Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

The Far Post: In Glasgow, A Rival’s Lament


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Gwennie Mcwhorter



Glasgow, a city with a rich sporting heritage, is home to one of the most intense football rivalries in the world. Here, the passion for the game runs deep, and the animosity between two clubs, Celtic and Rangers, has captivated fans for over a century.


The rivalry between these two teams is steeped in history, tradition, and a fierce sense of identity. It transcends the boundaries of sport, embodying the cultural and religious divide that characterizes the city. The games between Celtic and Rangers, often referred to as the Old Firm derby, are more than just football matches; they represent a clash of ideologies and a battle for bragging rights.


For generations, the crosstown rivalry has dominated the football landscape in Glasgow. The city pulsates with anticipation every time the two teams meet, with fans pouring into the stadiums to witness the spectacle firsthand. The atmosphere is electric, and the passion from both sets of supporters is nothing short of awe-inspiring.


Over the years, the balance of power has shifted between the two clubs. Celtic, traditionally associated with the Catholic community, established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in Scottish football, winning numerous domestic and European titles. Rangers, on the other hand, drew support from the Protestant community and enjoyed their fair share of success as well.


However, in recent times, the dynamics have changed. Rangers endured a period of financial instability, and were relegated to the lower divisions of Scottish football. Celtic, seizing the opportunity, dominated the league, winning nine consecutive titles.


But football is a game of ups and downs, and as Rangers rebuilt their squad and returned to the top flight, the rivalry gained a renewed sense of intensity. The battles on the pitch became more fiercely contested, and the stakes grew even higher.


In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the historical significance of this rivalry, explore the shifting dynamics between the two clubs, and take a closer look at the rival’s perspective. Join us on this journey through the world of Glasgow football, where passion and fierce competition converge.


The Historical Rivalry

The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers goes back to the late 19th century when the two clubs were founded. Celtic, established in 1887, was formed by Brother Walfrid as a means to raise funds for the Irish Catholic immigrant community in Glasgow. Rangers, on the other hand, were founded in 1872 and drew support from the Protestant population in the city.


The historical backdrop of religious and social tensions between the Catholic and Protestant communities in Glasgow provided the foundation for the deep-rooted rivalry between the clubs. The Old Firm derby, named after the original joint venture company set up by the two clubs to organize matches, became a focal point for the expression of these divisions.


The rivalry extended beyond football, with the clubs becoming symbols of identity and cultural affiliation. Celtic represented the Irish Catholic community, while Rangers embodied the Protestant tradition in Scotland. The matches between the two clubs became a battleground where fans passionately defended their beliefs and displayed their loyalty to their respective club.


Throughout the years, the rivalry has witnessed moments of triumph and tragedy. Memorable matches, controversial incidents, and intense displays of support have etched themselves into the folklore of Glasgow football. The Old Firm derby has become a fixture that not only divides the city but also attracts attention from football enthusiasts all over the world.


Despite the underlying tensions, both clubs have had their fair share of success on the field. Celtic boast a storied history, winning numerous league titles, domestic cups, and even achieving European glory by becoming the first British club to win the prestigious European Cup in 1967. Rangers have also enjoyed success, with a rich history of domestic and European triumphs.


Throughout the years, the rivalry has evolved, with new chapters being written in the annals of Glasgow football. It has survived economic crises, changing demographics, and shifting social attitudes. Yet, the spirit of competition and the intense passion displayed by the supporters remain unwavering.


The historical rivalry between Celtic and Rangers is more than just a football contest. It is a clash of cultures, a symbol of identity, and a testament to the power of sport to unite and divide. No matter the outcome on the pitch, the Old Firm derby will continue to captivate the hearts and minds of football fans, marking Glasgow as a city synonymous with the beautiful game.


Glasgow’s Football Landscape

Glasgow has long been regarded as the footballing capital of Scotland. The city is home to multiple professional football clubs, but none hold a candle to the prominence and passion surrounding the rivalry between Celtic and Rangers.


Aside from Celtic and Rangers, Glasgow is also home to two other historic professional clubs: Partick Thistle and Queen’s Park. While these clubs may not command the same level of attention as their Old Firm counterparts, they have their own loyal fanbases and rich histories.


Partick Thistle, known as the “Jags,” was founded in 1876 and has a modest but dedicated support base. They have had their moments of success, including winning the Scottish Cup in 1921. Queen’s Park, on the other hand, is the oldest football club in Scotland, founded in 1867. They have a proud amateur tradition and a historic stadium, Hampden Park, which has hosted many memorable matches, including multiple Scottish Cup finals and international fixtures.


While Partick Thistle and Queen’s Park contribute to the footballing fabric of Glasgow, it is the fierce competition between Celtic and Rangers that dominates the city’s football landscape. It is not uncommon to see the city ablaze with the colors of the two clubs during derby days, with fans flooding the streets, pubs, and stadiums in anticipation of the clash.


The passion for football runs deep in Glasgow, with fans fiercely loyal to their chosen side. The city becomes divided, as families and friends find themselves on opposite sides of the divide. It is a testament to the power of sport to evoke such strong emotions and forge such deep allegiances.


Glasgow’s football landscape is not just limited to the professional game. The city boasts a thriving grassroots football scene, with numerous amateur and youth teams drawing aspiring young players from diverse communities. Local parks and pitches are often filled with the sounds of children kicking a ball, dreaming of emulating their heroes and one day representing their chosen club.


Football in Glasgow is more than just a sport; it is a way of life. It transcends social barriers, cultural differences, and even the rivalries between clubs. It brings people together, sparks conversations, and inspires a sense of community.


As the epicenter of Scottish football, Glasgow continues to foster a footballing culture that is unrivaled. The passion, the history, and the rivalries make it a unique and captivating place for football enthusiasts. Whether you’re cheering on Celtic, supporting Rangers, or simply relishing the atmosphere of the Old Firm derby, Glasgow is a city that breathes and lives for the beautiful game.


A Shift in Power

For much of their history, Celtic and Rangers have traded blows on the football pitch, each enjoying periods of dominance. However, in recent years, there has been a significant shift in power between the two clubs.


Celtic’s dominance in Scottish football reached its peak in the 2010s, as they embarked on an incredible run of nine consecutive league titles. Under the management of Brendan Rodgers, the club established a level of domestic dominance rarely seen before. They not only won titles, but did so in style, playing an attractive brand of football that left their rivals trailing in their wake.


During this time, Rangers were enduring one of the darkest periods in their illustrious history. Financial issues resulted in the club being demoted to the lower divisions of Scottish football and facing an uncertain future. As Celtic soared to new heights, Rangers found themselves clawing their way back to the top flight, facing intense competition from other teams along the way.


But football has a way of balancing itself out, and in 2016, Rangers achieved promotion back to the Scottish Premiership. This marked the beginning of a new era in the Old Firm rivalry, as the balance of power began to shift once again.


Rangers, under the guidance of manager Steven Gerrard, implemented a rejuvenation plan. They rebuilt their squad, brought in talented players, and instilled a winning mentality. The club invested heavily in recruitment and made notable strides in strengthening their squad depth.


The impact of Rangers’ resurgence was felt immediately as they closed the gap on Celtic. The 2020/2021 season saw a fiercely contested title race, with Rangers emerging victorious, ending Celtic’s historic run of dominance. The momentum had shifted, and Rangers were back at the summit of Scottish football, while Celtic were left to regroup and rebuild.


The shift in power between the two clubs has injected a renewed sense of excitement and intensity into the rivalry. The matches between Celtic and Rangers are now more closely contested than ever, with both teams showcasing their quality and hunger for success.


The changing dynamics between Celtic and Rangers have also invigorated Scottish football as a whole. The dominance of one team can sometimes lead to complacency and a lack of competition, but with both clubs vying for supremacy, the level of competition has increased, creating a more engaging and unpredictable league.


As the 2021/2022 season approaches, the rivalry between Celtic and Rangers has entered a new era. Can Rangers maintain their stranglehold on the top spot? Will Celtic bounce back and reclaim their former glory? These questions hang in the air, adding to the anticipation and intensity surrounding this historic rivalry.


The Changing Dynamics

The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers is not only defined by the battles on the pitch but also by the changing dynamics that impact the clubs off the field. These dynamics play a crucial role in shaping the balance of power between the two Glasgow giants.


One significant factor that has influenced the changing dynamics is the financial landscape of Scottish football. Celtic and Rangers have traditionally been the dominant financial forces in the league, with significant revenue streams and larger budgets compared to their competitors. However, in recent years, the financial gap between the two clubs has narrowed.


Rangers’ experience with financial instability and subsequent relegation allowed other clubs to bridge the financial disparity. Increased investment and sponsorship deals have bolstered the finances of clubs like Aberdeen, Hibernian, and Hearts, making them more competitive in the transfer market.


While Celtic have generally maintained a stronger financial position, the increased competition from other clubs has created a more level playing field. This has resulted in a more competitive league, with the potential for more surprises and upsets in matches outside of the Old Firm contests.


Another factor influencing the changing dynamics is the influx of new managerial talent. Both Celtic and Rangers have experienced changes in leadership, with managers who bring fresh ideas, tactical innovations, and a different approach to the game.


Steven Gerrard’s appointment as Rangers manager in 2018 injected a renewed sense of belief and ambition in the club. His experience as a player at Liverpool and his tactical astuteness have undoubtedly had a positive impact on Rangers’ on-field performances and their ability to challenge Celtic’s dominance.


Similarly, Celtic appointed Ange Postecoglou as their manager in 2021, signaling a desire for a new direction and change in playing style. Postecoglou’s attacking philosophy and his success with the Australia national team and Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan have brought excitement to the Celtic faithful and the potential for a shift in the club’s fortunes.


Aside from managerial changes, player recruitment and development have also played a crucial role in the changing dynamics. Both clubs have had to adapt to the modern football landscape, scouting talent from all over the world and employing data-driven approaches to identify potential stars.


A strong youth development system has also become a focus for Celtic and Rangers. Both clubs have invested in academy setups to nurture and produce top-quality talents who can make an impact at the first-team level. The emergence of young players from both sides has injected new energy and competition into the Old Firm rivalry, showcasing the potential for a new generation to shape its future.


As the dynamics between Celtic and Rangers continue to evolve, the battle for supremacy extends beyond the football pitch. Finances, managerial changes, player recruitment, and youth development all contribute to the intricate web of factors that shape the balance of power in Glasgow’s football landscape.


As fans eagerly anticipate the upcoming seasons, they are acutely aware of the shifting dynamics and the potential for further surprises and thrilling encounters in the enduring battle between the green and white of Celtic and the blue of Rangers.


The Rival’s Perspective

From the perspective of Rangers, Celtic represents not just a footballing opponent, but a bitter rival that symbolizes a multitude of things. The rivalry runs deep, rooted in historical, cultural, and religious differences that have shaped the identity of both clubs and their supporters.


For Rangers fans, the matches against Celtic are more than just football games; they are battles for pride, bragging rights, and the preservation of their own traditions and values. The sense of rivalry permeates every aspect of their lives, and the thought of losing to Celtic is unbearable.


Rangers supporters view themselves as the living embodiment of Protestant identity and Britishness, and they perceive Celtic as the flag-bearer of Irish Catholic nationalism. This rivalry stretches beyond football, with fans aligning themselves with their chosen club as a means of reaffirming their identity and belonging to a larger community.


The matches against Celtic become a platform for Rangers fans to proudly display their symbols, such as the Union Jack and the Red Hand of Ulster, expressing their loyalty to their heritage. They see themselves as defending their way of life, their history, and their values against what they perceive as a threat from Celtic.


From a footballing standpoint, Celtic’s dominance in recent years has been particularly hard to swallow for Rangers fans. The period of financial turmoil that saw them demoted to the lower divisions served as a source of frustration and humiliation. But the resurgence of Rangers, culminating in their triumphant league title win, has brought a sense of redemption and renewed hope.


For the fans of Rangers, reclaiming the top spot in Scottish football is more than just winning the league; it is a way to reestablish their pride and reaffirm their status as one of the powerhouses in the country. It represents a shift in the power dynamic, a chance to regain their rightful place and restore balance to the Old Firm rivalry.


However, the rivalry between the two clubs is not without its pitfalls. The intense emotions and passions that run high during matches can often spill over into acts of aggression and violence. This behavior is condemned by both clubs and authorities, as it tarnishes the reputation of the sport and undermines the true essence of the rivalry.


It is important to remember that the perspective of Rangers fans is just one side of the story. Celtic fans have their own deeply-held beliefs and reasons for supporting their club. The Old Firm derby is an intricately woven tapestry of emotions, histories, and societal dynamics, and it is through understanding and respect that a true appreciation for the rivalry can be fostered.


For the rival’s perspective, the matches against Celtic represent a chance to reclaim their pride, uphold their values, and reaffirm their identity. The rivalry between Rangers and Celtic is a clash of ideologies that extends far beyond the football pitch, and it is this intensity that makes the derby one of the most captivating in the world of football.


Reflection and Redemption

The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers is not only defined by the battles on the football pitch, but also by moments of reflection and redemption. Both clubs have faced challenges and setbacks, but it is in these moments that they have demonstrated their resilience and ability to bounce back.


For Celtic, the dominance they established over Scottish football in the past decade came to a halt with Rangers’ resurgence. It was a humbling experience for the club and its supporters. However, rather than wallowing in defeat, Celtic used this as an opportunity for self-reflection and introspection.


The club realized that complacency had crept in, and a rejuvenation was necessary. They brought in a new manager in Ange Postecoglou, who not only brings tactical innovation but also a fresh perspective on the game. Celtic has also undergone a revamp in the playing squad, with new signings being brought in to inject renewed energy and hunger.


Celtic’s period of reflection allowed them to identify areas of improvement and reevaluate their strategies. The aim now is to regain their status as the dominant force in Scottish football and reclaim their position at the top of the league table. This journey of redemption is an opportunity for the club to prove that they are more than just a product of their past successes.


On the other hand, Rangers’ journey of redemption has been an arduous one. The financial difficulties and subsequent relegation tested the resolve of the club and its loyal fanbase. It was a dark period in their history, but they have emerged stronger and more determined.


Rangers’ redemption began with their promotion back to the top flight of Scottish football. They focused on rebuilding the squad, bringing in new talent, and appointing Steven Gerrard as their manager, the man tasked with leading the club back to its former glory.


Gerrard’s impact has been profound, instilling a winning mentality and creating a cohesive team that has stood tall against the barrage of challenges. The club’s historic league title win in the 2020/2021 season served as the pinnacle of their redemption, a moment of triumph that reflected the club’s resilience and determination.


For Rangers, redemption is not just about returning to the summit of Scottish football; it is about restoring their reputation and proving that they are a force to be reckoned with. The journey of redemption has united the fans, reinvigorated the club, and reignited the passion that defines the Old Firm rivalry.


Reflection and redemption are integral parts of the narrative between Celtic and Rangers. Both clubs have experienced highs and lows, victories and defeats, but it is through the process of self-analysis and the determination to rise again that they have found their strength.


As the rivalry continues to unfold, both Celtic and Rangers will seek redemption in their own ways. They will strive to achieve greatness, to prove themselves on the grandest stage, and to write new chapters in the storied history between these two footballing giants.



The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers is a deeply ingrained part of Glasgow’s football landscape, captivating fans and shaping the identity of the city. It transcends mere competition, becoming a clash of cultures, values, and ideologies.


From its historical roots to the present day, the rivalry has evolved, reflecting the changing dynamics of Scottish football. Celtic’s period of dominance and Rangers’ subsequent resurgence have added new chapters to the story, injecting a renewed sense of excitement and intensity.


Glasgow’s football landscape, dominated by the Old Firm rivalry, carries with it a legacy of passion, pride, and a fierce sense of identity. It is a testament to the power of sport to unite communities, ignite emotions, and create lasting memories.


As Celtic and Rangers battle for supremacy on the pitch, they also reflect on their past, seek redemption in the face of challenges, and use their experiences as a catalyst for growth and improvement.


It is important to appreciate the rival’s perspective, to understand the depth of emotion and the historical significance that underpins the rivalry. The matches between Celtic and Rangers are more than just sporting contests; they represent a clash of cultures and a battle for pride.


As we look to the future, there is a sense of excitement and anticipation. The shifting dynamics, the reflection and redemption, and the unwavering passion of the fans create a backdrop for thrilling encounters and unpredictable outcomes.


Whether you are a supporter of Celtic, a fan of Rangers, or simply an admirer of the beautiful game, the Old Firm rivalry captivates, entertains, and reminds us of the enduring power and magic of football.


Glasgow, with its rich footballing heritage and the fierce rivalry between Celtic and Rangers, continues to hold a special place in the hearts of football enthusiasts around the world. It is a city where history and sport collide, creating an atmosphere unlike any other. So, embrace the passion, savor the battles, and revel in the storied legacy of the Old Firm rivalry.