The first season of the Southern League – 1940/41 – had not gone too well for Celtic as they finished 5th behind Rangers in first place.
Unfortunately, the following season started off in the worst possible way with trouble in the first Old Firm match of the campaign, at Ibrox on this day in 1941. Rangers were two-up just before the interval when Celtic were awarded a penalty for a violent push on Jimmy Delaney which sent him into the net. The referee ( Mr W Webb, Glasgow) pointed to the spot but he was immediately surrounded by protesting Rangers players. When order was restored, Frank Murphy missed the penalty, amid disturbances on the West Terracing, which continued into the second half.
This led the SFA, on 17th December, to close Celtic Park for one month. Celtic felt hard done by, as the match had been held at Ibrox, but newspapers pointed out that the idea of clubs being responsible for the conduct of their fans had been noted and agreed at a meeting back in 1922 between the SFA ( President ; Tom White, Celtic) and the Scottish League (President; Willie Maley, Celtic). These incidents had occurred on the West Terracing or ‘Celtic End’ at Ibrox and by the dictates of the 1922 meeting, a ban seemed reasonable. Rangers, in fact, were also rapped for the dissent of their players.