Celtic and Rangers slam Edinburgh author Irvine Welsh over comments

Celtic and Rangers have hit back at Irvine Welsh. Picture: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty
Celtic and Rangers have hit back at Irvine Welsh. Picture: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty
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Celtic and Rangers have hit out at Irvine Welsh over comments made by the Edinburgh author.

The Trainspotting and Filth author accused the Glasgow sides of not being interested in eradicating sectarianism, saying that without it the clubs would be the size of Hibs and Partick Thistle.

Welsh, speaking at a launch of his book Dead Man’s Trousers in America, noted that Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke spoke out after being called a “fenian b*****d” by Rangers fans because he had been away from the Scottish game for so long.

He said: “It has to do with the Old Firm and the power of those institutions not really being invested in change.

“Why would they be? Rangers without sectarianism are Partick Thistle, basically. And Celtic without sectarianism are Hibs. They’re invested in that, and it serves them as enterprises.

“You have to be able to shut down grounds and stadiums where singing takes place. That’s principally the way to do it because clubs won’t change until there is a financial incentive to do so.”

Both sides of the Old Firm have rejected such accusations.

A club spokesperson for Celtic said: “These are tired and absurd accusations which, in relation to Celtic Football Club, have no foundation whatsoever.

“Celtic, as a club open to all since 1888, has always campaigned against prejudice and promoted tolerance and diversity. This will always be the case.”

It follows a Rangers spokesperson saying that Welsh’s comments don’t help and that they failed to reflect “how seriously we regard this issue”.