Imagine a Scotland where we won the FIFA World Cup ... And when we didGerry HassanScottish Review, 24 November 2021 Imagine a world where the Scotland men’s national team were not only occasionally very decent and even sometimes very good at football, but actually contested and succeeded at the top of the international game - and had the ability to win the FIFA World Cup. Think about it for a second. Not the practicalities or whether or how it could be attained. Or the fact that it involves an element of fantasy. But rather what effect such an
Why we need to get serious about sectarianism in modern ScotlandGerry HassanThe National, 7 September 2021 In 1999, within months of the Scottish Parliament’s establishment, composer James Macmillan delivered an address that had a major impact, ruffling feathers and beginning a long overdue debate. Entitled “Scotland’s Shame”, it spoke about our long disgraceful tradition of anti-Catholicism. He suggested that “we as a nation have to face up to the ignominy of our most prevalent if unspoken bigotry if we are to move together into the next millennium with a sense of common purpose.” This sparked soul-searching, the publication
The Limits of Seeing Glasgow in Black and White TermsGerry HassanScottish Review, 1 September 2021 Last weekend Rangers and Celtic met in the first ‘Old Firm’ derby of the season. Hotly anticipated in some quarters and dreaded in others, it was marked by a Rangers victory with supporters of the club then walking through the city centre singing anti-Irish, anti-Catholic songs full of bigotry and hate, while police officers passively watched them. We have been here so many times before in the strange world of Scottish football that the senses of many are numbed, while others choose to
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
Anniversaries Galore: Are the best days of Scottish football long behind it?Gerry HassanScottish Review, April 26th 2017 The only excitement this year in senior Scottish domestic football has been whether Celtic will go through the season undefeated in league, Scottish Cup and League Cup, and whether a historic treble is possible. Along with that there are a whole host of memorable anniversaries. The 50th anniversary is coming up - on 25 May - of Celtic becoming the first British team to win the European Cup; while the 50th anniversary just passed on 15 April of Scotland’s legendary 3-2
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.