04.29.10

The Old Firm : Canceling Their Subscription To The Boston Globe

Posted in Football, Sports Journalism at 3:10 pm by

(above : not part of Brian Stokes’ browser history)

It’s a neat trick when an American journalist manages to bring rival factions of Celtic F.C. and Rangers together, but with a mooted Fenway Park friendly between the two sides in the planning stages, that’s exactly what the Boston Globe’s Mark Stokes managed. Though Stokes’ suggestion that the match take place at Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium is otherwise reasonable, his claim that traveling fans would present a security problem (“Old Firm contests have been associated with some of the worst violence seen in the game (having narrowly escaped the mayhem visited on north Dublin by Rangers fans in the 80′s, I can vouch for that”) has set off a firestorm of criticism, and predictably, an apology.  From The Scotsman’s David Gunn :

It was the claim supporter behaviour played a part in the tragic deaths of 66 people after a derby match 39 years ago that has angered the Govan club.

The article read: “Most notably, disaster struck at Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium in 1971 following a crush-barrier failure.

“It is widely accepted that the tensions between Celtic and Rangers fans played a major part in the 66 deaths.”

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain told the club’s official website: “Rangers fans can be assured that the reference in this article to the Ibrox Disaster in particular, which is both inaccurate and offensive, will be taken up with the newspaper in question.”

“It is extremely disappointing that comments in the Boston Globe do not reflect the Mayor of Boston’s invitation letter to the club.”

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