When someone runs onto a football pitch during a match, I automatically hope it’s the first of two things; either this is just an attention seeking wee bam or we have real trouble here because that individual has more sinister intent.
At times like that, I often wonder if we had snipers on the roofs, to protect the players from someone intent on doing them harm, would anyone dare pull a stroke like this?
I don’t imagine I’d be terribly concerned to see the pitch painted with fragments of their tiny brains either way.
That might sound harsh, but it’s been that kind of day.
Someone who runs onto the park to attack a footballer during a game is a lunatic who ought never to have been in a stadium in the first place. I don’t regard them as football fans at all; they are animals, absolute bottom-feeders who hide inside football shirts to give them an identity that they otherwise would never possess, on the fringes as they are.
I also profoundly dislike whatabouttery, but sometimes you have to highlight a double standard. That’s not whatabouttery, which is trying to deflect. I’ve not done that. My second article of the day was about that goon last night, and I think Celtic should pursue him through the courts to set the right example to anyone else who tries; if we can’t have snipers on the roof, the very least we can do is make it financially ruinous for anybody who does it.
But I read words today that got my blood up; “shame on Celtic” “shame on Scottish football” that kind of thing … and I thought “Where was that kind of commentary towards the tail end of last season when another toe-rag hiding behind club colours got on the pitch at Ibrox and to have a pop at Scott Brown?”
And I’ll tell you where it was; it was next to nowhere.
It was a media afterthought.
And you know one of the reasons it was a media afterthought (apart from that it took place at Ibrox and the guy who did it was wearing blue and not green) … it was an afterthought because, unlike today, where UEFA hasn’t waited for the pencil sharpeners to be delivered before they’ve got down to the business of handing out a summons, our football authorities did the sum total of nil about it.
There was no second-day story.
No condemnation, either about that or the golf ball or the coins or the racist abuse that Scott Sinclair got or the 90 minute sectarian karaoke which characterised the entire day.
And that silence from the governing bodies was shameful, but so was the media’s lack of interest in it and so was their utter failure to ask why the incidents of that day didn’t merit as much as a word far less an investigation far less a disciplinary hearing.
So, yes, Celtic is in trouble and as a club it’ll be dealt with though not quite as harshly, I suspect, as myself and most other supporters would like. I’m fairly sure that we won’t sue and I’m quite sure that medieval torture instruments have been outlawed.
Above and beyond that, we’ll get a UEFA fine which, for the fact he was able to get on the park in the first place, we almost certainly deserve.
All talk about stadium closures and stands being shut … the media would love nothing more, but I think they’ll be disappointed as they’ve been previously when they’ve demanded the same over the unfurling of flags they don’t like.
We will accept whatever sanction we’re given though.
But what we ought not to put up with, what we will simply not swallow, and which the blogs won’t allow, is hypocritical moralising from the otherwise deaf dumb and blind members of Scotland’s sporting press and our governing bodies who’s search for a spine continues, who’s abject failure to deal with issues even handedly has justified all the contempt we have for them, and which today makes their headlines especially hard to stomach.