Thursday, November 23, 2006

Why England Will Always Say No

Let’s not turn Celtic’s victory on Tuesday into yet another debate about the Old Firm going down south.

We’ve had the arguments so many times it’s tiresome. Yes, on their day they can live with anyone. Yes, they’ve got a huge support.

But these factors have been constant for close to a decade. And still nothing’s happened. The truth is that however much Peter Lawwell and David Murray want it to happen it never will.

And it’s their own fault. Why would English football, with the image problem that hooliganism has caused it over the years, willingly invite Celtic and Rangers to join.

As long as their fans continue to spew vitriol out of the stands at every opportunity the Old Firm will be pariahs south of the border.

The irony is, of course, that officials at both clubs have repeatedly stuck their heads in the sand over the sectarian issue.

So for the foreseeable future Murray and Lawwell will be stuck in no-man’s land of their own making: staring wistfully at the cash cow of the Premiership but covering their ears to the reasons for their exclusion.