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Bhoys, Bears And Bigotry: Rangers, Celtic and the Old Firm in the New Age of Globalised Sport Paperback – 25 Sep 2003
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|Paperback, 25 Sep 2003||
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Rangers entered the new world of sport and big business in April 1986 when they signed Graeme Souness, a man with no previous connections to a club steeped in its own historical traditions. These traditions are ineluctably intertwined with those of their great Glasgow rivals, Celtic, whose origins as an Irish Catholic club set up the rivalry that became known as the Old Firm, one said to be "a business based on bigotry". Celtic were slow to react to the Souness challenge at Ibrox, especially when Souness was joined by a new owner at Rangers, millionaire businessman David Murray who, like Souness, was committed to taking Rangers into the elite of European football - even at the expense of signing Catholic players, which the club had hitherto avoided. After years of squabbling at Celtic Park that amounted to a virtual civil war, Celtic's saviour arrived in the form of expatriate millionaire Fergus McCann. Under McCann and Murray, the Old Firm rivalry took on a different image as the new owners sought to expunge the worst elements of the sectarianism on which the strength of the two clubs had been based.In the new world of globalised sport, bigotry was a barrier to the riches awaiting the top clubs in Europe. Celtic with their "Bhoys Against Bigotry" and Rangers with their "Pride and Prejudice" tried to present a new image of the Old Firm, emphasising the best aspects of their long history. Getting rid of this old image, however, has often seemed as difficult as winning the big prizes in Europe.
About the Author
Bill Murray's previous publications include- GLASGOW'S GIANTS- 100 YEARS OF THE OLD FIRM, THE OLD FIRM- SECTARIANISM, SPORT AND SOCIETY IN SCOTLAND, A HISTORY OF THE WORLD GAME and THE WORLD'S GAME- A HISTORY OF SOCCER.
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