Cause for celebration: Celtic fans make their feelings clear over Rangers‘
Did we really expect anything else?
While Neil Lennon‘s men were taking care of business on the pitch, and moving 17 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League in the process, the Celtic fans made their feelings towards Rangers perfectly clear.
One banner declared that they would be ‘having a party as Rangers die’ while t-shirts and flags were emblazoned with ‘HMRC‘ and messages from the Grim Reaper.
But with the Sky and ESPN television deals dependent on both sides being in the SPL, and playing each other four times each season, both Lawell and the fans might want to reconsider their views.
On Friday, Lennon called for Rangers to be retrospectively stripped of their ‘tainted titles and trophies’ should the crisis-stricken Ibrox club be found guilty of ‘financial doping’.
No sympathy: Celtic fans revel in the demise of their bitter rivals Rangers as they display shirts and flags emblazoned with HMRC
‘A journalist recently used the expression ‘financial doping’ (in reference to Rangers) and, for me, doping is a sporting term for cheating,’ Lennon said.
‘And, in athletics, if you are caught doping, you are banned. Alberto Contador got stripped of his Tour de France win in 2010, so there are precedents there.
‘If it has had a direct effect on me in my playing days, I will come out and say something at that time.
‘As it is just now, it hasn’t been proved. But they (Rangers) are in administration for a reason and I am sure you guys (the media) will get to the bottom of it.
‘It’s not my business, not our club’s business, but it will be my business if it has affected me as a player or previous managers and has denied us titles and trophies in the past
Laughing matter: Celtic fans were in no mood to show sympathy to their rivals as they thrashed Hibs 5-0 to rub salt into the wounds of the Ibrox club
It’s all hearsay and hot air at the minute but, until the findings are out, we as a club won’t comment any more on it.’
Rangers’ misery was compounded on Saturday as they lost 1-0 to Kilmarnock in front of a packed Ibrox crowd. The home fans showed their support for manager Ally McCoist who backed a full investigation into the clubs finances.
Indeed, as many as four such investigations will be carried out as various bodies look to get to the bottom of the crisis.
‘It was a great performance with some outstanding goals so we’re delighted,’ Stokes told Sky Sports.
Action: Meanwhile, on the field, Celtic romped to a 5-0 win over Hibs with Anthony Stokes and Gary Hooper among the goals
Asked if Celtic’s achievements this season might be lessened by their rivals woes, Stokes said: ‘It’s not going to be. We’re just focusing on our selves. We’re in a good position in the league and concentrating on ourselves. We’re there at the top and that’s where we want to stay.
‘The title race is still alive. We’re going to go on to the last day in the title run-in. It was a very good performance today and we’re delighted with the result.’
Hooper echoed that sentiment, saying Celtic still need to take things one game at a time.
‘It was a good performance from both of us and the team, but we’re taking it game by game,’ Hooper said.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : By Sportsmail Reporter
- Hibernian 0 Celtic 5: Hooper bags double as SPL leaders run riot
- Battle to control Rangers rages as 50,000 fans pledge: We won’t let this club die
- Our club will never die! Defiant Rangers fans protest before Kilmarnock clash
- No mercy! Strip ‘financial dopers’ Rangers of their titles, says Lennon
- All the latest Celtic news, features and opinion
- All the latest Rangers news, features and opinion