Some fans do some fans don't. There are also irish bad blood connections as well, there are also people who are just too dumb to know and there are your genuine football fans who would turn it into a good natured thing if people would let them.
I love the way the Scots blame their bigotry on us Irish. Here in the republic we have no sectarian problems and yet we are tarred with this crap. A vast majority (if not all) of protestants here consider themselves integral parts of the community and are Irish and Irish only. Heck I've got a protestant mate whos passionate about Celtic.
The situation in Scotland is one I try to avoid most of the time for fear of giving it credibility as a subject connected to football but I have always found Religious Bigotry ironic (as well as disgusting) if any of these people had any belief in God or what he stands for they would not behave the way they do, but as I have grown up it has become clearer.
If you are bitter or evil, lazy, irresponsible and anti social with no desire to work for yourself, your family or your community you could quite quickly become some kind of disrespected outcast, so what do you do? Simple! Align yourself to a huge group of 50 to 60 thousand football fans and you are no longer alone, you speak as part of a much louder voice and are not solely responsible for your actions. I AM NOT SOME LONE NUTTER, I AM A RANGERS/CELTIC FAN.:drunk: :nasty:
Being born and raised in Glasgow 80% of my family and friends are Celtic or Rangers fans and they are all good people. I have come across people in the course of my job who I would fit the original description and are clearly dangerous. I have no doubts that the majority of old firm fans in SCOTLAND are decent people and it is for this reason I hold the clubs responsible for not doing everything they can to stop the bigoted connections. If either club was seriously linked with violence to women (which incidetally they could be) I feel sure they would push the boat out to change this perception sadly this is not the case with the current setup although "efforts" have been made in some quarters.
In response to the original question the overall answer is NO. They are the two biggest and most succesful clubs in this country and they are based in the same city. If a Man City fan with a skinhead says he hates Man Utd it is passed off as obvious rivalry (we dont wonder if it's because United have some coloured fans or players) and for the most that is what exists here.
I have decided to withhold my rant about the press.
Personally I dont think its any different to the other major club rivalries in world football, many of which have the added element of a 'non-football' related thing attached to them, but often in Scotland these rivalries are seen as sort of exotic rather than how the Old Firm is viewed.
While of course I would prefer the non football things to not exist at all, in general I even think that alot of the fans that sing bigotted songs do not mean what they say....its all about football tribalism, and outwith the football matches they have many friends and family who the other side of the 'divide'. But of course there are still idiots who believe in it all and they should locked up, never mind not allowed in a football stadium!