As Rangers fans bit to the baited hook of Sports Direct, lurking, as always, was a bloodthirsty Celtic support awaiting the call to arms to bemoan the Ibrox club’s largely successful landmark Castore kit launch.

For any rivalry, you may think this is normal. Hell, any time there’s a loose wheel rolling down London Road there will be plenty of Rangers fans jumping on the rickety bandwagon.

But we really do need to start speaking about this obsessive economy of Sevconian media which any right-minded Celtic fan must look at through the spaces in their fingers, coverage which goes way beyond reasonably-minded jesting between rival fans.

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Rangers fans answered the call when it came to the new kit. Celtic fans answered the call when Sports Direct trolled Rangers. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

In my experience or knowledge, there is no other fanbase in world football who so obsessively covers their rivals with tacky clickbait stories than the Celtic support do Rangers.

It appears for every sensible football driven Celtic blog or media outlet, there are five whose entire business model centre around these poorly written puff pieces on a team they claim to hate.

On any given day – particularly when there is big news about Rangers – Google, News Now, or any other news aggregator will be awash with these woefully scrawled, desperate stories about Sevco.

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Admin 2.0, Mike Ashley is the Ibrox puppet master, or some story about how Rangers are desperately trying to flog Alfredo Morelos for £3m to keep the lights on.

It’s all misinformed, poorly constructed and largely without any foundation at all. It’s also a recurring and almost permanent embarrassment for the Celtic support.

They appear to be the only support in world football were this culture of half-truths about their rivals moulded into indellible fact is so powerfully cultivated it has formed an economy.

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

It’s not a new thing either, it’s just the modern version of this historic culture of filling in the gaps about Rangers in order to deconstruct and attack the club’s identity.

Tell many Celtic fans that Rangers’ socks are black and red to symbolise the Billy Boys and they will believe it because they want it to be true – because it vindicates their own prejudice – not because it is.

 

We just tell people they’re this colour to represent the district of Govan to make ourselves look better – the real reason always has to be something more insidious.

And why it’s important we confront this utter nonsense, is because such is the commercial success of it, we see it seeping into our traditionally mainstream press, into the Tweets of commentators.

Once widely respected newspapers will bait stories with the undertones which are derived from these blogs and tall tales, such is the commercial value of doing so.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Individuals within the sports industry will take advantage of them to elevate their own profile.

When elements of these half-truths and deliberately misrepresented stories become more mainstream, they spread much quicker, they become more dangerous.

Rangers are the bad guys, Rangers are in the wrong, Rangers need to apologise. “Even if it isn’t true that’s what they’re like anyway”.

Rangers have already begun to take a stand against this sort of unfair coverage through the work of Club 1872 and in the appointment of David Graham as Head of Communications.

For the good of the club and its public image, it is imperative that this continues. For too long Rangers have gone without challenging these dangerous narratives.

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Last night’s response to the Sports Direct debacle was a considered example of this.

But maybe it’s time the Celtic support also took a long, hard look at itself and considered just how obsessive and embarrassing this looks to the rest of the footballing world.

We’re not the Sevconians, they are.

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