Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has made an incorrect claim regarding the Parkhead side’s fanbase as comments from Rangers manager Michael Beale continue to rattle the Aussie.
The Parkhead boss has been bleating in the press about claims from Beale – made weeks ago – that Postecoglou was “lucky” to have such an extensive transfer budget at Celtic Park.
Making snarky remarks regarding the comments over the weekend, these served only to prove that the incoming Rangers boss had successfully gotten under the skin of the Celtic manager.
Ange Postecoglou certainly doesn’t like the suggestion he’s a Chequebook Charlie and the situation intensified this week when Livingston boss Davie Martindale suggested that pound-for-pound, Livingston are the best performers in the league.
Responding to the comments, big Ange appeared to try and troll the Scottish footballing public by claiming that Celtic deserve the biggest budget, because they are the biggest club with the biggest fanbase.
“That’s OK, I actually don’t mind people saying we have the biggest budget because we have the biggest fan base and we are the biggest club,” said Postecoglou.
“People forget that that money is on the back of hard-earned supporters who don’t have a lot of money and choose to spend a significant portion of it on this football club.
“My role is not to get their money and stick it in the bank. It’s to get their money and reinvest it in the thing they love. That’s my responsibility and why we do what we do.
“If people are saying we are the biggest club in the land, then I don’t think that’s something we need to be embarrassed about. That’s who we are.”
Biggest club remark, check. Violin playing to the downtrodden Celtic public, check. Indirect Rangers dig, check.
Yes, all those cantankerous remarks in the press really suggest you “don’t mind” Ange. Neither does the fact you’re talking mince.
Ange Postecoglou Rangers Celtic fanbase claims are misleading
We can have the biggest club debate until the cows come home – and dependent on what side of the Old Firm you follow you will likely have your answer – but the statistics quite simply do not back up Ange Postecoglou’s claims about Celtic having a bigger fanbase than Rangers.
Yes, their stadium may have 10k more seats, but according to Google Data, Rangers are the most popular club in Scotland by some distance. As the handy map below shows.
Rangers also regularly trounce Celtic on social media interactions – as routinely evidenced by the findings of Deportes & Finanzas – in another indication of the greater fanbase.
In the first half of 2021 alone, Rangers had more than 24m more interactions on social media than Celtic, albeit this was the season we lifted 55.
Oh, and just to add some gloss to all this, Rangers took an estimated 100k supporters to the Europa League Final against Frankfurt in Seville.
Celtic – who wrote a tragic musical and named a stadium lounge after their glorious defeat to Porto in the same city in 2003 – only took 80k.
Whilst it might sound good for the Celtic manager to claim that his side has a bigger fanbase and by proxy is a bigger club, the statistics quite simply do not back it up.
Rangers remain Scotland’s Premier club but Celtic team to catch
Rangers are, and always have been, Scotland’s premier club and continue to be the most widely supported and championed club in the country, at least domestically.
The reality is, the gross mismanagement of Rangers’ finances pre-2012 have allowed Celtic to open up a substantial financial gap for obvious reasons which the Ibrox side continue to claw away at.
Because of this, and because Celtic’s player trading model has been reluctantly well run over the last decade, combined with regular Champions League qualifications, it has allowed the Parkhead side to enjoy a bigger budget.
But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good story.
God forbid Postecoglou’s expensively assembled squad get the runaround at Hampden over the highly-rated Rangers boss Michael Beale, despite the Englishman operating on a substantially smaller budget.
Now, that would really show the “lucky” Australian up, wouldn’t it?
Meanwhile, the arrival of Nicolas Raskin appears to have lit a fire under some in the Rangers squad.