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Foreign Players and Football SupportersThe Old Firm, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain$
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David Ranc

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086120

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086120.001.0001

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Glasgow: the Old Firm

Glasgow: the Old Firm

(p.49) 3 Glasgow: the Old Firm
Foreign Players and Football Supporters

David Ranc

Manchester University Press

This case study looks at the change introduced by the signing of Maurice Johnston in 1989 by Rangers. For the first time in living memory a Catholic (and more importantly, a Scot from arch-rivals Celtic) was signed to play for Rangers, hitherto an exclusively Protestant club. It is argued that the opposition really is ‘ethnic’, between ‘old British stock’ and ‘non-integrated Irish migrants’ rather than between Catholic and Protestant. It shows that the Pres is divided between hyping up the rivalry (mostly done by tabloids) and playing it down (mostly the work of broadsheets. It shows the crucial role played by markers of identity: symbols (emblems, flags, colours, names), the team and the players to perpetuate the identity of Rangers. It shows that representations of the styles of Celtic and Rangers serves to exclude Celtic from national memory. It concludes that the place of religion in the Old Firm rivalry should be reassessed.

Keywords:   Old Firm, Celtic, Rangers, Glasgow, religion, tabloids, broadsheets

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