As the new season prepares for kick-off, Rangers and their supporters are already being subjected to media catcalling about Celtic’s questionable claims to 10IAR.
Forget for a second the league season could wind up quashed if Hearts and Partick Thistle win their case against the SPFL.
This is something Kenny Dalglish fears could force Celtic to hand back their dubious 9IAR win [Sunday Post].
But for Rangers and their supporters, this has always been about Rangers and their supporters. Not Celtic.
If the Ibrox side wins the league this season, it’ll be about 55.
Stopping these desperate claims to 10IAR in their tracks is merely a bonus.
And yet there are plenty in the Scottish media driving a narrative about all the pressure being on Rangers to stop this seemingly unstoppable Celtic juggernaut.
All Jermain said was that he believes it’s a big season and believes that the Ibrox side can win the league.
“Sometimes when I sit and look at the players and the squad we have, there is some unbelievable talent in that dressing room,” said Jermain [the Beautiful Game podcast].
“We just need to believe we can do it this year.
“We have to see what happens and learn from our mistakes.
“It is a massive season for everyone and the good thing is that everybody knows how big it is.
“I have sensed that in the pre-season and the training, how hard everyone is working and everybody is putting it in.”
A BBC Sportsound panel might as well have been posing as the official Celtic podcast too as they tried to ramp up the pressure.
Paul Lambert and John Hartson believe Ibrox will be like a furnace apparently. That’s if there are any fans allowed in through the door.
‘Steven [Gerrard] – if he doesn’t know pressure, it’ll come now. I swear to god that’ll [Ibrox] be a furnace of a place if they don’t win’
Paul Lambert and John Hartson on
— BBC Sportsound (@BBCSportsound) July 13, 2020
This 10IAR thing is a direct result of the scars left on Celtic fans by that magnificent Rangers team in the 90s, which dominated the Scottish league despite the best efforts of Celtic.
Rangers spent five years of Celtic’s league winning run outside of the top league, with Celtic Park attendances at an embarrassing low with no competition.
The most impressive thing about Celtic’s recent domination is how much they’ve won since Rangers have been in the top league.
This is the proper achievement of their spell of dominance, but it’s been taken for granted in some desperate attempt to get revenge for a near-decade of bruising at the hands of Rangers.
There’s pressure on Rangers – as always – to win that first league title and reassert their dominance as Scotland’s Premier Club. Of course, there is.
But should this not go to plan for Celtic this season – and if Ibrox would be like a furnace – then Celtic Park will be like a volcano.
Despite everything they’ve won in the last decade it will all be forgotten about if Rangers pip them to the title this year, such is the pressure they’re putting on themselves.
Rangers fans can’t get drawn into the narrative that all the pressure is on us. There’s just as much of it on them.