How can we change the declining fortunes of Scottish football?Gerry HassanScottish Review, April 10th 2019 Scottish football last week witnessed the regular circus of an Old Firm match. It was the usual pantomime of bad feeling and nastiness, with two Rangers players sent off and Celtic captain Scott Brown assaulted. Both clubs, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard and Brown were charged by the football authorities, while three football supporters were stabbed with one seriously injured – which was downplayed by most fans and media. This unedifying drama and reflection of the worst of Scotland regularly comes around: with the
The Football Club That Refused to Die: The Tragedy and Beauty of Third LanarkGerry HassanScottish Review, January 31st 2018 Glasgow’s history has long been the stuff of legend – the stories of Red Clydeside, rent strikes, the power of shipbuilding, the scale of slum clearance - and of course, football. In Scotland we seem to get too much football and too much bad football coverage. We get a narrow bandwidth of football which results in numerous stories, triumphs, tragedies, and moments becoming forgotten, as we surfeit on a diet of the stale Old Firm (cue a chorus from
Why Does Football Matter So Much? And is it about something else?Gerry HassanScottish Review, May 25th 2016 Football saturates Scotland. It fills numerous conversations and dominates spaces, both public and private – and affects attitudes, thoughts and emotions. According to some measures Scotland is the most football mad part of Europe; in others, it comes third behind Iceland and Cyprus. This isn’t just an essay about football - so if you aren’t a football fan, don’t stop reading as this affects you. If you are a football fan – and a partisan follower - let me be clear.
The Wave of Democratic Protest that Changed Scottish Football will Change SocietyGerry HassanThe Scotsman, August 4th 2012 This has been a sensational few months in Scotland. We have the manoeuvrings on the independence referendum, economic worries and wider anxieties about the euro crisis. Yet, what has captured the headlines has been the state of Scottish football, the implosion of Rangers FC, and their demotion to Division Three. Football matters in Scotland because of tradition, culture and global reach. It also helps that we are the third most fanatical football nation per head in Europe, after Iceland and
The People’s Game Still? Punters, Pundits and ChangePart Three Gerry HassanApril 13th 2012 Celtic and Rangers never used to dominate Scottish football to the degree they do now. In this concluding piece, I am going to measure the degree to which the Old Firm’s near stranglehold on the game is increasingly driving fans away, then address the role of the media, and end with some observations about how we can change the game. The scale of Celtic and Rangers attendances and the size of their support has long been one of the defining accounts of the
The People’s Game Still? Games under the Shadow of GiantsPart Two Gerry HassanApril 12th 2012 The story goes like this. Scottish football has always been about Celtic and Rangers. Live with it. Get used to it. This is increasingly the way of the world: oligopoly, closed competition, success following money. Leaving aside the early days of the Scottish game this perspective invites pessimism and fatalism. And funnily enough it isn’t true. The economic, social and cultural forces of Scotland from Victorian times onwards favoured the dominance of Celtic and Rangers from the moment the game professionalised.
The People’s Game Still? The State of Scottish FootballPart One Gerry HassanApril 11th 2012 This is an appropriate time to survey the state of Scottish football. Celtic have just been crowned champions and Rangers are in administration awaiting the next stage of that saga. It is the week before the Scottish Cup semi-finals, and that other important part of the Scots football tradition and fabric, the Scottish Junior Cup semi-finals. In this piece and subsequent articles, I want to put the current state of our game in a historical context. I will examine changing patterns of