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Cut them down

Staying on football, or rather on the Old Firm, for there is a difference, a so-called summit was held yesterday to discuss issues arising from recent confrontations (for that’s what they are) between Glasgow’s top two clubs. The media are outraged, and the public are told to be, by the fact that there were 34 arrests inside the ground at the last game, and by reports that domestic violence increases in the aftermath of these events. I’m sorry; I thought the press were meant to report news, and anyone who doesn’t know about the link between wife-bashing an an Old Firm outcome has been walking around with his head up his arse, because that’s been happening for longer than I’ve been alive. As for the arrest total, just one is regrettable, but go back thirty years, to the time when the cops wore overcoats on the very hottest of days, knowing the fondness of the jollier punters for pissing in beer cans and emptying them down their backs as they walked past,  and you’ll find that 34 would probably have been regarded by the police as a quiet day at the office.

My newspaper this morning is filled with threats of draconian action against players and officials who misbehave, with on-field arrests of players not being ruled out. But nowhere do I see any sanctions proposed against the Scottish football authorities, who have managed to arrange circumstances in which the two sides will have faced each other seven times before this season is over. If the violence engendered by Old Firm matches is a matter of public concern, and it seems that it is, then the number of these clashes should be minimised, not least for the sake of battered spouses in wilder Glasgow, rather than made commonplace for the basest of reasons: money.

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