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Discussion Starter #1
Maurice Johnston has had to pull out of the forthcoming Old Frim, actually they are calling it the "auld firm", charity match due to a section of Celtic fans threatening to pull out. First off I'll say in Celtic's defence that I have read no figures on how many supporters were going to bhoycott the game and it certainly looks no where near the majority.

It's really going down to another level this one though. The money raised from this game will go to charities supported by two old firm legends. The two players gave their respective fans great joy over the years and now are being kicked in the teeth. It would appear that a switching of clubs two decades ago is more important than raising money for worthwhile legends in support of two footballing legends. While these supporters carry on their bhoycott Jimmy Johnstone's motor neurone research foundation and Davie Cooper's centre for children with special needs lose it. It is disgraceful in my opinion.

As well as Rangers fans and neutral fans condemning this I have also heard alot of Celtic fans condemning it too to be fair. It really is a sad state of affairs and just strengthens any views other people already have of the Old Firm which is a shame.

Mo Johnstone had been due to play a half for Celtic and a half for Rangers which in itself goes a tiny way to building bridges but that now will not happen. An opportunity has been missed here. I doubt anyone would go along with this but I would be all for the captains of both sides swapping over at half time on the night or at the very least getting the players to swap shirts at full time. To me the whole episode is all wrong but what annoys me more is no one is doing anything about it other than rolling over.
 

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I listened to the Real Radio phone-in last night and I can't believe the bitterness of some people. A couple of Celtic fans actually phoned up to back the boycott. Their reasoning? Mo stabbed the Sellick in the back, and should never be forgiven. FFS this is a charity match. Can people not see the bigger picture? As you say chivo, it paints this 'rivalry' in an even worse light. Every fan of the Old Firm should be embarassed to be associated with this kind of small mindedness.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's what really gets me too. The fact that people can't put their footballing differences aside for a charity match. It really is beyond a joke. What I don't understand is why they all don't get together and say stay away then. I'm sure it would still be a sell out as it's a minority of the small minded brigade.
 

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The Judas story was nothing but a publicity stunt by the organisers anyway. If the match is supposedly an "Auld Firm legends" fixture then why would someone like Judas be playing for either side in the first place?

He is certainly no Celtic legend, and he was only at Ibrox for 2 years. I'm a bit too young to remember the entire circumstances surrounding what happened, but it's not too hard to imagine the type of controversy it would have created at the time - and it has nothing to do with the tired old 'sectarian' tag - Judas was paraded in a Celtic jersey as our latest signing and then proceeded to join our bitter rivals only weeks later.

Any player around the world who did that would receive the same kind of bitterness as the Celtic fans have towards Judas, sort of the same feeling the Barca fans have towards Figo in the modern era, only much, much worse.

It's a football-related matter - end of story.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
King_Henrik said:
It's a football-related matter - end of story.
Behave yourself, it's a charity event aimed at raising money for two good causes. Both causes carry the names of old firm legends who were fantastic servants to their respective clubs. As much as there is alot of bitterness between Rangers and Celtic fans people like Jimmy Johnston and Davie Cooper among the elite few get respect from both sides of the fence.

Are you telling me that a fan's bitterness from nearly two decades ago is more important than raising money for motor neurone research or building a centre for children with special needs? I await you compassionate response to that question and hope that your overlooking of purpose of this event means you have don't know of anyone in either of these positions who's funding this will help.
 

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The people organising this thing should have had the common sense to keep Johnston as far away from the event as possible.

I can see why some might be offended by the boycott thing, but to be brutally honest, I have to side with the fans on this one. For me personally (and it's purely a personal choice) football comes before ANYTHING. To simply ask Celtic fans (and the large amount of Rangers fans who didn't like him) to "forgive and forget" purely because it was a while ago shows not only a lack of understanding about football, but a SHOCKING lack of knowledge on the Old Firm. I couldn't forgive a player for stabbing my club in the back, like the Figo example. I'll never forgive him. Ever. I won't even consider it.

Frankly, it IS an insult to even consider asking Johnston to play. They must have been looking for trouble with that nonsense, and now that he won't be involved, I think you'll all find the fans who were going to boycott will want to go now. To me, that shows that it's purely a problem with Johnston and not the actual idea, which surely is understandable.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm amazed at that ViscaBarcaInter. While I respect everyone's point of view I find it hard to accept that Mo Jo playing in a charity match creates this kind of reaction. The money being raised for special causes for me is the most important thing. Aside from that all the adverse publicity towards the bitterness dividing the old firm could have had a helping hand here by him playing a half for both sides.

There is an opportunity here to do something good as well as raise money. Pity Alfie Conn could have been there to swap with Mo at half time. This to me is exactly the reason why the ugliness that surrounds the old firm is never going to go away.
 

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I'm just as amazed as chivo here :googly: I consider myself a massive Rangers fan, but i'd never say it comes before anything. There's much more to life and maybe it's time for a lot of people to grow up. But then again, i'm a bit of an idealist...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Me too- a massive Rangers fan that is. As I said above everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I just find it disappointing. Even Caesar was on Real Radio last night backing the boycotting fans. I expected more from a man I have alot of respect for.

My last idea on the thing. At full time the players swap shirts. Each shirt is then signed by the player who was wearing the shirt and the player receiving the shirt then auctioned off. The must have made shirt for Mo so get them signed by the man himself and the corresponsing teams to auction off too. Just a thought.
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
This to me is exactly the reason why the ugliness that surrounds the old firm is never going to go away.
If you think that Judas appearing in an Auld Firm charity match is going to stop 50,000 of 'the people' singing about being up to their knees in fenian blood every week then you bring new meaning to the word naive.

The charity wouldn't have suffered from the boycott actually, the idea was to donate whatever sum the charity were looking for in gate receipts but to stay away from the actual match itself.

We don't want him to be associated with The Celtic ever again after his treacherous actions, if a proposed boycott was needed to ram home that point to him then i'm glad its worked.

That's the end of the matter as far as i'm concerned.
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
Me too- a massive Rangers fan that is. As I said above everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I just find it disappointing. Even Caesar was on Real Radio last night backing the boycotting fans. I expected more from a man I have alot of respect for.

My last idea on the thing. At full time the players swap shirts. Each shirt is then signed by the player who was wearing the shirt and the player receiving the shirt then auctioned off. The must have made shirt for Mo so get them signed by the man himself and the corresponsing teams to auction off too. Just a thought.
I don't have a problem with that idea. But there is always a fine line between trying to reduce the sectarianism and mixing that up with the natural rivalry between two city rivals AND constant title challengers.

The Johnston thing was purely about football, he had paraded in the Celtic top then decided to join Rangers AFTER doing so. For an ex-Celtic player, it is unforgivable, simple as. I can hope that people do more to lessen the bigotry element of the derby, but you CANNOT ask people to turn off their feelings about football issues "for charity". People wouldn't ask the actual Old Firm players to swap shirts and wear each other's scarves, because it would be stupid. People would react badly to their players showing such a lack of understanding for the depth of the rivalry between the 2 clubs, and there is no reason to believe people would be any different for charity matches, friendlies, whatever. The very idea of the guy who humiliated and stabbed Celtic in the back worse than anyone else actually wearing their colours on a pitch again is obviously going to offend people.

The "problem" was never the players, it was the FANS. The guys organising it should ask the FANS to swap shirts and scarves, if people are talking about this as some way to "end the fighting", getting players to do it won't make any difference. Players on both sides have already been friends, and went out drinking. The hatred comes entirely from the fans. And so, doing something like asking Johnston to take part for both teams is seen as nothing more as a slap in the face. They should be trying to ACTUALLY fix problems, not incite them. It's like trying to deal with racism by hightlighting how different black and white people are. Instead of that, they should be trying to integrate the two sides where the actual problems are, not divide them further.

People don't choose how they feel, it just happens. I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but I take my football EXTREMELY seriously, something I cannot control. Sometimes I wish it was different, but it never will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
To some degree I can understand that even after two decades there are Celtic fans who cannot put this to one side even though it's raising money for on of Celtic's true legends who is dying of motor neurone disease. As a Rangers fan I don't know how that kind of betrayal feels but would hope after two decades I'd have moved on. There are fans though, as kh hinted at in his post, who didn't experience it at the time so I can't see why it is such a big issue for them. I don't know what age you are yourself but from the tone of your post I'd imagine you are old enough to remember it happening clearly so still bare the scars.

On the swapping of shirts I'd still like to see it happen. They don't have to wear them, just swap them. Surely that would be possible? The fans I think would be less likely to swap scarves than the the players would shirts. Maybe an alternative would be a comemaritive scarf which all proceeds going to the charties. A scarf split in the middle by Rangers and Celtic colours. The Celtic half having a pic of Jinky and the Rangers half having a pic of Coop. Some sort of gesture in the middle like a shaking of hands or even a friendly finger gesture. Just something that both sets of fans can share in for one night without the bitter divide.

For me I would never want to see Rangers and Celtic fans sitting side by side having a laugh on matchday- even if that were possible. Rivalry is good and this is one of the oldest in the business. I'd never want that to change but I would like to see the bitterness taken out of it. A fierce rivalry could still exist without all the baggage the tie is still carrying to this day.
 

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What he did was no different to Alfie Conn.

Sure there are fans who won't have forgiven him for playing for Celtic but the majority don't seem too bothered anymore - they might not like what he did but they don't hate him much and Conn has since been back at Ibrox and paraded on the pitch with the rest of the ECWC winners and indeed works (or worked?) behind the bar in probably the most well known Rangers pub in Glasgow.

With Mo Johnston while the football rivalry element has played an important part in the hatred towards him the "treachery" has a religious element too. Basically there are some bigots amongst the Celtic support who hate the thought of Scottish Catholics playing for Rangers every bit as much as some bigots did/do in the Rangers support. It's seen as a sell out or whatever and that is why the level of hatred towards him is still so high IMO. Plus the fact that he represents the removal of the signing policy means the hatred towards him is extra bad.
 

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Teddy Bear said:
What he did was no different to Alfie Conn.

Sure there are fans who won't have forgiven him for playing for Celtic but the majority don't seem too bothered anymore - they might not like what he did but they don't hate him much and Conn has since been back at Ibrox and paraded on the pitch with the rest of the ECWC winners and indeed works (or worked?) behind the bar in probably the most well known Rangers pub in Glasgow.

With Mo Johnston while the football rivalry element has played an important part in the hatred towards him the "treachery" has a religious element too. Basically there are some bigots amongst the Celtic support who hate the thought of Scottish Catholics playing for Rangers every bit as much as some bigots did/do in the Rangers support. It's seen as a sell out or whatever and that is why the level of hatred towards him is still so high IMO. Plus the fact that he represents the removal of the signing policy means the hatred towards him is extra bad.
Judging by the amount of anti-Catholic songs still sung to this day by the Rangers support then there would have been a lot more people among your own who had a problem with a RC Catholic signing for Rangers than those from the other side who had a problem with the issue.

As i said, fans of any club around the world would have hated Johnstone for his actions. It's a football-related issue to Celtic fans, and it always will be. Those who supposedly hate him for sectarian issues are doing so for no particular reason, because the anti-Catholic songs are still as prevalent among the Rangers support today as they were before Judas joined them.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
King_Henrik said:
As i said, fans of any club around the world would have hated Johnstone for his actions. It's a football-related issue to Celtic fans, and it always will be.
I agree with you there but would fans of any club around the world still be holding a grudge two decades later? Would they put that grudge before raising money for a former playing legend who is dying and asking for help? Is that grudge more important than Jinky's plea for help?
 

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King_Henrik said:
As i said, fans of any club around the world would have hated Johnstone for his actions. It's a football-related issue to Celtic fans, and it always will be. Those who supposedly hate him for sectarian issues are doing so for no particular reason, because the anti-Catholic songs are still as prevalent among the Rangers support today as they were before Judas joined them.
I agree it's not exactly unique for fans to hate players for such a thing but generally the level of hatred would dissipate over time if it was just a "football-related issue". Michael Laudrup, Bernd Schuster, Christian Panucci, Giuseppe Meazza, Roberto Baggio etc etc....There are many players who have played for both sides of a heated rivalry and who haven't had to put up with the levels of hatred that Johnston has had to for nearly 15 years since he left Rangers.

(btw I don't expect Celtic fans to like him or respect him - i wouldn't if it was an ex-Rangers player who did a similiar thing - i'm talking about the level of dislike and hate that he still attracts, which is out of proportion to what he did if it was just a "football related issue")
 

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Let's not forget that football is only a sport too, some might say "just a game".

If that is the case, why did Rangers fans burn their season tickets in front of TV cameras outside Ibrox when Johnston signed? Why have some Rangers fans never been back since he signed?

Don't take the moral high ground over this.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
mincecfc said:
Let's not forget that football is only a sport too, some might say "just a game".

If that is the case, why did Rangers fans burn their season tickets in front of TV cameras outside Ibrox when Johnston signed? Why have some Rangers fans never been back since he signed?

Don't take the moral high ground over this.
That was the case with a minority and by all accounts they've never been back to Ibrox, good ridance I say. To be honest I don't think those people would have been going to this game anyway because they are so bitter that they refused to go and see Rangers again. I think that is why there is an emphasis on the minority of Celtic supporters taking this stance as they were going to be going to the game originally.
 

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The burning of season tickets in front of TV cameras? Didn't happen - It was actually a picture of a couple of guys burning "their" season tickets taken by a Daily Record photographer (btw some say the guys in the pics were guys who the Record paid but i don't know if that's true or not)

I'm not denying that there were some people really pissed off with the signing, and no doubt some of these bigots stopped going to see the team (good riddance to them btw). However season ticket sales increased after Johnston signed so any "protest" that happened was totally insignificant and unimportant....
 
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