        So you think Celtic shouldn’t be brought into this piece? A very quick glance counted at least three people stating the same thing. So you’re unhappy at Celtic being brought in, and just to compound it, you all have to have your say, by metioning Celtic yourselves. If Celtic shouldn’t be brought into it, why are you even reading this story in the first place, far less comment on it?

      2. Bruce says:

        Who suggested we needed or wanted your permission?

      3. David says:

        The Celtic fans (some of whom aren’t just content to question why they’ve been mentioned in the article, but want to also claim the moral high ground, while having another cheap dig at Rangers), should have a look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzHSr2-QFlo If you’re not already aware of it, this is the Celtic fans own particular brand of nastiness. There seems to be plenty more where these videos came from. My message to Celtic fans is, by all means question why Alex Thomson has mentioned your club in the article, but don’t try to pretend everything’s rosy in Celtic Park, or the massed ranks of your support. There are elements in both clubs that are thouroughly distasteful at best, and down right bigoted morons at worst.

      4. SemperFi says:

        The fact that the songs at Celtic Park are in support of a racist & fascist philosophy does not make them sectarian. Fascist & racist is more than enough to condemn them in the sight of every decent person

    3. Daniel says:
    4. doug says:
    5. ScouseCraig says:

      Please Mr Offended by everything and ashamed of nothing since 1888, can you tell me exactly what you found to be offensive? I have the feeling that you would see any Rangers chanting, such as “Come on you blues” to be sectarian. Go on, admit it, you would, wouldn’t you?

  4. John Reilly says:

    Alex I have to take issue with your comment

    “Now – love ‘em or loathe ‘em, sectarian songs are a fact of life and tradition in Ibrox as they are at Celtic Park”

    Sectarian songs are rarely, if ever, heard at Celtic Park following a campaign by Fergus McCann in the 1990s to eradicate them. What you hear at Celtic Park is harmless Irish ballads, cheesy 80s pop tunes and inventive songs celebrating Celtic Football Club. I would add that away games are different but again NO sectarian songs by definition, more edgy Irish rebel songs.

    At every match at Ibrox you will hear 99% of the time anti-catholic, anti-Irish and Loyalist songs, hardly any “Rangers” songs.

    Please stop lumping Celtic fans in with the triumphalist bigotry from The Rangers fans, we are not the same and we purposely try to be different.

    1. D says:

      Tony – you say ‘The truly sad thing is the lack of understanding on the part of those who were there to recognise that this sorry mess was sectarian’ …….care to elaborate as to how an Armed Forces day at a football ground within their own country is sectarian? ……..Were troops refused the right to attend based on their religion or their lack of it? Were the fans as a whole being sectarian? What faith was this day being sectarian against? Please tell us what you know and make a report with the police as to what you witnessed, there can be no sectarianism in Scotland I quite agree but I never witnessed anything of the sort. Please share what you know with us all!

      1. Yabutey says:

        Uniformed soldiers should not be seen singing partisan songs, sectarian, as some in this case were, or otherwise. Nor should they allow themselves to be photographed with a scarf emblazoned with the logo ” Keep Ulster Protestant.” they are pledged to defend all citizens, regardless of faith or which team they support. No problem with a march past etc but the rest was unacceptable.

    2. D says:

      I see plenty of Non-Rangers fans confirming that this was a sectarian event and that’s why British troops shouldn’t have been there, I dispute this as unlike them I was actually there. Having said that though, notice how those complaining are not asking for British troops to make an appearance at their “non-sectarian” event/ground?…Why is that do you think? Are British troops sectarian and not welcome anywhere in their own country? OR is it just the case that those who hate our military and the United Kingdom didn’t think their argument through that far?!

  5. Graham says:

    Actually Alex, it isn’t about the MoD, it is about the Scottish police. If they do not charge the 3 british soldiers who were photographed holding up the “Keep Ulster Protestant” scarf then they will be seen to be holding one law for those demonstrating anti-Catholic sentiment and a far different one for anyone espousing support for the IRA but not demonstrating any anti-Protestant sentiment.

    This, in the last year before the independence referendum, is a real test if Scottish Catholics can trust an independent Scotland.

    1. Empires End says:

      I disagree. This is an element of the British armed forces showing their sectarian colours whilst wrapped in the union jack.

      The best, most effective way to counter them would be to vote Yes in September’s referendum, to end the British state and consign the union jack to history.

      1. falloch says:

        They walked onto the pitch holding aloft the Saltire.

    2. William Brown says:

      I think this happened at the weekend, while we are still in the United Kingdom. I dont think an independent Scotland will have the jingoistic Britnat nonsense you so rightly denounce. There is also an issue with the non reporting by the Scottish media. It is a fact that there is no such thing as a Scottish owned MSM company, most are owned and headquartered down south or overseas, so whos pulling the strings? Finally, I suggest you make an official complaint to Scottish Police where it will be addressed, as many others have. They may have been reluctant to do anything on the day, as Her Majestys top brass were in attendance at the Brit fest.

  6. Jamie says:

    “sectarian songs are a fact of life and tradition in Ibrox as they are at Celtic Park”

    Sounds like you have never visited Celtic Park, You are just another journalist who feels the need to drag Celtic into what happened on Saturday, do you lot take night classes on how to mention Celtic whenever Dead Rangers or their New Club are embarrassing the nation ?

    1. BJ Canoe says:
  7. Rob says:

    Coming from Scotland and being athiest with a Catholic wife and kids, I’m appalled that in this day and age, members of the armed forces can be seen indulging in this ‘hate-fest’. If this had been to denigrate Muslims , Jews or even black people there would be an outcry and Im hoping (but not much) that we see such a reaction to this. I honestly worry about what kind of Scotland my kids will grow up in. It was bad enough in the 80’s and 90’s but I thought that we had left this behind.

    But Alex, I can assure you of one thing, its not that this got out of control, its the latter, more tragic explanation… sadly too many people did not – and will not – see anything wrong in what happened on Saturday. And some of these people will be very high up in the Armed Forces and the media.

    1. WDH59510 says:

      Quick reminder that 4 of Rangers’ goals on Saturday were scored by Jon Daly. Who is Irish. Born in Dublin. And Catholic.
      To hear the so-called and self-appointed Greatest Fans In The World all you ever hear at the Piedome is Daniel O’Donnell singing The Lonesome Boatman.

      1. Bruce says:

        Which means your new club has already managed something your old club never did, played an Irish Catholic. Congratulations.

        Oh and Celtic supporters didn’t appoint themselves the greatest fans in the world. That was UEFA.

        Piedome? You’re all charm.

  8. Bert Dagastino says:

    Why the word Celtic even appears in this article is worrying. Sounds to me like Alex is eyeing up the Lamb on the menu!

  9. kev keane says:

    Once again a journalist feels the need to drag Celtic into a story about Sevco – The Rangers, formally Rangers 1872, shaming themselves in front of thousands of onlookers and recording equipment. Please share with us these sectarian songs that are sung at regularly Celtic Park and please provide proof of thousands/hundreds/dozens of ‘fans’ singing these songs from a stadium that holds 60k+ supporters.

    1. BJ Canoe says:
    2. Dark Matters says:

      Here we go; ‘Sevco’, ‘The Rangers’ etc etc. As a general rule, people who include this tripe have very little to say about sectarianism in Scotland other than some sad and desperate denial that Celtic fans too are at times culpable.

      I am a fan of Sevco, The Rangers or the huns, whatever you want to call them, and the behaviour of the fans and the club management are often beyond the pale. I abhor sectarianism. We all should. Rather than try to score cheap points that fan the flames. Take a look around you and tackle it where you see it.

  10. Mrs P!nk says:

    A good piece Alex but why even mention Celtic in it. As you have stated this is a PR disaster for HM Forces in Scotland and an on going problem at Ibrox. Celtic as a club do not need to be mentioned every time something is written about RFC/Sevco. Celtic do not even play in the same league as them so what they do is of no concern to the side from the East of the city.

  11. Tom says:

    Having watched the video i totally echo your comments. the scary thing appears to be th silence within the scottish media. who by their ommitence of this report would endorse this outrageous situation. I am scottish and british and speechless.

  12. Finlay says:

    The author says “It’s not about Rangers” in the opening sentence. Actually, trust me they’ll all be along in a minute berating you for daring to criticize something that involves Rangers.

  13. bawsman says:

    I have 23 years service in the RAF, my daughetr is in the RAF, I have nephews and nieces in the services.

    These scenes are abhorant, the CO of this debacle should be carpeted and reamed.

    How could the leadership be so naive? Not once but twice in less than a year ?

    The services in Scotland are being played like a fiddle by some unsavoury characters running this once famous club.

    1. b mcguire says:

      Well said that man..pride.tradition.discipline.honour..heads must roll

  14. david says:

    You really should do a little bit of investigation (you are an investigative journalist after all sic!) before rhyming off such drivel.
    Amateur to say the least and vindictive and one sided at worst.

  15. Joc says:

    You see Alex, the very same thing happened last year. It was like the last night of the proms on acid. Military just showing their true colours

    1. McBhoy says:

      True colours? I serve and support celtic and I know plenty other soldiers that support celtic. Don’t tar us all with the same brush. The bottom line is; PR disaster.

      Very worrying that it will put off potential planning to join and have a good career / life like I’ve had for the last 25 years; back in time…

      And I agree with the comments above with regards to celtic, nothing to do with this issue, a bit of deflection if you ask me. Did celtic blame rangers when the green brigade issue was ongoing not so long ago? NO! However; this was all over the press in Scotland.


  16. pedrok says:

    Whilst I welcome these comments, particularly the silence from the Scottish media on this, why does the name of Celtic need to be dragged into this? What has this got to do with Celtic FC? Another journalist who cannot mention what goes on at Ibrox without some sort of evening up by mentioning Celtic. I doubt you will hear any sectarian songs at Celtic Park, as you claim.

  17. Edgar Blamm says:

    Why are Celtic mentioned in this blog, Alex?

  18. AJM says:

    No reporting of this in the Scottish media, just what the hell are they scared of? There is no excuse, this is a news story 100%, shameful on our so called media for not having the balls to cover it.

  19. b mcguire says:

    Good piece alex but dont know why celtic fans are being mentioned in your article when they wernt involved..is it a tired “ones as bad as the other”shot?

  20. Joe says:

    You are right Alex the Scottish media won’t report on this and if they do you can bet they will somehow drag Celtic into the story,oh wait..

  21. jimmy white says:

    Why have it in the first place? Audited accounts late, protests against the board were organised for the same day? Its about to be revealed that the club does not own any of the assets, they belong to the company that owns the club that will charge them rent for said assets from now to kingdom come, so maybe it was a slight of hand, a diversion, they used the military to their eternal shame.

  22. Den says:

    Alex I think you need to issue an apology regarding ” it’s the same at Celtic Park” .. Celtic have moved on from that nonsense and troublemakers are dealt with.

    Celtic FC strives to remain purely about the football … we never did have a no signing policy.

  23. Paul says:

    Another dereliction of duty by MSM in Scotland, and the head of Armed Forces in Scotland. Yet again its Alex Thomson who has to highlight another mess from Ibrox. Although, the board at Ibrox is not to blame this time. Ibrox is to be applauded for wanting to honour the Armed Forces.
    The lack of coverage of the behavior of some of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen is yet another example that the MSM in Scotland are scared of The Rangers.

  24. Albalha says:
  25. John wiiliamson says:

    Alex, the reason the Scottish media did not comment on this story is because of the Independence debate, this was a serious embarrassment to Unionists/No campaigners. If an event occurred which embarrassed the Yes campaign, it would have been all over the papers. ( Graham, it is difficult to answer your fears other than this sort of behaviour has been largely ignored by Westminster for 100 years, a No vote next year will just mean more of the same, a YES vote will at least give us a chance to create a better scotland away from the bitterness of Northern Irish politics, whilst at least respecting peoples rights and traditions, it may take a couple of generations but it will be worth it. Can you imagine the party at Ibrox next year if there is a NO vote, if you vote NO would you go along and enjoy Unionist triumphalism—don’t think so and neither will I)

    1. Compton Arthur says:

      Spot on but Rangers managementhave got to accept some of the blame and condem the supporters who have let this type of behavior go on to long .

  26. David Hunter says:

    The forces could have marched around the pitch in silence with Rangers fans singing nursery rhymes and the same bigots would be offended.

    What I saw on Saturday was a lot of people enjoying themselves, this is too much for the bigots. You only need to look at the background of those offended, pro Celtic, pro IRA and frankly loathe anything British.

    1. Jack says:

      I am far from pro-IRA and I found the scenes disgusting and in general find the military triumphalism that goes on at these events distasteful at best

    2. Murphman says:

      Seriously, are people really defending this, “My father said to me you should join the YCV”. The YCV are the Young Citizen Volunteers, this is the youth division of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Songs about sectarian motivated groups who specifically targeted their murders at Roman Catholic people. These people mostly stayed within Ulster. So, by definition British troops partied to songs glorifying the murderers of British citizens (albeit the citizenship was through imposition).
      Scum bags

    3. johncfearon says:

      One again you (and others) have missed the point. As an ex-soldier with some 30 years behind me (including 8 in NI), I found Saturday’s event appalling. The singing and chanting about the YCV (an organisation stated by the RUC in the mid-70s to have been reformed expressly for the murder of Catholics) combined with photographs of soldiers holding a banner which read ‘Ulster (sic) must remain Protestant’ was a disgrace to the uniform; a uniform I had the honour to wear for more than half my life.

      Hopefully military and civil law will have some impact on those who besmirched it!

  27. Daniel says:

    I have never heard a sectarian song sung at Celtic park Alex please elaborate

    1. BJ Canoe says:
  28. Christopher says:

    The British army are supposed to be impartial and conceal their sectarian anti Irish views behind closed doors. Talk about rubbing in British imperialism. Family members and survivors of the British war crimes in Ireland will be sickened by this. They are expected to keep to a pro British peace plan in Ireland while members of the armed forces revel in songs celebrating the killing of Irish people. This should unite Catholics and Protestants as they should be unified in their disgust of the sectarian racist behaviour of the overwhelming majority inside Ibrox.

  29. Brianmac says:

    I really cannot understand why secterianism being publicly displayed by uniformed members of the armed forces is allowed. Are there not laws in Scotland prohibiting such behaviour? There appears to be a deafening silence coming from the Scottish Police, Armed Forces Command, politicians and, apart from the few, the British media.

    What response would there should this type of conduct have been directed towards religions other than Catholic or nations other than Irish?

    Well done Mr.Thomson once again.
    No doubt you will find yourself in the line of fire as before.

  30. David Black says:

    A bit of the Scottish MSM mindset of “whataboutery” creeping in there Alex.

    The soldiers holding that scarf and the commanding officers that allow this debacle to happen should be sacked, it’s a simple as that. We need our army to protect all of our citizens and maybe more importantly be seen to be protecting all of our citizens regardless of race , creed or colour.

  31. Jim says:

    Was this sash bash at the taxpayers expense? I know the tickets were free but if my taxes paid for travel and subsistence expenses it’s nothing short of a disgrace, bearing in mind the old club’s track record in this respect.

    1. Debbie says:

      What a disgrace you are Alex. Rangers do something nice for the troops and you make it into something political. Just shows your mentality and your total dislike of Rangers go and get a life and do some serious journalism instead of making a mountain out of a molehill!!!

      1. Gerry says:

        Unbelievable! Do none of The Rangers fans get it? Are there none sufficiently intelligent to grasp what went on on Saturday Is fundamentally wrong and repugnant to decent members of society – not simply Celtic fans?

        They were singing songs which supported sectarian murderers, songs which lambasted Bobby Sands a man with more courage in his little finger than these supposed “heroes”.

        If the song was God Save the Queen they were singing together then I would be embarrassed for them but not offended.

        The Rangers fans must have the collective IQ of a goldfish,

      2. Mark says:

        Supporting our troops is not wrong in anyway I will start with that. If you can’t see that the way “The Rangers FC” fans and their slant on supporting the armed forces men and women ‘In Uniform’ representing this nation was wrong then you are delusional! Joining in songs of political and religious hatred that the rangers fans where already in full flow of was embarrassing to say the least.(showing institutionalised secrtarionism is how I see it) The armed forces of any nation should remane an impartial force that will fight for all citizens of the country they serve, not marginalize and exclude a sect of that country by celebrating and chanting against them as was witnessed within ibrox.

    2. john says:

      i was there and what a sight to see these young men and women enjoying their selfs. Is it a crime for the armed forces to show what team they support. What no one has said it was also a recrutment stunt as there was out side the stadium tent showing young men what they could get out of forces if they joined.

  32. John Reilly says:

    And Alex you state at the beginning of your article,

    “It’s not about Rangers.”

    It’s very much about The Rangers as they invited the soldiers and despite the condemnation over last years events carried out an event even more over the top than the last.

    The Rangers are exploiting the armed forces in an attempt to put bums of seats for this newco. They are pandering to the lowest common denominator in their support as they know if they had started again and ditched the army, the loyalist and the sectarian baggage they would have a fan base the size of St Mirrens.

    Despicable behavior all round which requires the utmost condemnation.

  33. stevo says:

    Its good to see a journalist who can do his job without prejadice or fear of the repercusions of speaking out againt the institution that is the Rangers football club.

    Its an disgrace that the scottish media is silent on what should be a major story.

  34. mark s says:

    I have attended Celtic Park on well over 100 occasions since 1997 and have rarely heard any singing that could be construed as being sectarian. I am not Catholic or of Irish descent and would not go there if the atmosphere were sectarian. Celtic never operated a sectarian signing policy in contrast to Rangers, which did not end the practice until 1989. Since then there was a generally improvement in behaviour and ethos at Ibrox, but that has been in retreat as the (financial) fortunes of the club have declined. Sadly, the club appears to have become rather indulgent of this behaviour, and indeed appears to be exploiting it.

    I disagree that the servicemen could not have been expected to behave otherwise at Ibrox. Good heavens surely they are trained to behave properly and with restraint. One would hope that even if their commanders have the intelligence of “slugs” (a change from the traditional donkeys), that servicemen would be able to work out the implications of their actions.

  35. John says:

    Cant believe that celtic fans are on here moaning about having their name brought into it,two football clubs with fans that shame Scotland.Can we not just have Glasgow moved to Ireland.

    1. Peter says:

      An independent Scotland would see an influx of these loyalist weirdos into their spiritual homeland of Ulster.
      I really hope Scotland votes no.

  36. Joe says:

    Alex, glad u have highlighted this disgust, having said that and as many before me have said, why mention celtic.

  37. John says:

    While I agree with the broad thrust of your blog Alex, I note it didn’t take you long to lapse into the Scottism Media tradition of lumping in Celtic fans when posting anything remotely negative about Rangers FC, or indeed the subsequent tribute act.

    At fault here is the MoD, the Armed Forces Officers, various Armed Forces personnel, Rangers FC (the new one) and the various bigots in the stands, in that order starting with most culpable – with not a Celtic fan to be seen.

    It is not the first time a journo has been seen to backtrack when reporting on Scotland’s grubby little problem, probably for reasons of safety as, at the end of a long list, JIm Spence recently found out, but I’m disappointed to see that a battle hardened veteran of Middle Eastern reporting was not made of sterner stuff.

  38. liz says:

    ‘So normal that is has barely been mentioned in the Scottish media, which speaks volumes’. – Alex I can assure you that this is not seen as normal by the vast majority of people in Scotland.
    The problem goes much deeper – we have a complicit media, including the BBC, because they want us to believe in the ‘benefit of the union’.

    It is one of the reasons why Scotland needs to become independent.
    Successive UK governments have swept this type of thing under the carpet for decades as it suits their purpose. After all the best way to control a population is to ‘divide and rule’, something the British establishment is supreme at.

    We in Scotland are fighting a daily battle with the media due to ‘inaccurate statements – I’m being coy here – being reported as fact concerning independence.
    We have to rely on blogs to get to the truth.
    BTW Bela Caledonia and wings over Scotland have also highlighted what happened at Ibrox.

    So thank you for highlighting this and it would be great to get proper truthful articles on Scottish independence.

  39. joe strummer says:

    British troops in pro-British songs shocker ! Hold the front page !

    1. anthony says:

      pro-british the may well be, but when they are anti irish and anti catholic, if my ears serve me right, then they are secterian.

      1. joe strummer says:

        anthony -. Can you tell us all which ” sectarian songs “mentioned the term Catholic at Ibrox on Saturday ? Any of these songs will suffice. Also, how can Derry’s Walls be anti-Irish when Derry is in Ireland ?

        Presumably, you were there at Ibrox and heard all of the above ?

    2. liz says:

      Joe – it wasn’t so much pro British that was the problem – it’s much more serious than that- on the Bella Caledonia web- site they have a photo of some of these soldiers holding up a ‘Keep Ulster Protestant’ scarf.

  40. Offended One says:

    Firstly, I was there
    secondly, I was going to respond in detail, but you know what Thomson, you’re not worth it
    Like the sad cretins who’s twisted and sad agenda you help promote you are worthless.

    You all play the victim card so well, that’s because you are Victims!
    Victims of your own self made delusion, Victims of your own lack of self belief in your worth, Victims in the belief that you are worthless, Victims, Victims, Victims.

    Sad, really sad. No one that really matters gives a s*** about what you or Ill Phil or Haggerty or Greenslade actually think.

    1. Jack says:

      you repeat the victims line many times. It is a funny thing about humans that when we lie to ourselves we do it over and over again to convince ourselves of what we are saying

      I am not a victim of what the armed forces did during that game. I find it disgusting but it does not effect me in any way. I just think we should be above that nonsense, leave that to the US and their military worship

  41. submariner says:

    As an ex member of the submariner service I am totally disgusted by the behaviour of those service personnel some of them fellow submariners at Ibrox who took part in what can only be described as an orgy of sectarian bigotry. Having served in Scotland I like everyone else am familiar with the sectarian bigotry that is endemic within the inbox support,it beggers belief that the MOD brass are ignorant of this fact and after last year’s equally revolting goings on at Ibrox on remembrance weekend the decision to allow this is unforgivable. Heads have to roll.

  42. Dave says:

    Fail to see why anyone in the UK would be offended by Rule Britannia. I also wonder what type of reception our troops will receive when they are invited to Parkhead. I will not hold my breath.

    1. Gerry says:

      Dave, why should Celtic invite troops to Celtic Park?

      No other club in Britain feels the need to do this outside of The Rangers.

      Even Hearts, who have the strongest military link, have a low key, respectful ceremony each year to remember their war dead.

      This nonsense at Ibrox was created by a crafty PR company employed by oldco Rangers in 2008 in the wake of the Manchester debacle in an attempt to boost Rangers’ poor image in the UK and to make Celtic look bad in not following suit. Prior to that most Rangers fans couldn’t give two hoots about the Armed Forces.

      That so many Rangers fans bought into this instead of questioning the motivation behind it may suggest that the Ibrox support are easily lead and gullible in the extreme.

      1. Bruce says:

        Didn’t Hearts, by contrast, have a low key, respectful ceremony at the weekend?

  43. Luke Campbell says:

    Alex Thomson must have better hearing than me, since I couldn’t hear the sectarian singing that he mentions here.

    I see that many “edjukated peepel” are commenting on how he can “do his job without prejadice or fear of the repercusions” (sic).

    Is this sort of illiteracy and mock-faux-uber-offence what the world is coming to today?

    I’m pleased to say that most of my friends are Celtic fans – and, shock horror, Catholics to boot.

    They, like me, would very likely be astonished that Alex seems to have been brainwashed by the despicable Green Brigade (who all decent football fans abhor, let me say)

    I’d be happy to speak to Alex about this – I’m all for unbiased reporting of the press, but this seems to me be (a) unfounded and (b) more about giving Rangers FC a bad name.

    Wow. Just wow. You get money for this. Give it back, you’re not a journalist if you publish nonsense like this.

  44. Davie Jones says:

    I just can’t get enough of the manufactured outrage over this total non event and made up lies. There were no sectarian songs sung at Ibrox on Saturday. If there were any chants concerning the UVF ,this was in honour of the World War 1 Division of the Ulster Volunteer Force who fought at the Somme and who bravely laid down their lives for our country.

    Anyone who has a problem with any of the above and our troops behaviour on Saturday is obviously a bigot and an anti-British Racist.

    1. auchinstarry says:

      And The Dublin Fusiliers fought there too. Would you EVER show respect for them? Doubt it.

    2. Gerry says:

      Staggering reply Davie.

      There are very few songs sung at Ibrox that concern the football team that plays there.

      It is so ingrained there that sectarian songs make up 99% of the playlist and no-one even notices anymore. Indeed even when the “protest” on Saturday occured it was greeted with songs like “Derry’s Walls” – what the hell has that to do with a Scottish football team’s financial issues.

      The sectarian singing has increased exponentially as Rangers/The Rangers financial situation plummeted.

      There are none so blind as those who cannot see.

  45. alex mitchell says:

    Do you get paid for writing this rubbish as a rangers fan I’m proud that my club honours our armed forces unlike another club in glasgow who seem to hate anything to do with britain and our armed forces

  46. Anthony says:

    Alex, as a regular attendee at Celtic park with my son I can categorically state that secterian songs are not sang there. unless you can provide evidence to the contrary i expect you to correct the blog above.

    You unfortunately have fallen into the ‘whataboutery’ trap peddled by scottish mediots (hacks).

    to state it is not about ‘The Rangers’ is also a kop out. they invited the army, it was their ground, their supporters and their disgusting songbook.

    1. BJ Canoe says:
      1. schoosh71 says:

        You have posted that link countless times now. The orange order are a sectarian organisation who are at the root of the bile that comes out of ibrokes. So in your mind you are sectarian if you are anti-sectarian. Go figure it out.

  47. Jim says:

    Usual anti-Rangers blog from yourself, but koudos that you managed to drag the east end knuckle draggers into it as well.. How about next time blogging about the State funding from the GCC to celtic, through very dubious land deals..I won’t hold my breath on that though.. I will though eagerly await the EC investigation (and their is one) findings and then see if any “mhedia” run with it!!

    1. auchinstarry says:

      What utter desperate nonsense from another Sevconian in Denial.

  48. Robert Watt says:

    Why isn’t Alex asking why a similar event could not take place at Parkhead?

    As he rightly says, our service personnel are asked to fight in places like Afghanistan with little support or thanks from voters or politicians.

    Those on the field at Ibrox clearly appreciated the support they got from the crowd. Wouldn’t our soldiers, sailors and airmen – of whom many are Celtic fans – appreciate a similar reception at Parkhead?

    More to the point, would the more extreme elements among the Celtic support, from whom the club are running scared, allow it?

    1. Daniel says:

      I will not celebrate men who travel half way across the world to kill other men purely because of corrupt politicians. They are all murderers. IRA, British army all of them. No place in my sacred ground for any of them.

      1. mcbhoy says:

        Thanks for that Daniel! I’ll hand my season book in and sell my shares. You’re just as bad as those defending the exploitation that went horribly wrong on Saturday! I have many friends in the army with me that have season tickets and support celtic all over the world. Just as a reminder “everybody’s club and all welcome”


  49. Steven Daley says:

    Scottish media will not report on this adeqautly if at all, however watch them spring into action in november when the focus will inevitably shift to celtic fans as it does every year

  50. Ian says:

    My father, a Catholic and Celtic supporter, was immensely proud to his dying days of his ten years of service in the Royal Navy. His pride extends to me and I share that pride as part of my memory of him. Where do people like him fit in with this warped mindset that we saw on Saturday? Into the bargain all of us fund the armed forces through our taxes and they are there to protect us all. The Government need to assure us last Saturday will never be allowed again.

  51. Bruce says:

    Oh and whether the songs were sectarian is to some degree beside the point. The event was supposed to be a celebration of and tribute to the forces. What does it say of the Sevco support that all they could do was revert to type and drag out songs about NI, Bobby Sands, Derry, etc that have absolutely zero to do with the occasion.

  52. BP300 says:

    Nothing is reported that is contrary to the Unionist stance, or it is downplayed to make it seem insignificant. There was furore in the Scottish press and BBC Scotland, covered over two weeks, when tweets, which could not be found or substantiated, were supposed to have been directed at a comedienne. But when the Leader of Labour in Scotland,a few days ago in a Labour Conference speech, labelled those voting for Independence as virus that needed to be dealt with, it was covered with by a few questions in a single interview, then let drop after a few anodyne replies by the politician.

  53. 61patrick says:

    keeps telling me i,m posting too quickly :))
    It Frank mullholland(lord advocate)
    Stepen House (strathclyde police)
    Salmond,MacKaskill & Christine Grahame (No comment)
    who should be asked questions about their sectarian policy in Scotland that applies to every street and ground in the country accept Ibrox seemingly.
    Last week a 16year old bhoy was banned from every football ground in scotland and fined over £1000 for less than went on at ibrox on sat .

    Maybe if the soldiers had been teenagers and wearing green tops the above would have sent in their FOCUS storm troopers to “kettle” them.

    Independent Scotland “AYE RIGHT”(IMHO) every catholic or should I say non protestant in Scotland should be very afraid of handing Salmond & his fabric of society ilk power if they only apply their laws to certain groups and creeds and let oters go unabated.
    “Scotlands shame “does not begin to cover what went on at Ibrox on Saturday.

    Have you any comment Mr Salmond???????????????????????

  54. Davie Jones says:

    Why do Celtic play Irish rebel songs over the tannoys before their games at Celtic Park? What do these songs have to do with football?

    1. auchinstarry says:

      The songs played at Celtic Park are Irish songs. Not Irish rebel songs. There is a difference. Anyway popcorn Jelly and ice cream at the ready for the NEXT Administration…!
      Look forward to Third Rangers starting out in the Junior League….HH

    2. Bruce says:

      What rebel songs?

  55. Auldheid says:

    The only problem I have with the short mention of Celtic which is a generalisation, is that it introduces a squirrel to take the debate away from the central issues.

    Celtic’s record on sectarianism speaks for itself – let it.

    In the meantime lets be grateful that somebody somewhere has the balls to call this whole episode as it was. Disgraceful.

    However the First Minister has been noticeable in his absence on any comment regarding anything about Scottish football, which for something that is part of the social fabric of the nation, is puzzling.

    His flagship Offensive Behaviour Bill has been flaunted by HM’s armed forces, whilst officers of law and order stood and watched. Not confidence filling in terms of fairness and the kindle for future fires.

    Independence is not an end in itself, it is a means to a more civil and equitable society. I see little evidence that those left to govern in an independent Scotland have the ability to deliver the end game.

    Quite the reverse actually.

    1. joe strummer says:

      You’re correct, Auldheid. Celtic’s record on sectarianism does speak for itself. How long was it before a Protestant was allowed onto the Celtic Board…….more than 100 years ? This current Celtic Board rarely if ever condemns the songs weekly belted out in support of sectarian anti-Protestant and anti-British IRA death squads.

      I think that sums up quite nicely Celtic and their supporters record on sectarianism and racism.

      1. Bruce says:

        Jeez, Joe’s a bitter one.

        Celtic have always signed players and managers purely on the basis of their ability.

        As for the board, it was always restricted to a few families and their friends. That proved to be their undoing. There’s not one single shred of proof that religion was ever a factor.

  56. KenB says:

    I served with the Irish Defence Forces for 12 years, including in the early 1990s before the formal beginning of the peace process in N. Ireland. We are not the British Army, but I can say this: if you displayed any sympathies towards the IRA our commanding officers would see to your removal. Get seen at a parade, a gathering or even entering or leaving the wrong pub…and you were out. I’ve heard our lads worked well (at least for their part) with most of the BA in Bosnia/Kosovo, but there was always a different relationship with the Scottish Units…Black Watch, etc. It was definitely keep your distance. Sorry. But this fiasco has deeper roots.

  57. deliasmith says:

    I would like to thank Davie Jones for a genuine laugh out loud moment.

    Here’s a snap for your scrapbook:

  58. john says:

    Maybe we should sing songs telling British soldiers to go home like a certain mob. Would that appease you Alex?
    Should we throw up some banners denouncing the poppy and desecrate cenotaphs and such?
    Should we stop raising thousands of pounds for Help for Heros, Erskine, The Poppy Appeal, amongst others?
    Whats the problem with hosting the forces and letting them let their hair down for a bit? This is the 21st century and they were having a great day. Dancing along, clapping away and doing ‘the bouncy’. Nothing wrong with that!
    So what if some supporters were singing a naughty bit about a dead terrorist. The forces took no part in that.
    Should also be remembered that the Ulster Volunteer Force fought bravely abroad to ensure our very rights and freedoms that we have today were secured. Such a shame poor journalists cannot differentiate between both. All you had to do was check over to Belfast for the Ulster Day Parade for a preview
    God bless our troops and lest we forget our fallen heros

  59. Murvis says:


    you freely admit you do not know if the forces were singing sectarian songs but you still insist on tarring them with the same brush as the bigots

    perhaps you ought to try being a soldier, and then you might appreciate how important it is to have the public support, instead of blaming them for your views on intolerance

    but then we really should not be surprised at this article,, you really have it in for Rangers don’t you?

    what journalistic integrity you ever had has now been washed away with your self righteous smugness

  60. Colin says:

    Why do you always report on rangers ?? You clearly have an agenda !
    Celtic were on the verge of banning theyr own fans for all thier singing yet they come on here saying you never hear those songs at our ground ! Aye right !
    Also they would never celebrate our armed forces at parkhead for obvious reasons even tho plenty of servicemen are celtic fans !
    Stop being so green

    1. Bruce says:

      Celtic were not on the verge of banning the fans for their singing. They were on the verge of banning the GB because they were standing and this threatened the club’s safety certification.

      Facts, eh?

    2. Laura-Anne says:

      Lol the paranoid Sevco fans are out in force today…

      Nothing funnier.

      The lady doth protest too much.

  61. stuart thomson says:

    You werent even at the game so you dont know what went on wasnt sectarian singing why dont you go learn the full meaning of songs fathers advice has nothing to do with uvf of this day same goes for songs such as derrys walls etc rule brittannia is a british song the sash wasnt sung and is a folk song which has been ruled in court so do your homework before actually commenting about something you clearly no nothing about

  62. Pete says:

    We all know in Scotland that The Rangers are a sectarian club with a deep hatred for Irish Catholics especially, or anyone who dares challenge their myopic world view, so surely it is no surprise that they disgrace themselves when presented with a red rag like a British military parade on their turf. What this has to do with a Scottish third tier football match is anyone’s guess. The Rangers are not a national side, they are a club, a new club at that, but we have this shameful, tawdry spectacle served up by this ailing newco to placate the base elements of their support. Shame on all concerned. Scotland Shame strike again. And no, I am not a Celtic fan.

  63. Davie Jones says:


    What have you got against Protestants and British Protestants at that?

  64. Ashamed and sickened says:

    I have one question for the SFA and the Scottish Media.
    Did anything of note happen at ibrox Stadium during Saturday’s Rangers v Stenhousemuir match ?


  65. whataboutery says:


    You’ve made a bit of a faux pas by mentioning Celtic : Celtic fans will be quick to sieze on any link with Celtic and any mention of “sectarian” singing on their part at Parkhead because now we are into semantics .

    Celtic fans know full well what their travelling fans are like and they totally understand the point you are making but this will always be dismissed as not sectarian – even though their non “sectarian” songs are intended to cause as much offence as possible and are every bit as bad as the sectarian bile coming from Rangers fans. It;s disingenuous of them to erfer to parkhead as some kind of garden party post Fergus McCann.
    I have to link to either OF club or Glasgwow : I support neither club.

    I am sick of the pomposity of Celtic fans on this matter. But then this couldn’t possibly happen at Parkhead as British troops aren’t welcome there – re banner protestsin recent seasons by the Green Brigade which Celtic FC allowed to happen.

    None of this detracts from what happened at Ibrox and the MOD will hopefully as adddress this.

    1. Bruce says:

      A fine example of nominative determinism.

  66. Peiroro says:

    All British servicemen should be unashamedly proud in the fantastic job in smashing the scum of the IRA. The real disgrace is Alex Thomson and the anti-British agenda of Channel 4.

  67. Iain says:

    Whilst asking why Rangers invited the Armed Services to Ibrox perhaps a pertinent question is why Celtic Football Club cannot invite members of the Armed Forces who support Celtic to the Stadium as a gesture of gratitude for the work that they undertake……..

  68. david says:

    To all the apologists tellung us that you dont hear sectarian singing at Parkhead every week have a wee look.


    Unless of course IRA songs are not sectarian ( rolls eyes)

    1. Neil says:

      I wouldn’t even begin to argue that “ooh ah up the ra” isn’t offensive, but it isn’t sectarian. You’ll find that that verse of the Celtic Symphony is sung by the minority that is the green brigade, as the stadium falls to a deftly silence when it comes around. But maybe my fellow celtic fans should lead the way and start to boo the rare moments of distasteful singing.

      As for the large piece that you’ve written Alex, I spent many years going to matches and Parkhead as a season ticket holder, and perhaps it is because of where I sat, but I couldn’t rhyme you of a Celtic sectarian song list because I was never exposed to it (partly helped by the fact that I didn’t go to old firm games). For you to mention in your article that these songs are commonplace in both Ibrox and Parkhead is lazy beyond belief. I would pretend to know what went on at Ibrox, but I can tell you that celtics issue with distasteful singing resides with a minority of its home support, with a more widespread problem with it’s away support. To be clear, I am not saying sectarian because with all buzzwords, it tends to be overused by those who do not understand the term. If you are looking for a good article, why don’t you try “What is the definition of a sectarian song?” Because it seems to have had the Scottish media perplexed for the last 10 years.

  69. D-Day says:

    “Why isn’t Alex asking why a similar event could not take place at Parkhead?”


    Probably because…Alex can’t think of too many other FOOTBALL clubs in Britain, who go to such lengths to show their Brittshness/Support for troops/Fill their ground.

    Was it not Sir David of Moonbeams who introduced the filling of stadia show of support against Unirea?

    Followed by Sir Craig of White Elephant Castle…

    And now calibrated by the Evil Emperors of: Mather, Stockbridge and GREEN:)

    A tad hypocritical of the ‘Deady Bears’ to start supporting the troops now, having denied them of millions of tax investment…don’t you think?

    1. Bruce says:

      It would be if they were the same club.

  70. sid says:

    Our media are a huge part of the problem. You always hear people saying how important it is for the media to hold people to account. Not only is the Herald not reporting the scenes at ibrox they are only allowing positive comments, North Korea style.

  71. David Dickson says:

    You have posted a video to your blog, maybe you will post the you tube video of the greatest fans in the word at the Emirates stadium London a couple of years ago, now thats what you call sectarian singing and for all the celtic crying we dont sing sectarian song anymore, check you tube and the nice little boys of the groin brigade have been posting videos of themselves singing sectarian songs at celtic park.

  72. Craig says:

    Only from the “always offended” lot of celtic supporters would you hear them say there is no sectarian songs etc at parkhead and that media is only ignored when coming from Ibrox. The amount of “sweep-sweep” from celtic in recent years is ridiculous. Ultimately, if you don’t like these scenes you know what you can do, don’t watch them, reel your neck back in and remove yourself from this British country if you’re so offended, do us all a favour!

    1. Bruce says:

      Oh look, a bigot.

      Do you tell everyone you don’t like to go home?

      1. Craig says:

        Bruce, I’m not telling anyone to go home because I don’t like them (you really are rather dhim). The point to all this is, as you clearly have lost the point, it’s the mhedia not liking it. And if you and your mhedia don’t like it then yes, leave! #BJK

  73. Gary says:

    At least they get a warm welcome at Ibrox, I wonder what the response would be at Parkhead, a Scottish team, based in Scotland that is a country within the United Kingdom. To say anything about the British Army is a joke, its not karaoke, do you think the soldiers were putting in requests to 40 odd thousand fans? i somehow don’t think so. What team supported the sad tragedy in the loss of soldier Lee Rigby? what team goaded that? what team insulted our great British Army for actions in war zones with banners that were not the smallest in the world and professionally made? who still chant “go on home british soldiers, go on home, have you got no homes of your own”, “look out maggie thatcher, the bhoys are gonna get ya”. absolute farce, but i suppose the countrys media is all anti-rangers these days.

    1. Bruce says:

      The ‘goading’ was a lie perpetrated by the The Rangers support. If Celtic supporters were singing Lee Rigby songs at Brentford, attended by Sky cameras, a live radio broadcast and thousands of cameraphones, where’s the evidence? File this one alongside Islam CSC, Neil Lennon racially abusing Rangers players, the floodlights at Celtic Park guiding German bombers and…errr….daleks.

      And the The Rangers support only started to show this support after they spread the lies about the Celtic support.

  74. davie jones says:


    Celtic play songs over the tannoy which are linked with violent Anti British hatred.

    1. tyke says:

      Would that be the “fields of athenry” or maybe “You’ll never walk alone”. Maybe you are referring to “let the people sing” or the “Willie Maley” song. Yup Depeche Mode were violently anti British lol

  75. Matt m says:

    This article is a joke. Being proud of the soldiers who lay their lives on the line for queen and country is no crime another celtic minded journalist looks to me. You only have to look at celtic park where they sing pro ira songs. And hate everything brittish including our queen our flag and country poor show no shame in hounoring our troops and shall we continue . Lest we forget !

  76. John says:

    Excellent Alex !!! I think this is disgusting for our armed forces to parade in front of bigoted vermin like many of these in this crowd who thrive on hatred, I have many friends who are Rangers Supporters and many are Celtic and Rangers fans in the Military, having worked in the Falklands, Bosnia and six years in Iraq with the troops whom I had the upmost respect for with my late father being a soldier in Burma, but this I feel is disgusting this should be front page on all media sites as well as TV News headed British Troops Condone sectarianism.

    1. Pete says:

      Well said, John.

      These idiots that danced to sectarian anthems howled by morons on a football pitch do not represent the whole armed forces, just a rather noisy element that were used rather cynically by The Rangers newco to A. deflect from their many off field woes and B. keep up the same club myth. Scottish Catholics do indeed serve in the British military with distinction and at all ranks. The MOD should maybe take this into consideration when pandering to those UEFA named and shamed bigots who want to wade up to their knees in blood of these same colleagues.

    2. D says:

      What sectarianism did you see or hear John? Explain yourself instead of making a little paragraph to hide the fact you hate our troops and Rangers! Why do you feel comfortable in stating that many of the support is ‘bigoted vermin’?….Is that not prejudiced John,….one might say even…bigoted? Why would our media report that a celebration of our armed forces condones sectarianism John?….Where was the sectarianism?…..Please answer John because you and I both know you either know nothing about what went on or you are infact a Celtic supporting terrorist sympathiser who cannot stomach Rangers or the British services!

  77. Gary McMillan says:

    Cannot believe some of the comments on here regarding OUR ARMED FORCES being invited to Ibrox on Saturday as the guests of Rangers Fc as a thank you and to show support to them from all rangers supporters here in Scotland and worldwide. To her fans from the east of Glashow state”there is no sectarian signing at Celtic park”is laughable as didn’t the Celtic board warn fans about signing The boys of the old brigade? Right again they class that as part of their heritage. Shame on them we say and if they don’t sing pro-Ira songs what was sung at Dundee at turn of the year ? Of course that’s not at Celtic park sorry or even booing minute silence at Remembrance Day? But again they have Irish roots. Total c***. Irish when it suits them Channel 4 should ask the BRITISH PEOPLE IF CELEBRATING AND HONOURING OUR ARMED FORCES IN THIS WAY IS INCORRECT OR LET THE PRO-IRISH/REPUBLICAN MOB DICTATE WHAT THEY WANT. GOD BLESS ALL OUR TROOPS WHO SERVE TO PROTECT GREAT BRITIAN AT HOME AND OVERSEAS. LEST WE FORGET

  78. D says:

    Mr Thomson – What exactly is your problem with Rangers football club, the armed forces and the Union?

    You don’t have an issue with troops killing people or being killed in wars not of their making but instead you take issue with those troops having any kind of a say in the matter? Are you from this planet?

    You state that our troops were exposed and became cheerleaders for sectarianism – please state what sectarianism took place,….you mentioned several songs some of which are neither sectarian nor illegal, others may be considered anti-terrorist but certainly aren’t sectarian. The law it’s self in Scotland hasn’t been able to define what it means effectively so I wonder what your qualification is on the subject?

    Quite sad that rather than enjoy the day for what it was, a proud celebration of our troops and our country, you would prefer to appease the terrorist sympathisers who have no respect for our troops or this country.

    Of course many Celtic fans will be on here complaining about this event but they wouldn’t and couldn’t have such an event at their own ground because they have sections within their support that would like to see our troops and our country killed, hence their inability to complete even a minute silence on occasions and the video online showing Celtic fans singing at the Emirates stadium “Go home British soldiers”, and chanting “Murdering bastards”.

    Quite tragic that with all that’s wrong in the world, some British soldiers (some of whom are Scots and Rangers supporters) are demanded by terrorist sympathisers and journalists to take a bullet, do the killing but definitely not to enjoy themselves nor voice themselves through fear of offending people that care not one jot for this country nor it’s soldiers.

    1. Pete says:

      D… is that for dunce? It’s 2013 in case you don’t know.

      You might think it is acceptable for British military personel, who are supposed to be removed from all racism, bigotry and intolerance, dancing to songs celebrating loyalist para military’s, the deaths of hunger strikers and the medieval wars in Ireland. I do not and neither would anyone else with any decency. Call yourself British? You shame it.

      1. D says:

        Pete – You find it odd that people mock and deride terrorists against this country that killed our troops and civilians alike and whom actively targeted people due to their religion? You find it strange that people should take fun from songs? You are bewildered by a leaning of our society towards groups that fought against those who sought to harm this country and it’s people? So in your mind it’s ok to shoot a terrorist dead but not mock him/her/them verbally? That’s a very 2013 stance you have there. I seen no racism nor sectarianism, can you enlighten me as to what races and faiths were discriminated against on Saturday? What race and faith was the 44,000 people at Ibrox?
        I was proud to see 44,000 people showing their appreciation for our Forces on Saturday, I was proud to see the troops there enjoying it. I frankly don’t care if terrorists nor their sympathisers find that offensive. Perhaps some songs about groups that defended this country against terrorists could have been missed out but other countries have no issue with celebrating terrorist organisations against our country. Perhaps you could tell me what faith and groups have a moral high-ground here to condemn the Forces day at Ibrox?

  79. Davy says:

    It was a celebration of our armed forces not sectarian or bigoted you’s are the bigots that are complaining about it the abuse some of them soldiers got on way to ibrox from Celtic fans was sickening as they told me them selfs. This is Britain they are our forces. GSTQ

  80. P J FOX says:

    Alex, dragging Celtic’s name into the equation is quite frankly insulting as it is cheap.

    Unless you have proof of sectarian singing at Celtic Park you are well out of order. You wont find any proof, there is none because it doesn’t go on. Even the Irish rebel songs hardly get sung anymore and if anyone is so ignorant as to think rebel songs are in any way sectarian they should hang their heads in shame considering the amount of brave Irish protestants that fought and died for the cause.

  81. Shirley says:

    I agree with a lot of what people are saying. I could hardly find anything about this until reading this blog. I think Mr Thomson for mentioning Celtic as I believe there have been issues on both sides. Of course Rangers fans and club are the worst offenders. Like others I relate this media silence to the referendum debate. BBC has shown its bias frequently – no reporting of the Independence March and now avoiding embarassment from the No/pro unionist campaign. To think of the fuss that was made when the FM raised a Scottish flag at Wimbledon? ! Mr Thomson’ s colleagues in the print media have been at it as well – Gilligan, Marr, Bennett trying to make out the Yes campaignerd are anti English. I tweeted T a long time ago ehen he was struggling to get his head round the Scottish sectarian divide and I had to tell him that most Rangers fans are loyalist and said he should just compare it with Northern Ireland.

  82. Bryan says:

    I have to say Alex, You are a complete W*****. Every member of the armed forces are entitled to support a football club and esp a football club that supports them back. After all these guys who have fought bravely are not welcome at parkhead and are insulted from Celtic fans.

    This is the reason that these guys are fighting to ensure freedom and democracy.

  83. D-Day says:

    What happened to my post?

    1. Ziad Alhasso says:

      “Why isn’t Alex asking why a similar event could not take place at Parkhead?” etc…?

      It’s further down…

  84. John Docherty says:

    The tawdry affair at Ibrox is to do with The Rangers International Football Club, nothing to do with Celtic FC. I can see no reason for Celtic to be mentioned in this context, we have no connection to this football club having never played them.
    Sectarian singing is not something I hear at the games I attend, and as season ticket holder I attend many.
    That sort of reporting is what we have become used to in Scotland, I had thought we were getting better, pity.

  85. Mac says:

    The MSM are widely regarded as pro-union and pro-Rangers. They simply turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to such behaviour at Ibrox.

    However this event on Saturday involving the troops is far to serious to ignore. It is more than PR disaster it is an actual stain on the character of the three services because it now appears that bigotry has deep roots in the military.

  86. Tony says:

    The truly sad thing is the lack of understanding on the part of those who were there to recognise that this sorry mess was sectarian and totally unacceptable in modern Scotland.

  87. David Black says:

    I hear that Police Scotland are “investigating” the sectarian songs and actions, now don’t anyone hold their breath, how many investigations is that now at Ibrox?

  88. Colin says:

    CH4 you really are Anti British what with your Halal Channel now you do this?
    Rangers football club does more for our Armed service men and woman past and present than any other football club in the UK what with our Charities for Erskine home home for Veterans all you have manage to do today is again lessen your viewing figures as BBC and CH4 i no longer watch

    1. Jamie says:

      See the guy who commented that Channel 4 are anti-British because they have a Halal Channel, can you send me your address as I have to send you a wee present for giving me the best laugh in a long time, that was just brilliant….LOL

  89. John c says:

    If football clubs want to hand out tickets to the forces that’s up to them,but this particular club as part of the deal want uniforms and marching as part of the payment why not let the guys turn up in civvies and have a bite on some blue nose pakora. Last year They made the forces look like the worst possible episode of its a knockout and unbelievabley they topped it this year by a mile.never again.

  90. D says:

    What ‘sectarian party’ took place with 44,000 taking part?…Evidence please?…I see comments from Celtic fans confirming it, where were they sitting in Ibrox to watch the Rangers and the British troops?

    Answers on a postcard to – I’m offended without justification in order to point-score against our rivals…

    I thought it was great that people north of the border got to see our troops and that everyone there had a good time. I frankly find it deeply worrying that any section of our country would take issue with that.

    How low do you have to be to tar 44,000 people including serving British troops as sectarian with absolutely no evidence to suggest that was the case?

    It’s plain to see what is going on here and it’s not the first time – the minority who hate Rangers and the United Kingdom have been undermining anything which is ours for years,…what they won’t tell you is that they take great pride in British soliders being killed, the break-up of our country and the fact they can play the culture to increase their bigoted and sectarian hold upon this country!

    1. Filled Rolls says:

      Sorry, but does the You Tube video not count as evidence.

      I think you’ll find that most Scots are apalled by British Troops joining in with Protestant Bigots, whilst wearing military uniform.

      Our forces are paid to protect the freedom and dignity of all of our population.

    2. Filled Rolls says:

      Celtic fans, Rangers fans, why don’t you and your odious hate filled clubs just find another league to play in? Nobody in Scotland wants either of you, and has no interest at all in your pathetic use of semantics to justify songs that glorify an armed struggle between two lots of escaped lunatics.

    3. Yabute says:

      Jeez! It’s all over YouTube man!

  91. Dave says:

    Quite unbelievable reading here – what utter lies from both the blogger and a number of those commenting!!!!

    Alex you really need to have a look at yourself and start speaking your own opinion instead of being a puppet for others.

    Do not align yourself with those who obsess over Rangers looking for anything to justify their own deep rooted hatred of anything Rangers or British. The filth that is being written here displays a shocking attempt to blacken this tribute to our servicemen and women.

    Do not align yourself with those who would, as we have sadly already seen, sickeningly rejoice at seeing these British servicemen and women killed or harmed. That is the real shame yet it is hushed up in the media for fear of the backlash.

    Some of the embarrassing comments on here from Celtic (Scotland’s second most successful club) fans are nasty lies – why don’t you try talking about your own team for a change – I believe you have quite a big come this week yet all you talk about is Rangers?

    Some suggestions that Rangers fans are the worst offenders is laughable when you consider the actions of the celtic support down the years.

    On the whole, a quite pathetic blog with some sickening responses.

    1. Ashamed and sickened says:

      and I’m still an ashamed and sickened PROTESTANT along with no doubt many other thousands of FELLOW PROTESTANTS having watched the disgraceful scenes at Ibrox.
      This is a club whose supporters want to live in past and many of whom accept gloryfying terrorist organisations as being acceptable.
      You are the people !!!
      God help us !

      1. Craig says:

        You are very easily offended. Where do you stand on the matter of Celtic fans disrespecting the silence for Remembrance Day? I think I can guess but I’d like to be contradicted if that is possible. If you do not object to the disgusting antics of the anti-poppy brigade then you are a hypocrite as well as a bigot.

  92. Craig says:

    Celtic fans are never sectarian because their songs are purely ‘cultural’. I’m surprised that not everybody knows this as supporters of the Pacific Shelf club are constantly boasting about it. And everyone knows that far from celebrating our armed forces, it is much better to boo through a minute’s silence for Remembrance Day.

  93. Deansy says:

    Our armed-forces are without doubt the best in the world – for them (or more importantly – their ‘Top Brass’) to be hoodwinked into being allied with rangers and all they stand for is a huge let-down for the British public. These people are charged with defending this country (of which they do a superb job) but this shows a serious lack of foresight/intelligence as rangers have previous for this (last year’s remembrance day and were indeed previously warned) – turning a visit from the troops into nothing more than another ‘Sect-Fest’ – rangers know this but still carried on as appeasing the morons in their ‘support’ is far more important to them than the British Public’s confidence in our armed-forces !!. The MOD (sadly) will now probably stop similar events, depriving the decent in society from showing our gratitude and respect to the troops all because of this odious outfit !!

    1. D says:

      Deansy – What ‘sect-fest’ took place at Ibrox on Saturday during the Armed Forces tribute? What faith was being discriminated against and can you provide evidence of this please as I was there and never witnessed it? Where were you sitting? What happened? Have you reported this to the police? What event would you like our Armed Forces to attend that you fear will not not take place? Please Deansy tell us all the answers to those questions, I am as concerned as you are about these so far unfounded allegations!

  94. Karl Marc says:

    What started out with all the dignity of a mini-Nuremburg descended into a Skrewdriver concert…..they really are a classy bunch…

    1. D says:

      Karl Marc – says ‘What started out with all the dignity of a mini-Nuremburg descended into a Skrewdriver concert…..they really are a classy bunch…’

      I find it offensive that you compare an Armed Forces day celebrating British personnel in Great Britain to a Nuremberg rally by the Nazi’s, who are responsible for a World War in which many millions of innocent people were murdered and killed. The Nazi’s clearly hated many minority groups and actively announced that during their rally’s, can you tell me what connections you seen between the two events and the evidence for this? Also I assume you are insinuating that the event was in some way bigoted yet you appear not to see the irony and hypocritical nature of your comment, calling into question everyone that was there and comparing the event honoring our own troops to the Nazi rising?! How very fair and balanced of you…

  95. Cath says:

    “The basis of professional armed forces is that they must be, and be seen to be, non-political. ”

    Good luck with that in the context of the Scottish referendum. The UK government are using the British forces heavily in the No campaign, including these kind of armed forces days – which now seem to be constant and it follows on from a whole season of orange marches in Glasgow. Next year the clans homecoming appears to have been cancelled by a Labour-Tory coalition in Stirling in favour of a UK armed forces display in Stirling. Plus of course we’ll have the celebration of WWI beginning. The compliant “Scottish” media won’t report this because they don’t report anything that looks bad for the no campaign. But you can guarantee they’ll report heavily on all that militarism.

    Perhaps in doing all this those in London haven’t quite realised just how much of a backward, bigotted, corrupt, embarrassment parts of Glasgow actually are, hence how some of these things will play out there? In most the rest of Scotland they’ll just be met with bewilderment and a certain anger from those wishing to move away from UK triumphalism and jingoism.

  96. Darren Masterman says:

    For once alick I feel sorry for the abuse these ‘see no evils’ deny there is ever sectarI’m n singing at Celtic park. It happens abd it’s a fact so deal with it and stop tryin to dress in rebel clothes.

    Now back to the day in question, I ws right there in Bf2 and I can tell you a handful of servicemen sang a song or two, the rest had a right good time while we serenaded them. The songs sung by us might not be to everyone’s taste but the people inside that stadium paid to hear and watch and I don’t see a single non-rebel-song-singer complaining.

    The men and women of our services aren’t choosing sides of a political fence, it just so happens that the only club who even bothered to honour them was rangers, in order that the fans could show their appreciation of their sacrifice and I can’t believe the uproar that has been caused over a match that wasn’t even televised I.e you had to pay to watch and you knew what you were gettin that day.

    This is nothing but a bitter bunch of ever-offended seperatists clutching at straws and im disgusted in anybody who grudges our troops letting their hair down for 15 minutes.

    1. alexander says:

      Quite obvious that this is Rangers 2012, as I don,t recall the old club that were liquidated, sectarian as they were, ever allowing such a rabble as was seen at Ibrox at the weekend,A total embarrassment to the rest of the British Army, this new club should be confined to barracks, before this behaviour turns into a weekly affair, were the 400 troops present, volunteers? looked like it! what disgraceful scenes from our armed forces, it,s not a surprise the bigotted scottish press choose not to report it!

    2. voodoochile says:

      Well said Darren Masterman. The good people at Ibrox paid for a sectarian sing-along with the troops and how dare anyone take offence at this!

  97. martin says:

    i think its an absolute joke that the media has a vendetta against rangers fc we are showing support to the men and women who keep our country safe every club in scotland and england should be showing the men and women there support and the queen herself should also be saying something about this this country is quick sending these men and women into countrys to fight wars but there not allowed to be supported channel 4 will lose a lot of veiwers over this and so they should an absolute joke of a channel ps look over the other end of glasgow

  98. Grant says:

    At some point are you going to provide evidence of the ‘sectarian Rangers ‘party”?

  99. David Black says:

    Usual missing of the point from our friends from Ibrox, this is not about supporting our troops or not supporting our troops, it about giving our troops the platform and atmosphere for them to abuse and insult a substancial part of our population..and to bring into question their impartiality when dealing with our citizens.

    I’d suggest you would not get that atmosphere or outcome at any other gathering of our troops other than at what is turning rapidly into Nurembrox

  100. sean says:

    whats even the need to bring celtic into an article about rangers’ ongoing sectarianism?, there is non at all, go to a celtic match every now and again and come back reporting a song which discriminates or hates another religion… there is non so stop using the ‘1 is as bad as the other’ routine because it is unjustifiable and unnecessary, and for the case against soldiers being exposed to this, the majority of soldiers from scotland, like the majority of soldiers from Northern Irelan grew up loyalist and sectarian also, this is fact! so no surprise here this is something i come to expect of scottish soldiers (the ones from glasgow mainly). sectarian to the core the lot of them

  101. alan says:

    Good article,ruined by comments from the fans of two teams who cannot see the woods for the trees.No one on here can admit there is still a vile underbelly of bigots who attach themselves to both clubs and repulse the rest of Scotland (including some of their own support).
    Maybe instead of printing spectacularly bias comments on here some of you should call the Daily Record hotline where you will be more at home.

  102. Andy says:

    It is baffling the amount of Celtic fans on here claiming no sectarian songs are sung at Parkhead…..my goodness they almost had to close part of the ground because the car crash to society that is ‘the green brigade’ cannot behave themselves…..honestly quite hilarious that these people think it’s all sweetness and rose over the other side. We both have our bigots, lets not pretend that is not true.

    That aside, whilst Alex appears to enjoy any chance he gets to have a dig at anything going on at Ibrox, I actually agree that a march on, possibly a rendition of our British national anthem and a round of applause would have been more fitting than to allow a free for all on the pitch. It was ill advised and not fitting of Rangers or the armed forces, whilst the article was predominantly about the armed forces participation, I would have thought a more ‘joined up thinking’ approach from Rangers and the armed forces, and there could have been a far more fitting tribute to our armed forces.

    However, it is absolutely inappropriate to try and tar all at the stadium with being sectarian, when as we stand at the moment there are no charges against anyone at the game for sectarian singing, only a small minority of armed forces that are ‘under investigation’….if what was implied here was true, then they would have been as well and locking the doors and renaming Ibrox Stadium, HM Ibrox Prison….

    1. Laura-Anne says:

      Actually they didn’t almost have to close it. They wanted to relocate some of them. And again, it wasn’t due to songs, it was lateral movement….. Sevco fan? Makes sense…..ignoring the truth

  103. Laura-Anne says:

    I don’t think it had anything to do with “honouring servicemen” for most Sevco fans. These animals just love to sing sectarian songs, it’s as simple as that! I am not saying there aren’t some idiot Celtic fans who just love to shout and sing some of our sectarian songs but i’m not one of them. These fans, on both sides, are not true supporters as far as I’m concerned cus all they’re doing is getting the club fined. This whole thing too where if you support Celtic you are automatically catholic is utter nonsense. Please don’t lump me in with the idiots and fools that believe there’s a god. If that’s how you get by fine don’t shove it down my throat.

  104. Lee Terris says:

    I’m glad the troops joined in and clearly enjoyed it. If they are Rangers supporters it would be a dream to walk on to that pitch i know it would be a dream come true for me so they should be aloud to show there support as anyone should. All the people saying its a disaster need to get a life and try be a soldier for a day or two and realise they need a day off and time to enjoy it.

  105. joe strummer says:

    That this laughable ” Ibrox sectarian party ” story emerged from an IRA supporting newspaper says it all.

  106. Stephen cassidy says:


    1. Tom says:

      That’s like winning the para-olympics mate. Don’t hurt yourself celebrating mediocrity too hard.

  107. D says:

    Laura-Anne, For much of your post you actually speak common sense. How sad it is though that while you asked not to be lumped in with the distasteful element of your own support, you felt comfortable in stating ‘These animals just love to sing sectarian songs’. What songs were sung by all 44,000 people attending? What faith were these songs discriminating against? I never heard a single song criticising a religion while I was there but it would appear you know more about me, my “faith” and what “went on” than I do?….Please elaborate!
    It was a great chance for our support to thank and honor our service personal and everyone who was there appeared to enjoy it, why are you unhappy about it and comfortable in assuming most were there to discriminate against a faith?…will your club be hosting a forces day? If not why not? Surely your non-sectarian club would have no issue in showing the “majority” of our support how to do it “properly”?

  108. bawsoot says:

    Well done Alex you just showed your obvioys dislike for Rangers after they showed you up as a journo

  109. Andy says:

    And once again we see proof of Pacific Shelf 595’s obsession with the WMSC, if you take a little scroll through Youtube you shall see plenty of evidence of sectarianism and bigotry at Parkhead, and howcome they never have any sign of respect towards the British forces and weren’t they the only team in Scotland to not wear a poppy on there shirts during Remembrance weekend last year? they are well and truly Scotlands shame and i pity anyone that follows a team with such history as that lot

  110. Pete says:

    I don’t wish to defend Celtic but they do need to remove all songs with reference to the IRA from their stands. I know the historical IRA was not the same as the troubles era Provisional IRA and was indeed a non sectarian group but this distinction is never going to be accepted so please drop all references to the IRA. Do that Celtic fans and you can truly take the moral ground over the hate filled bigots of Ibrox who have neither the wit, imagination or will to change their song book. Not that this has anything to do with the shameful scenes on Saturday. It is a pity when The Rangers shame themselves it is always Celtic’s fault. It’s the only defense these shameless barbarians have of course.

    1. Tony Martin says:

      Pete, as a Celtic fan of over fifty years I attend all games at Parkhead and can assure you that there are no longer any sectarian songs or chants which once echoed round the ground and that is a fact not a whitewash of any kind. The shameful scenes at Ibrox should be condemned by any right thinking person and I utterly resent Celtic being brought into this debate as the real issue is why British Armed Forces Personnel are being dragged into the sectarian den on a regular basis.

  111. Stuart McAusland says:

    I was there and I am immensely proud of our armed forces
    I makes my heart bleed when service men and women can’t react to the support they are recieving from ordinary members of the public
    rangers fans are NOT animals
    I think channel 4 should stick to mediocre news coverage rather than slating a show of respect

    1. Gerry says:

      Enjoy being exploited then. The government and your football club is doing a great job of distracting you from issues in the wider world and issues at your club. They must realise The Rangers fans are the easiest to brainwash as they love to be subservient to the man in the big house and never question anything unlike those pesky Celtic fans who don’t trust anyone and form opinions based upon the relevant facts.

      Follow Follow without question

  112. Dilly Bodds says:

    There surely must be an enquiry by the Ministry of Defence in to the antics of their employees at Ibrox on Saturday.

    If any employee of any other Government department were to be seen to be acting in this way you can be assured that all hell would beak loose and heads would roll.

    The sooner the Rangers or whatever they are currently called disappear from the face of the earth our country will be a better place.

  113. Macca says:

    I had no idea that Rule, Britannia! was offensive to anyone. Certainly not to British people or their servicemen.

    Oh well I suppose its on this blog so it must be true.

    Before the haters start I do not condone any sectarian singing but wish to point out that the blogger seems to be offended by an anthem of the armed forces.

  114. Dom says:

    Shameful scenes from the armed forces, jumping around to ditties about the UVF and brandishing scarves proclaiming ‘keep Ulster protestant’. Yet some on here are insisting that they cant see the problem, or are intent on deflecting attention onto another football club. Yet no matter how offensive some people find Irish rebel songs they are not sectarian, nor is it compulsory to support the troops (funnily enough the kind of mindset so many of this country’s troops perished to prevent).

    It seems that in an effort to preserve their identity after liquidation, fans of The Rangers are becoming a caricature of all that was noxious about the old club. Sadly their owners seem ready to pander to lowest common denominator in order to draw attention away from their own inadequacies and the looming threat of administration, However, one might have expected a little more from the MOD.

  115. D-Day says:

    Anything to deflect the whereabouts of a certain set of accounts…

    I would like Uefa notified about this ridiculous showing of brain-dead behaviour.In fact, I’m typing as of!!

  116. D-Day says:

    “We both have our bigots,”


    This article though…is highlighting YOURS.



  117. Kenny says:

    ‘The Bouncy’ that the Rangers fans are chanting has a sickening sectarian origin. In 1997 in Portadown a Catholic man, Robert Hamill, was stamped to death by a loyalist mob. Eyewitnesses saw his killers jumping up and down on the man’s head. The bouncy represents this and Rangers fans always launch in to ‘The Bouncy’ after songs that confirm their hatred of Neil Lennon.
    Rangers fans often deny the link, just as they often deny that their club operated a sectarian signing policy.
    The club now sign Catholics but I would suggest anti-Catholic hatred amongst their fans is as bad as ever.
    PS – Can any Rangers fan provide video evidence of ‘The Bouncy’ being sung prior to Robert Hamill’s murder? Didn’t think so.

    1. Neil says:


      Sorry, I can’t provide video evidence as mobiles with cameras were pretty thin on the ground in 1997 (duh!) and I can’t find anything that someone may have randomly uploaded to the internet.

      I started going to Ibrox in 1980 and I can assure you that ‘The Bouncy’ was done way before 1997.

      Hope this suffices (but I doubt it)

      1. Bruce says:

        While there’s no doubt that The Bouncy did exist before 1997, the context can change the meaning and significance of a song. If some Rangers supporters believed it was a song about jumping on the head of someone then that’s what it came to be about. Its like Penny Arcade – that acquired connotations and meaning that Roy Orbison knew nothing about. Still, at least they nabbed one of the Big O’s worst songs.

  118. Jen says:

    And when were the troops last welcomed at Parkhead?

    Oh look, a tumbleweed…..

  119. Kenny says:


    Celtic had a large poppy displayed in the centre of their shirts last year. As they did the year before and the year before that…
    Stay off Rangers fans forums – they are full of propoganda.

    1. D says:

      Kenny says – ‘Stay off Rangers fans forums – they are full of propoganda.’

      How would you know Kenny?…Obsessed?!

  120. alan says:

    I see the persecution of all things Rangers continues …

    a few facts from Strathclyde police ..Derry walls not sectarian .. fathers advice ..not sectarian

    But when Rangers are involved it seems facts and the truth and law don’t matter

  121. Big chap says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing the celebration of the British Armed Forces at Parkhead soon, oh no wait they won’t will they? The couldn’t even wear a poppy on their shirts without protest.

  122. sandy Miller says:

    The involvement of the armed forces in Scottish politics is not new. The first world war celebrations are clearly aimed at influencing the referendum campaign as the normal practice would be to commemorate the end of a war not its beginning.

  123. SFTB says:

    To be precise, the Scottish Government did not pass anti-sectarian laws as, in common with most other people, they cannot define what is sectarian and why. Instead they passed the “Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Bill” which is aimed specifically at football fans on their way to and from and at matches, and on the internet.

    You can now be found guilty of singing an Irish Republican song, one which was sung on a BBC flagship drama just last week and which is also available to download and listen to on i-tunes and You Tube, if you sing it in the vicinity of a football match in Scotland.

    Any cursory viewing of the representations made and the responses given to and by the members of the Justice committee at Holyrood will have seen an unthinking desire to “even the arrests up” because some of the Ibrox songs were clearly anti-Irish and anti-Catholic and currently open to prosecution and conviction, whereas most of the Celtic songs were pro-Republican and could therefore, be deemed offensive to a country where soldiers had fought against and died in fighting Irish Republicanism.

    It is a mess of a Bill, described as “mince” by one Sheriff asked to adjudicate on a case. It is offensive to civil liberties and it is snobbish and bigoted in singling out football as a context where behaviour is offensive. Sing a republican song at the rugby and other legislation would have to be used to convict you.

    It has created a special Police Unit, FoCUS, whose activities are an affront to civil liberties and who have been exercising their own judgement on what they consider to be offensive and/or sectarian. Needless to say, I consider their judgement to be quite prejudiced in itself.

    I tried to make a non-offensive point in a Scottish newspaper this morning which merely said that the MOD spokesman had been concerned about last year’s event and would be likely to have cause for concern again this year. My comment did not appear on the online comment section to which it was submitted and no reason was given for this censorship.

    In this climate, we are finding that only the media outwith Scotland is willing to take any kind of look at what is going on here.

  124. Graham MacDonald says:

    So Alex please point out the line where UVF is mentioned. Nope its wasnt. And anyway I do believe the UVF actually formed part of the British Army and fought for Britain’s Freedom in the first world war. Fact or fiction?

    Whereas the IRA always have been and still are a sectarian terrorist organisation.

    Surely a difference so unsubtle even you could make that out.

    Please tell me exactly what is sectarian in any song sung during the session.

    Or as always do we get the permanently offended scouring you tube in the hope of being offended. Mind you as long as they have useful idiots willing to do their bidding then I guess it works.

    Gawd help us if Salmond gets in and the new republic of Scotland is born.

  125. fd says:

    Surprise, surprise, anti British and supporters of the IRA not happy at pro British celebration of the armed forces. No right minded person will see anything wrong with a song with anti IRA words as they are the enemy of our armed forces.

  126. Brian says:

    I’mjust as disappointed in the armed forces involved as i’m with the reporter. How can someone involve not just Celtic fans but the whole of central Scotland in this with his comments ” this is considered normal in this part of Scotland”. Classing a wide range of people as the same is surely a racist comment?

  127. joe strummer says:

    We’re all still waiting to read of exactly what ” sectarian songs ” were sung by the Army at Ibrox on Saturday ? Or perhaps the more likely scenario is that there were none.

    Celtic’s notorious and infamous fascist supporters regularly celebrate the IRA, who were open Nazi collaborators during WW2. Their IRA Nazi heroes lost the war to the British Army. It is therefore unsurprising that they loathe the British military and will do and say anything to discredit them.

  128. D-Day says:

    a few facts from Strathclyde police ..Derry walls not sectarian .. fathers advice ..not sectarian


    “Keep Ulster Protestant”…Any FACTS on that??

  129. w. Dolan says:

    An ill informed blog by an english journalist , with no concept of decency, has given the bigots a platform, to spout nonsense , THe parade was through Rangers Charity Foundation , which has for many years supported all armed forces , veteran care homes etc. How someone can see bad in this beggars belief. With wreckless journalism like this being allowed , is it any wonder there are so many bigots prepared to jump on this bandwagon.

  130. Rosie says:

    How sad that as usual most people supporting our Armed Forces are most likely deemed to be Protestant or Sectarian. Get a grip, would this have been brought up if it had been at another Scottish Club. Get on with it and support your own team and everyone should be supporting the Troops, at the end of the day this is the “United Kingdom” sick fed up of listening to the same old crap.

  131. 23506253 REME. says:

    As a former soldier I am as proud of our Armed troops as anyone. However the sight of a group of soldiers holding a scarf proclaiming ‘Keep Ulster Protestant’ is totally wrong. Then our lads are seen acting as cheer leaders as sectarian songs of hate are spewed out by a section of the crowd is a complete embarrassment to the British military and to Scotland. The sectarian singing was against the law in Scotland and for our troops to aid and abet (perhaps unwittingly) should never have happened. The top brass should have been well aware that there was the possibility of sectarian singing and have forewarned our troops not to become involved.
    However, more alarming is the suppression of such news by the mass media. I can only guess that an embargo from the corrid00rs of power is responsible for this. Shame on them.

  132. Andy says:

    I have to say, this whole debate has been turned into a bit of a farce. As a Rangers fan, a sensible display of some military marching and the singing of our British national anthem perhaps with the abseiling to provide some theatre and excitement to the event, I beleive would have been better.

    However there are no charges, only an investigation, so this pre-emptive, judgemental opinion peice (not journalism by any stretch of the imagination) is damning on Rangers fans, Celtic fans, the armed forces and the police, who apparently failed to notice the 44,000 hate filled bigots that were singing about the UVF or whoever else…..if anyone actually beleives that, they need to have a reality check.

    The fact is Rangers and Celtic both have a minority bigoted element, who both continously embarrass both clubs, however both clubs have worked extremely hard to discourage and remove these elements from the spectator base…..and instead of taking a breath and allowing the police to conduct their investigation, here we have an article deliberately stirring up those feelings of amniosity between the two sides….the damage is done, congratulations Alex. mission accomplished, people will read the article and therefore you’ll get paid…

    I for one think it would be a great thing if Celtic also allowed for their fans to pay tribute on rememberance weekend at Parkhead, as I am sure that the vast majority of Celtic followers will have nothing but respect for our armed forces and I am sure there are thousands of celtic fans currently serving…this however, for some reason, remains to be seen……

  133. Mark says:

    hear we go again as usual people trying to give Rangers FC and fans a bad name.
    I didn’t see any armed force members singing sectarian songs and since when is the bouncy sectarian?
    I don’t hear channel 4 reporting on celtic singing pro IRA songs who murdered and maimed innocent people, when they attacked stewards at hearts ground and again singing sectarian songs, booed, jeered and shouted Argentina when the armed forces where out during the emirates cup and recently sang songs about the death of Lee Rigby.
    again biased reporting on the ‘secterian’ clubs off Scotland!!

  134. Dee says:

    I think its honestly a joke and is has made it to the news! where on the other side of Glasgow their fans are singing about the death of Lee Rigby and how they will not wear “blood stained poppies” but when rangers football club ask them to come Ibrox because they want to welcome the troops show them that WE support them and proud of them, the troops get caught up in a party and are being told they are in the wrong! They country does not do enough for our armed forces to begin with! shocking! If every football club took a leaf out of rangers book it would show our armed forces how much we appreciated them! RANGERS CONTINUE SUPPORTING OUR ARMED FORCES !! WE ARE THE PEOPLE !!

  135. Gutter Level says:

    I for one don’t have a problem in the armed services having their little day out at Ibrox, however what happened on Saturday was a new low, not for The Rangers ‘fans’, they’ve done a lot worse but for The Armed Forces. To get involved in that kind of bigotry and lower themselves to the singing shown in many videos astonished me. Anyone with any sense in the MOD should really put a stop to this nonsense before all the Forces good work is brought down by this ‘mob’.

  136. Clydebuilt says:

    It is a year to the referendum on Scottish Independence. Everything is political in Scotland at this time. The positioning of the armed forces at Ibrox was hugely political.

  137. Big Mike says:

    The armed forces behaved in a disgusting sectarian fashion and it makes me ashamed. I have many family members in the forces it is an insult to them.

  138. John says:

    The celebration at Ibrox was a tribute to British soldiers,airmen and navy who fight and unfortunately also the large number that have died for our country. To wear a Union Jack around your shoulders is not a crime but something to be proud of. Many were also wearing the saltire also not a crime.These guys fight and put their lives on the line for you, me and everyone in this country so that we can be free and enjoy freedom of speech, freedom from tyranny. And the lives we take for granted The service personnel enjoyed actually being applauded and being shown some respect instead of facing the recent poppy burning,desecration of war memorials and the other crimes of hate that only serve to try and demean the British pride in our country. These events have in the past served to attempt making a mockery of our brave servicemen and women and the hardships they suffer in the course of serving this country. Why not write about these real displays of hatred rather than attempt to taint this recent celebration of our armed forces and force your own warped view of this event on everyone. The fact that you don’t support Rangers and the British way of life shines through in your piece above. These service people were, I’m pretty sure, not forced to take part in this event and were merely displaying mutual respect for the fans showing them the respect they deserve.

  139. Fay says:

    Were is the Media when Celtic fans are slurring sectarian and hatred filled chants about British troops and mocking our war dead by dishonouring rememberance day and the poppy what is ur agenda Alex ??

  140. gerald says:

    Very worrying that A.Salmond hasnt condemned this nauseating spectacle
    Has any party leader in Scotland?
    Morality v votes +fear

  141. Sm says:

    I Dont get what the problem is I Dont hear Rangers FC Complaining about Saturdays Game, I Dont hear any member from Armed forces complaining.. What i do hear is it was a fantastic day, Everyone there had a good day :) These man and woman work hard fighting for our country risking there lives for others and how do they get branded ” sectarian songs ” were sung by the Army at Ibrox on Saturday ? Get a life…

  142. Martin says:

    Trust Rangers fans to actually justify their bigotry by bringing Celtic FC into this debacle. Fact is Rangers fans are not wanted anywhere. They are disrespectful. I lived in Glasgow for 2 years. I was walking along Argyle St and under my coat was a green tracksuit and the colour was just protruding out through my jacket. A minibus of Gers fans came past and the sectarian abuse they lobbed at me was amazing. I’m not even Catholic and it wasn’t a Celtic tracksuit. They must be so annoyed to have to play on green grass as in Lark Hall they removed the green from the traffic lights. Pea brained idiots.

  143. Steve says:

    So there you have it – Rule Britannia is sectarian. That’s surely the end of the annual Proms!

    Facts are that this is a non-story blown up by the permanently offended to nourish their desperate and endless hateful obsession of Rangers FC, the world’s most successful club.

    Rangers give more support to the Armed Forces than any other UK club. Now Alex, if you want to write something interesting …investigate why, uniquely, these same Armed Forces could never ever be invited to a ‘walk on, with hope in their hearts’ at Celtic Park?

  144. Change Agent says:

    Father – Royal Engineers, his three brothers all British Army, all four brought up within a strict Catholic household.

    Father extended his service career into the RE TA – Coatbridge. Parades along Dundyven Road to the Cenotaph were memorable !!

    My young brother – 24 years Scot’s Guards, other young brother lasted 6 weeks Royal Artillery.

    Me I seen sense and went into the RAF as a Technician and served 7 years which covered the Gulf and Bosnian Wars.

    We had a Catholic up bringing but all three of us decided to stop being practicing Catholics.

    Both me and my brother (SG) are extremely proud of serving our country and still hold pride to this day. My brother carried out many parades including palace duties.

    I served with every type of person and creed you could care to mention including many fine folks from NI who were Ranger’s men. The banter was always magic but never sectarian. We gave the English more of a hard time as it was always the Jock’s and Irish against the rest !!

    As an ex serviceman I can tell you that sport is huge in the forces with football being in the main. I represented the RAF at Section, Station and Command level which pitched me against tri services where rivalry was to the fore and I can tell you that some matches ended in a few red’s. The piss up and curry afterwards was an amazing tool that suddenly brought out the forces camaraderie which I can only describe to civvies is just like meeting your best mates in the pub.

    I carried out many parades which celebrated St. Andrews Day and Remembrance Day but never a sporting !!

    We were not allowed to show uniform in public apart from parades. To and from work was civvies only.

    I have no problem with HM Forces volunteering to parade at sporting events but I do when it becomes unorganised, distasteful and disrespectable to the uniform and what it stands for.

    Joining up and taking the ” King’s Shilling ” is a huge life changing experience for anyone. I never once took it for granted or expected public admiration. The Flight Sergeant in Glasgow CIO never hooked me on the dotted line by telling me I would get to walk out at Celtic Park. He sold it to me as a full time well paid job with further technical education, a unique lifestyle and a chance to serve my country. Job done.

    In my view, if the Armed Forces Day was organised as a Stadium Parade, on take the applauds then off for a few pints , then I would not be typing this as nobody would have cause for complaint.

    This parade had an underlying viewing within it that should not be a representative of the way we see today’s HM Forces.

    It should have been 100% drilled controlled and organised as per the high standards of our HM Forces. This parade was a complete disaster. I can just imagine the trip down to Colchester after breaking ranks in St. Andrews town centre to rustle up a full encore of ” Flower of Scotland “.

    I’m not saying ban any future event’s but I would rethink the whole organisation of it and question the need to do it as there are plenty of other dates within the Forces Parade Calendar for the supporting public attend.

    Scotland as a nation is a million miles away from removing it’s sectarian cancer. It is not a West Coast issue either as I see it on the East Coast and North East where I now live and work.

    I’m a Celtic man with a proud forces background but I’m totally ashamed to see fellow Airmen and Women conducting themselves like this in a serving uniform.



  145. rab says:

    quote from mr thomson ‘It’s not clear whether or not the scores of uniformed soldiers actually joined in with the singing ‘ ,,, so why are you reporting a non story then ,,,seems you are the only reporter in the world that has written about this, congradulations on proving you have no brain,well done

  146. danny strachan says:

    It’s not needed from either teams. I had friends who attended the game on Saturday, and told me none of the songs were sectarian. I find it highly laughable that protestant British Rangers supporters have their name dragged through the mud when Celtic fans sing IRA songs and rebel songs and fly flags with up the RA plastered all over them and seem to think that because they support celtic that they have to be Irish and are catholic and say awful things about protestants. Religion and politics should never have been brought into football, can’t stand people who have their head stuck in the sand hundreds of years ago. Celtic fans sicken me more than Rangers fans, especially when the team is open to people from all religions and backgrounds. Whether they like it or not, it’s a British team in Scotland. I support Celtic and I am neither Protestant nor Catholic, I got brought up to chose what I wanted to be. It’s about football at the end of the day, and we’ve got this stupid independence debate coming up, which is fueling the hatred more and more.

  147. jimmy white says:

    It was nothing but a shameful mess and bringing celtic into the argument tells us everything about the type of people defending this debacle. They don’t want change, they want celtic portrayed in the same light, the reason they want celtic portrayed in the same light is because they see it as the only way to carry on with their sectarian ways, they need to drag celtic (try to) down to their level every time, “whataboutery” is their byword, they can’t hack it on their own, they are leach’s on society but most of all on celtic, they have created another monster and that monster saw fit to have a forces day, why? No other club in the british isles feel’s the need to, can they not see why the spivs have done this, the new club is in dire trouble and they need the fans on side, do something about that! Nothing to do with celtic, get on with failing and leave celtic out of it, the old firm died with rangers, we go our way, you have a new club and a new beginning, you go yours, only the road you are taking will lead to failure i,e trying to emulate the old failed defunct club….. It is a mess of your own making, nothing to do with celtic and whataboutery is not an excuse.

  148. Steven says:

    Seems that the only offended people are Celtic minded as usual ! Could it be they are jealous because there aint a snowballs chance in hell of Our Boys being welcomed at Parkhead ??

  149. voodoochile says:

    The fact of the matter here is that military personnel cannot be seen to be involved in any way with sectarian or racist songs and chants and hopefully, suitable punishment will be meted out to those that were as a deterrent.

    As for the usual deflection policy of the rangers fans. Many of your songs and chants are sectarian and racist, that’s why you often receive bad publicity whenever anyone from outside of the Scottish media witnesses your behaviour. So don’t try to make this out to be some attack on people showing their support for the troops when all the criticism has been aimed at the bigoted behaviour of the rangers fans.

  150. William Boyes says:

    None of the songs sung by the fans are deemed sectarian in a Scottish Court, just another pathetic attempt by C****C fans to get Rangers into bother.
    Billl Boyes

    1. Bruce says:

      This one’s so fair minded he can’t even bring himself to type the word Celtic. Its amazing how people give themselves away.

  151. Crazybear says:

    To those claiming biase against Rangers…why don’t you wait until the police and the armed services complete their investigation…..or are you saying that they are anti rangers as well.

  152. John Smith says:

    They are a new club and wouldnt have known this would turn into a sectarian yahoo.

  153. joe strummer says:

    As expected, not one scrap of evidence of ” sectarian singing ” by either Rangers fans or the Armed Forces at Ibrox on Saturday.

    When Police Scotland issue a similar statement of no criminal offences ever taking place on Saturday, will you be big enough, Alex, to admit that this manufacture outrage was built on a malicious lie spread by petty Rangers-haters and duly apologise ?

    Rangers supporters celebrate and commemorate the service of our Armed Forces, as decent people do.

    Shellik supporters mock the death of Drummer Lee Rigby and other British soldiers.

    The British nation acknowledges that fact.

  154. S.B. says:

    Rangers/Sevco are a malign presence in football and have a sinister, shameful influence in all parts of Scottish life. The complete silence in the Scottish media and from any Scottish political party about Saturday’s sectarian hatefest at Ibrox is indicative of modern day Scottish society. It is deeply sectarian, rabidly anti-Catholic, anti-Irish and vehemently anti-Celtic. Rangers/Sevco are the altar many of these bigoted fundamentalists worship at and under no circumstances will anything negative be said, printed or broadcast about them in Scotland. I also have no doubt that the network of secret Masonic/Protestant/Unionist societies that operate in Scotland in all walks of life have been at the forefront of the cover up of what the old Rangers were up to financially particularly amongst the cabal that calls itself ‘The Scottish media’. Most Scottish Premiership football fans will also tell you that the sinister presence and bigoted Loyalist paramillitary hate that Rangers/Sevco fans bring to towns and clubs has not been missed at all and that football has been the big winner in all of this . They are a horrible club with equally disgusting, rabidly bigoted fans and it’s just a pity they hadn’t gone out of business for good two years ago.

  155. Sid says:

    Forget the Celtic/Rangers ties or affiliations. My son is being raised a Roman Catholic- his mother’s and my own mother’s religion.
    He wants to be in the Navy when he grows up- how do I explain to him that, since Saturday, his parents will be utterly against the idea because his comrades- or most of them, would
    actually hate him for his religion?

    1. D says:

      Let me get this straight,…You will be telling your son not to join the forces because he will be hated due to his religion, on the basis that Rangers hosted the Forces at their stadium in gratitude of their service?

      It’s no secret that the British Army has many faiths and people without faith within it’s ranks. I also fail to see how you make the leap between Saturday’s celebrations and a hate of Catholics? Are you suggesting that all Rangers fans and the British Army personnel present in some way discriminated against Catholics? Is that not you being bigoted and sectarian in your assumption?

      Rangers had multiple Catholics playing in their 1st 11 on Saturday, 1 of them scored 4 goals. I suppose you should let him know that he was hated and all 44,000 were being sectarian and bigoted against him.

  156. James says:

    I’m a season ticket holder at Ibrox and have been for a number of years, but in many ways, I’m the epitome of the anti-Christ at Ibrox. Atheist, Scottish nationalist and republican. Before the game on Saturday I had a clear idea of what was in store at half-time, “Rule Britannia”, “God Save the Queen” and “Derry’s Walls” ad nauseam. I find the much less pronounced British nationalism on a bi-monthly basis cringe-worthy, and this was it at its worst. I’m really disappointed about the whole thing. It’s one thing showing support for our armed forces personnel (which we were all more than happy to do) but quite another to involve ourselves and them in a highly political sing-song. Ibrox should be somewhere I go to enjoy a game of football every week, not to receive a dose of rampant protestant British unionism.

    As for this blame game that appears to be going on, I don’t feel any need to produce examples of misdemeanours of Celtic supporters. Football fans are notoriously bad for their often bigoted attitudes, especially in this part of the world. Anyone who maintains that all Celtic fans are squeaky clean are frankly deluded. It’s common knowledge that there are idiots on both sides of the Old Firm divide.

    However, the contention I feel most duty-bound to challenge is this idea that it is only a small minority of fans who misbehave or peddle irrelevant nonsense. From my experience of attending games for a number of years, the singing seems far too loud, and far too widespread to suggest that only narrow minority are at fault.

    1. D says:

      Hello James, As a fellow season ticket holder I have to wonder where you were sitting because your account of what went on at Ibrox on Saturday is frankly bizarre to me. As far as I witnessed there was no singing of sectarian songs. Also where did the Protestant part come into it? I never heard any faith mentioned when I was there? If you feel anything illegal was done I suggest you report it to both the club and the police stating what you witnessed and where you are seated. I trust you will raise this issue on a fans forum as well?!

      I have to say that I deeply doubt you were there never mind a season ticket holder going by your interpretation of what went on.

    2. Neil says:

      I would have to say James that you almost certainly have a distorted view of Celtic fans if you believe the fan base turns up to the games on any given Saturday, drink their bovril, and proceed to spew sectarian and offensive bile whilst watching the game. I’ve been a season ticket holder for around 12 years, and there was only one game where I could see that there was a problem on the Celtic side, and that was the only old firm game I went too (a league cup final). During European nights, big games against the other clubs it is, and always will be in my opinion, a small minority that besmirch the celtic fans. We should always strive to be better, but we are never going to get anywhere when we sit and blindly ignore the problems, or try to subvert the truth by saying that the boy across the road is just as bad a you are.

    3. Bruce says:

      James, no-one’s ever said that the Celtic support doesn’t have its share of idiots, its about the sheer numbers, as your comment backs up.

    4. Ali says:

      James, couldnt agree more. As a Scottish Asian Rangers I just got fed up with the whole environment, none of the songs were football related and the atmosphere unwelcoming. I understand football clubs represent communities, causes, politics and social classes, but Ibrox goes way past this and towards hate rate of other people. I endorse your comment about this being a minority which is absolute rubbish.

      The club represents unionism, the Protestant faith, Ulster and loyalty to the Queen, which we need to accept and move on. Celtic represents the Scottish Irish community, Barcelona represents Catalonia, Boca Juniors are followed by the working classes in comparison to River Plate.

      Rangers will always be my team I am not paying to listen to the fanfare that goes with them.

  157. south side johnny says:

    I still haven’t heard anyone, in any report, name any ‘sectarian’ song that was sung during the15 minute half time interval.

    However I have seen many different, but incorrect spellings of the word ‘sectarian’.

    I blame the schools.

  158. fed-up says:

    Once again Thomson choses to spout his bigoted bile on a broadcast network! I’m fed up reading the same cosy group of media luvvies spew their agenda led views on this sort of matter.
    I wonder why you don’t all just go and live with George Galloway and his ilk in some sort of fantasy land – minus of course the rights and protections of the sources of your hate filled comments!

  159. D says:

    Isn’t it astonishing that the ones that are condemning the Forces day can’t even hide the fact they hate Rangers and their fans within their post. They will cry “bigoted” they will cry “sectarian” yet weren’t there & can’t give any evidence,….you’d think there would be lot’s at a “sectarian-party” in which 44,000 people were involved. What does it tell you about people that they are willing to criticise our forces in order to create trouble for Rangers and their fans?…I would reckon that it suggests they care little for our forces and their attack is actually the kind of thing that’s indicative of being bigoted and sectarian.

  160. Andy Loughran says:

    I just wish they had sang anti black songs. Then it would have had to have been reported on

  161. Mike P says:

    I am a Falklands veteran with active service medal from being present throughout that war..

    The scenes at the weekend were a disgrace to civilized humanity, sickening to sight British military involved with the sort of extremely perverse so called nationalism akin to the most extreme parts of loyalist terrorist Belfast.

    If senior officers do not face severe repremand for not only allowing this perverse debacle, but encouraging it. I will be publicly handing my medal back in a plastic bag.

    Sick.evil bigoted warped.

    No excuses and shameful.

    1. D says:

      Mike P – A ‘disgrace to civilized humanity’ and ‘sickening’ you describe Saturday’s service day as being.’Sick.evil bigoted warped’ was another phrase you used – Once again I will ask of you as I have of others ….What people were being discriminated against and what was ‘evil’ about it? What event was so outrageous that you compare a celebration everyone enjoyed to the worst elements of human nature?

      I find it bewildering that a former soldier such as yourself could be offended by fellow troops being applauded by 44,000 people and those troops walking on the pitch and getting pictures of the day. Once again I suspect the real motive for your offended stance is that you hate Rangers and their support,…I’d even go as far as to say that you don’t like the British Forces much either. You’re stance is so over the top for someone that clearly wasn’t there and clearly doesn’t have much of a point that I doubt whether you are a Falklands veteran. It’s seems far more likely that you serve the ‘I’m a celtic supporter and I’m offended’ keyboard divsion who try to make as much trouble for Rangers and their support as possible due to your bigoted and sectarian hatred of them. It’s very sad that I doubt anyone saying they fought for my country but I honestly cannot imagine why an ex-forces man would say the things you have unless you hated both Rangers and your country to the core.

    2. Eamonn Callaghan says:

      I am a Celtic fan and its totally obvious my fellow Celtic fans are on here pretending to be ex-soldiers and Gers fans. Get a grip.

  162. Alan says:

    “Rule Britannia, Derry’s Walls, The Sash”

    None of these are Sectarian songs, as inferred by the article. To state otherwise is incorrect.

    To state that you are Protestant, or indeed proud of being so is not a crime, although to demean or deride others for stating the view is actually bigotry. Not the other way around…

    Let’s get one thing clear: the only thing which any of the troops present MAY have done is to let the tradition of the forces remaining apolitical be forgotten. Whether or not this has actually happened remains to be seen and is currently under investigation.

    How many of the offended, rushing to jump aboard the bandwagon, were actually at the game? (What seat were you in Tommo?)

  163. Muzz says:

    Haw Alex, hows about shining your torch of truth at Glasgow City Council’s Labour administrations cosy relationship with your beloved Celtic ? land deals, the education dept leaders fondness for conferences at her beloved Celtic Park, the involvement of The Catholic church hierachy and Labour politicians and thier press and legal cohorts in shaping the agenda against Rangers FC and the community who support and formed the club ?
    But then you already know about all of that dontcha alex bhoy ? hahaha.

    1. Gordo says:
  164. Sean says:

    The extreme element within Rangers FC are abhorrent and undoubtedly sectarian. However, I don’t see how the extreme element within the Celtic support are any better. Whilst their songs may not be explicitly sectarian, ‘rebel songs’ by definition celebrate the exploits of the IRA (in it’s various forms, but generally refering to the Provisionals). You know, the organisations that brought us Kingsmill, Teebane, the Shankill bombing, Bloody Friday, La Mon, Enniskillen, Darkley, the Bayardo bar bombing, The Abecorn bombing, Guildford, Birmingham, Warrington, the Omagh bomb, or in fact two murders in Belfast and Derry just last week…. ….. By celebrating such organisations, you are celebrating sectarian murder. It’s like saying that a Nazi song that does not contain anti-Semitic lyrics should be accepted by Jewish people! It is minorities on both sides, but Celtic are far from innocent in this respect. Why do they feel the need to shout ‘IRA’ at the end of certain verses of the Fields of Athenry, which in itself is a beautiful song, or why do they need to sings ‘Boys of the Old Brigade’ or ‘Go On Home British Soldiers’? What do these have to do with football? Or why did Celtic fans see the need to rip up the seats at Firhill not so long ago? Certainly I don’t think there is any place for songs about the UDA or UVF at Ibrox, but singing songs about the IRA (given the examples of their actions listed above) are any better. They are offensive to many people in the UK (bear in mind Celtic do actually play in the UK, not Ireland!), not just to Rangers supporters. I do not support either club, but I find songs celebrating organisations that murder Catholics, Protestants, British soldiers, or police officers absolutely disgusting.

    1. Bruce says:

      The problem is that, certainly at CP, you don’t get chants of IRA in the Fields anymore. Indeed there are those who’ll try to insist that the song itself is sectarian. Same with Go On Home…you simply don’t hear that at home any more. I’m not convinced you’ll hear this much at away games now, either. As for BOTOB, well, you do hear that but its hard to make an argument against it now that the queen has paid tribute to them. The problem with trying to discuss what the Celtic support sing is that the waters are constantly muddied by extreme distortions and outright lies spread by the Sevco support – eg the supposed ‘Lee Rigby songs and Islam CSC. A great deal of mud gets thrown at the Celtic support and even when lies are exposed the mud still sticks with some people.

      1. Sean says:

        I made it clear that I felt the ‘Fields’ itself to be a beautiful song and don’t see it as sectarian. As for the ‘Boy of the Old Brigade’, do you honestly believe that the fans singing that are specifically referring to the pre-War of Independence IRA?! Come on, get real! I would imagine the Provisionals are the ‘Boys’ they have in mind, a snapshot of whose crimes are mentioned above. Perhaps some refer to the ‘New IRA’ who slayed two Catholics only last week. Or should we give the fans the benefit of the doubt? Rangers fans could equally argue that the UVF and YCV they sing about are the original organisation who fought as the 36th Ulster Division on WW1 and won several Victoria Crosses? There is plenty of pro-IRA chanting at CP although it is generally more noticeable at away games (why though? It seems designed to cause deliberate offence) and in the environs of CP pre- and post-match, especially in the pubs of the East End where the armchair Provos get tanked up and belt out their jolly ‘rebel songs.’

      2. Bruce says:

        Given that many Celtic supporters who are particularly bothered about the IRA are educated in the history of Ireland and actually do revere a lot of pre-provisional IRA people then there’s a pretty good chance that the individuals do have the original BOTOB in mind. You can’t have it both ways – you can’t accuse Celtic supporters of straightforward IRA chants and then accuse them of coy references to the PIRA. What you’re saying is that you’re deciding what the intent of the Celtic support sings, irrespective of whether there’s any actual sectarian content or not. Like I said, there are those who’d claim that the Fields is sectarian. But I’m glad you’re giving us a free pass on that one.

        As for frequent pro IRA chanting at CP, that is garbage. I go to home game and there hasn’t been any for years. People actually sing about Samaras. As for away games, there’s plenty of stuff sung and chanted at the Celtic support which is explicitly designed to provoke.

        And, anyway, in an article about the behaviour at Sevco’s ground, an incident which had absolutely zero to do with Celtic, why do you feel so compelled to drag Celtic into this?

      3. Sean says:

        ‘You can’t have it both ways – you can’t accuse Celtic supporters of straightforward IRA chants and then accuse them of coy references to the PIRA.’ That doesn’t even make sense (what is a ‘straightforward IRA chant’ in contrast to a PIRA one?), but given the regular attendance of ‘Charlie & The Bhoys’ and ‘Shebeen’ and the likes at Celtic supporters functions, playing hots like ‘The SAM Song’ and the ‘Provo’s Lullaby’, I think it is patently obvious that it is PIRA they have in mind. There may not be explicitly anti-Protestant lyrics to these songs, but given the IRA (pre-PIRA too) in sectarian murder (I point you to my original comment for some examples), it is at best distasteful to glorify these thugs. I mention the Celtic support in an article about shameful behaviour by Rangers supporters because so many sanctimonious Celtic supporters came on here, holier than thou, in feigned disgust, when most right thinking people know they are just as bad. And anyway, as a Celtic fan who supposedly has no interest in rangers, why btoher searching for articles about Rangers – if you have so little interest? Singing about the IRA is every bit as bad as singing about the UVF. Plenty of Rangers songs – ‘Rule Britania’ etc do not contain explicitly sectarian lyrics either bu they can cause offence, and it is the same with Celtic. So get off your high horses – people in glass houses and all that…. You’re all the same, dress it up however you want if it makes you feel better, but the people of Soctland outside of the Old Firm know the truth.

    2. Bruce says:

      The MOD is now saying that Sevco wants to do more of these days and they want to be part of it. Which suggests that the MOD has spectacularly missed the point. If the MOD is part of any days like this at Ibrox in the run up to the referendum vote, which would be an explicitly political gesture, they could find that the whole situation could really bite them hard on the backside.

  165. zeke says:

    The display at Ipox was not sectarian in and of itself. However the idiots in uniform who disgraced that uniform should be called to account for their behaviour.
    They start singing those songs. If you were a soldier in the British army and were a Catholic Celtic supporter, would you want them at your back on patrol. I certainly wouldn’t.
    As for having the parade at Celtic park or any other ground for that matter, it should never be allowed. Politics should never be involved in football and this is what happens when bringing the army into it.
    And before any of you sectarian loyalist bigots start having a go, i am already in the process of trying to organise a charity event for families of Scottish football players, who served their country and died in World war 1 and 2. Will hopefully have some sort of monument to them erected.

  166. Sean says:

    Zeke, the Scottish regiments have always had lots of Rangers and Celtic supporters in their ranks, many of whose sympathies politically and culturally lie where you might expect; however, loyalty to the uniform trumps any of that and a Catholic Celtic supporting soldier would have utmost confidence in his Rangers supporting Protestant colleagues – they know they can trust them. And it works both ways.

  167. AS1006 says:

    Find it hilarious how a couple of Rangers fans have said that Celtic fans are “Nazi sympathisers.”

    Aren’t you the same bunch of people that go around singing praises about the UVF & Combat 18? And aren’t you the same set of fans that haven’t done anything about the BNP campaigning, and spouting their bile, around Ibrox?

    Look up the term ‘Nazi’ before you dub that to Celtic fans. I think you’ll find that the BNP, UVF, etc. have more in common with Nazis than Celtic fans.

    1. stuart says:

      Actually you will find that really its a good number of celtic fans who support the ira who went on to joim forces with the germans aka nazis during the wars unlike the uvf who volunteered to fight alongside the british forces to fight for our freedom etc so if any1 needs to go learn something its people like you an all the anti brits on this thread that need to especially thus journalist alex thomson since hes shown he doesnt no what sectarianism is as his claims are all false and no sectarian singing took place I should no I was at the game unlike the 1s who made the claims there is no such thing as a sectarian song its only certain words that make something sectarian

  168. stuart says:

    The ira joined forces with the germans aka nazis during the wars (thought best sort that wee part out before its took the wrong way)

    1. AS1006 says:

      Yes unfortunately, some Celtic fans do sympathise with the IRA. My personal opinion on the IRA & the UVF is that they’re both a bunch of bigots.

      However, what proof is there that Irish fought with the Nazis?

      Anyway, Celtic are actually doing stuff about it. When speaking to some fans they were angry at being thrown out of Parkhead for singing ‘Celtic Symphony.’

      What have Rangers done about the BNP & White Power graffiti that is on the exact wall that the away fans have to walk past? What have Rangers done about the BNP campaigning around Ibrox? If White Power symbols & BNP logos aren’t signs of sympathising with Nazis, I don’t know what is. And with regards to the bigots at Parkhead, least Celtic have started doing something about them & had words.

      1. stuart says:

        If you do actual research you will find the proof its the truth wether you like it or no and since when did celtic start doing something about the bigotry/sectarianism oh the time they banned people after trouble at fir park which was only coz uefa were investigating the fans behaviour celtic dont care what their fans do im ex steward an celtic threatened to rip up a contract with a firm for always reporting sectarian stuff by celtic fans

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