An Ibrox - San Siro weekend.

Last updated : 13 May 2009 By Carino
Televised football has its critics notably amongst the traditionalist fraternity who long for the 1500 Saturday kick-off. Similarly eco-warriors detest keenly priced airline tickets for their alleged contribution to climate change.

Both however have massive upsides and for that reason I am a firm supporter.

Last weekend for example delivered an opportunity when via a combination of competitively priced scheduled flights and kick-off times staggered for TV it was possible to see the Old Firm derby on Saturday at 1230 and the Milan vs. Juventus clash on Sunday night at 2030.

Thus it was with weekend bag packed we found ourselves in a rain lashed Albion car park, nerves jangling and heading for Ibrox ( passing on the way the small yellow MG used by Celtic's man at the Times and mentioned only because of the presence of a rear child seat ). The thought of another bawbag anti-Rangers campaigner is too much to bear.

Two hours later with a distinct spring in our step but also with gnawed finger nails and shredded nerves ( Celtic's 60% first half and prolonged second half possession ensured that ) we made our way to Glasgow Airport to use our bargain flight via KLM to Schiphol and then via Alitalia to Milano's Linate which greeted us with a rain free 2200 hours temperature of 18°C.

After an uneventful trip, Sunday afternoon sunbathing at the San Siro Harbour leisure facility and memorable meals with cousins, aunts, uncles and assorted friends we made our way on Sunday evening to the La Scala of football which is the San Siro. The old stadium has seen the passage of time and does not compete favourably with modern constructions like the Emirates or Wembley, or even the older and modernised Olympic in Berlin, but with a sell-out 85,000 inside for a Milan vs. Juventus encounter it is an experience impossible to top.

Neither weekend game was a classic and both were watched with disparate emotions. We needed and desperately hoped for a Rangers win whilst slightly less personal emotional involvement meant a Milan win would have been nice but a draw or a defeat would not have been the end of the world. In the end we got an essential Rangers win and a Milan draw.

Skill level was much greater in the San Siro but Milan's passing game ( normally so easy on the eye was lost ) due to the strangely frenetic nature of the proceedings.

The most notable difference was in the stands. The San Siro had noisy rivalry, orchestrated displays and provocative chants but was devoid of the hatred apparent at Ibrox a day earlier. That is almost certainly explained by the fact that the San Siro did not host 7,500 people who despise the country of their birth and who produce young footballers so warped in mind they elect to play for a foreign country.

Support for terror groups so apparent amongst visiting fans at Ibrox ( and also visible at their London Road social club where the ROI tricolour flies side by side with a Palestinian flag ) was non-existent in the San Siro.

It is improbable that our planet hosts a club support as despicable as those who follow Celtic and which is happy only when it is unhappy. On the evidence of Saturday to describe the Celtic support as consisting of nasty people would be charitable. They are a group which is easy to detest.

Relecting after our return on Monday afternoon as to whether the trip was worth the effort, the answer was yes and neither was it expensive.

Season tickets for Rangers and Milan meant entry was hassle free and already paid for last summer. Flights were £189.70 return and food and accommodation provided by family meant expenses were minimal.

I'd recommend people try it when fixtures permit, it is enjoyable especially when results are positive.

I like airline competition and kick-offs staggered for TV.

So now to Easter Road with fingers crossed and doubtless another nerve-shredding evening.