Celtic should have ‘been the bigger club’ and given Rangers a guard of honour, says Chris Sutton.
The Hoops have confirmed they will forego the traditional gesture afforded to newly-crowned champions when they face their bitter rivals at Celtic Park on Sunday.
But Sutton, a Celtic legend from his playing days, believes it’s ‘another bad decision in a season full of them’ from his old club.
“Rangers have been the better team this season but Celtic should have been the bigger club – by giving their old rivals a guard of honour at Parkhead,” he wrote in his Daily Record column.
“Steven Gerrard’s side are coming as champions and they deserve to be shown respect. The Celtic squad don’t have to like it but by choosing not to do one is poor form in a poor season.
“There should have been the guard of honour – and it should have stuck in their throats for the whole 15 seconds it would have taken.
“That kind of hurt would have been the motivation needed for the game, for the rest of this season and for getting back in to the fight next term.
“It would also be the right thing to do. But it’s another bad decision in a season full of them.”
Jack Kennedy, the interim Celtic boss after Neil Lennon’s sacking, says his players had not forgotten when Steven Gerrard’s side declined to given them a guard of honour in 2019.
Sutton, though, says they had a chance to show they were better than that – and have missed it.
“Let’s be honest, the whole thing is a trivial sideshow but just because Rangers were so petty and pathetic not to do it that last time when Celtic faced them as champions, it doesn’t mean my old club had to be the same,” he continued.
“Rise above it, have a bit of class and then park it to one side and focus on salvaging some kind of pride from a wretched season. But it’s a chance gone. It’s tit for tat and it’s all a bit sad really.”
Explaining the decision not to honour Rangers’ success, Kennedy said: “We have spoken collectively about it and we won’t do it.’
“It is not about lacking class, it is nothing like that because we are a club that always shows class and dignity and does what’s right.
“But ultimately, that same group of players who went there as champions and didn’t get respect at that time, if you want to call it that, are the same players who are being asked to stand there (this time) so we have decided, as a group, that we will just get on with the game.”