Belfast Telegraph

Rangers back in action in the gallic football

By Billy Weir

It seems but a matter of days since it went away but football is back – although not quite as we know it – as Rangers kicked off domestic matters on TV with a clash against Albion Rovers on Sunday afternoon.

This meant a trip along the high and low roads of the remote control to find BBC Alba and once you land on a channel with bagpipe music and a strange smell of shortbread hanging in the air, you know you have arrived.

Given Rangers' well documented financial woes, there is a certain irony that the season kicks off with the Ramsdens Cup, and for those not in the know the sponsors are basically pawnbrokers with the motto 'pawn it, buy it, sell it, cash it' or Ally McCoist's transfer policy as it is better known.

Unlike Papiss Cisse, BBC Alba don't mind a bit about cashing in, well, as long as Rangers are still in the cup, although it wasn't their biggest knock-out clash of the week as Lochcarron's shinty tussle with Ballachulish in the Sutherland Cup Final was much more important.

Disappointingly neither team at the footy ran out wearing tartan or tweed but for fans of Naked Video there was still very much an Outer Hebrides Broadcasting Corporation feel to proceedings with Derek MacAoidh and Uisdean MacIllinnein in the commentary box. I have no idea if they are actual people or a conundrum in a Gallic version of Countdown.

Albion also invested wisely, swapping their own ground to move to Livingston for the day to make sure thousands of Rangers fans still perturbed that they were being forced to play gallic football on a Sunday could hand over lots of cash.

They should have contacted a politician but how do you do that? What's that, there's a hoarding beside the goal with a number on it? What a great idea, although it was for a MSP called Elaine Smith (not pictured), who I'm sure played Rab C Nesbitt's wife. I bet she never tires of people ringing up and asking for Mary Doll.

But the good gallic folk do not dwell in the past, and it is easy to mock, but you could send them a message via Twitter. How fortuitous that the word for 'hashtag' is 'hashtag', and is actually a Gallic word derived from a small, burrowing animal that thrives in the Trossachs.

But thanks to sar chluicheadair a gheama (man of the match), two goals by Nicky Law in the first-half, Rangers were never in trouble to ensure that they'd be they'd be dancing in the streets of Hawick, Govan and Ballachulish on Sunday night, fighting off swarms of wee hashtags as they go.

Belfast Telegraph


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