Football (soccer) Wars – Glasgow
Posted September 25, 2009on:
Football (soccer) is the national sport in Scotland, with most of the activity taking place in Glasgow. Glasgow is a city divided in two, named the green half and the blue half, or to be exact Celtic Football Club and Rangers Football Club.
The teams are collectively known as The Old Firm and are the most successful football teams in Scotland. However, unlike any other city in the world where the rivalry between local teams stays on the pitch, in Glasgow it goes beyond football.
It is mainly a religious divide with Rangers being the Protestant team and Celtic the Catholic team – the two biggest religions in Scotland. The actions of fans can vary from extreme violence and sectarianism, to more petty actions such as a Rangers fan not getting into a green car, and a Celtic fan not wearing blue clothes, because blue is associated with Rangers and green with Celtic!! The question is: do Rangers fans grow grass in their gardens?
Here is an example of how influential football in Glasgow can be. When Subway opened up in Larkhall, an area known for being Scotland’s most sectarian community, they had to change their green logo, a brand that is used worldwide, to black in order to encourage people in the area to eat there. If they had kept the traditional green logo, many would have boycotted it!
Both clubs in recent years have fought hard to eradicate the violence and sectarianism by working with the Scottish Government and local community groups to promote an “undivided” Glasgow. Though they are making some progress, they are a long way away from changing the views and opinions of many fans.
As Bill Shankly, a famous Scottish football manager once said, “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.”