The first Old Firm Derby of the SPL season would normally have taken place last weekend but, of course, due to the demotion of Rangers it didn’t happen.
So how are the two Glasgow giants actually coping with the loss of such high profile derby games?
Celtic boss, Neil Lennon, believes that Champions’ League football has filled the void for the green half of Glagow with the big European nights making up for the loss of the Old Firm games.
And that’s probably true in terms of revenue and profile but Rangers’ absence makes it difficult for Celtic to, indeed, anyone else to ‘talk up’ the SPL which, despite Lennon’s best efforts to tell us otherwise, is seen as a “one horse race.”
Meanwhile, over on the blue side of Glasgow, new owner, Charles Greene, has based his publicity campaign on an “everybody is against us” philosophy. I don’t have any problems with this, except that he also (in the company of many Rangers fans) continues to deny wrong-doing on the part of the club despite the fact that the evidence is staring him in the face. In fairness to the Ger’s faithful, they have responded in huge numbers and surely, in yhears to come, someone will ask a question in a sports quiz relating to a Scottish Third Division side which attracted 50,000 supporters to its home games.
Although he rarely mentions Celtic, Greene must sure gaze across the city at the Celtic Park lights on big European nights and wonder if he will ever be back on such a stage.
Both clubs are getting on with their own programmes but I’m sure both secretly cannot wait to “embrace” those Old Firm Derbies again!