As Rangers prepare to welcome Celtic, far from quash the conspiracy narratives VAR appears to have breathed fresh life into the nonsense debate usually espoused from the eastend of Glasgow.

Whilst conspiracies are generally the preserve of all football fans, every set of supporters indulging in rumours about managers, players, journalists and referees, the scale of which the more unhinged elements of the Celtic support are allowed to indulge in their own is often unprecedented.

Rangers FC v Livingston FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but it is genuinely deranged to suggest Rangers are controlling the referees through some kind of Masonic lodge handshake conspiracy.

Celtic are nine points out in front in the Scottish Premiership and to their credit have been a force to be reckoned with on Scottish soil this season.

And yet despite their status as title favourites and comfortable lead at the top of the table, heading into this match you can almost sense the eyes twitching and legs jittering as many of their supporters try to restrain their own, unique, refereeing madness.

Despite their recent domination, there is nothing that sums up the inferiority complex that many Celtic fans – particularly those of a certain vintage – have with Rangers than this refereeing rubbish.

And yet, as the game moves on with the adoption of VAR, we’re all supposed to actually accept the narrative that it’s not going to work in Scotland because it’s that Masonic VAR.

Rangers Celtic refereeing conspiracies continue despite VAR

This shouldn’t be a conversation and yet it is and it is testament to Celtic’s useful idiots in the media and the irresponsibility of those in the hierarchy of their club that this continues.

Ange Postecoglou has even had his own go at VAR before it’s even had the chance to do anything wrong.

Heaping the pressure on the refereeing team – as if this wasn’t a major intention – Celtic boss Postecoglou doesn’t want VAR slowing down the clash with Rangers. It’s not the first time the outspoken Australian has had a go at the system.

All this has done is fed plenty who believe that – by order of the Masonic lodge – VAR will be used as a tool to slow down Celtic’s fast-paced style of play. No really, we’re being serious.

It’s fed into this notion that even if a VAR decision is justified, all the conversations will be about how Celtic were cheated. How utterly depressing.

The technology is there for a reason and – whilst imperfect – it should fundamentally improve the regularity with which correct decisions are made.

It will not get every decision right but it’ll help get more correct. It is logical. It is the next step. It is an important lunge out of the parochial, jurassic world of Scottish football and should be welcomed.

And yet, we have plenty with a Celtic inclination genuinely doubting the integrity of the system over its application whenever something doesn’t go right. Mistakes are simply more evidence that the world – or at least the Scottish footballing one – is out to get them.

And so with that, the man in the middle (John Beaton) and the man in the VAR room (Willie Collum) are set to share the Old Firm stage and be subject to more pre and post match analysis than even before.

Its the first ever Rangers v Celtic clash with VAR and the headlines have already been written should something go wrong this afternoon.

Meanwhile, VAR or otherwise, here’s how we’re backing Rangers to line up for the clash with Celtic.

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