The Football and Society Podcast

Scotland's Old Firm and the experiences of fans of Pakistani descent in Glasgow

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Episode notes

The rivalry between the two Glasgow-based teams Celtic and Rangers is one of football’s fiercest, and one that has been marred by sectarian divisions between the city’s Catholic and Protestant communities in the past. But how do Glaswegians from other religious and ethnic backgrounds view the ‘Old Firm’ derby?

Today Dr Kieran James joins us to discuss the experiences of Glaswegians of Pakistani descent for their views on the derby. The majority of fans of Pakistani descent who Kieran has spoken to preferred Celtic, for a variety of reasons, including the club's support for the state of Palestine, which includes campaigns and donations made by supporter groups, was highly influential in some of the respondents opting for Celtic over Rangers as their preferred team. 

  • How have the Old Firm clubs engaged (or alienated) fans of Pakistani descent?
  • To what extent is the situation in Scotland similar or different to other countries?
  • Given that Celtic have recently condemned displays of support for Palestine, how has this been perceived in the Muslim community in Glasgow?

…all this and more in the 34th episode of the Football and Society podcast.


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Each week, Ash, Chris and Norman explore societal issues through the lens of the beautiful game. From the ethics of gambling sponsorship to what a stadium move means for fans, we’ll be covering it all each week with expert guests from the worlds of sports journalism and sociology.