The Chief Executives of Celtic and Rangers have today joined forces to downplay the media backlash in the wake of controversial scenes at the Old Firm derby last weekend saying nothing promotes unity in Glasgow like a football match. Peter Lawwell and Martin Bain, bosses of Celtic and Rangers respectively, shared a press conference to emphasise the power of football to bring together Catholics and Protestants in a city otherwise riven by religion.
Martin Bain started proceedings by stating, "As you know Catholics and Protestants barely interact given the choice, but when it comes to football they are so excited to see each other that it can be difficult to keep them apart. Unfortunately the police don't see it this way and do all they can to maintain the division. Indeed the fights that sometimes break out are explained by opposing fans battling through the police line in their eagerness to make contact with their rivals.”
Peter Lawwell continued, "We're like one big happy family, and like any family there are the odd bust-ups, but calls to play future fixtures behind closed doors would be a travesty and leave Glasgow more divided than ever. The other “smart” idea mooted is to curtail alcohol consumption before and after the game, but many fans are only able to pluck up the courage to mix after a couple of pints. Without alcohol I fear both sets of supporters will be too inhibited to seek out opposing fans to make themselves known. The interaction of fans is vital, and can often leave an impression that takes weeks to disappear."
The press conference concluded with Martin Bain keen to dispel the myths surrounding his home. "We are a misunderstood city. We have a bad reputation but we are a friendly people whose greatest export is the Glasgow kiss. And there's no place you're more likely to see one executed than an Old Firm derby."