Today the media is dredging up our so-called Role Of Dishonour … the 12 times in 6 years UEFA has fined our club.
Nothing here is new. They print this list on repeat every time we have one of these.
It amounts to a few banners, some songs and the occasional flare. Until this incident there was nothing in there to justifies the acres of woodland scrub which have given up their lives to have this slapped all over newspapers. The number of words online about it is probably in the millions.
UEFA has a sliding scale of punishments. If we poke them with a stick long enough they will take serious action, but to read some of the more hysterical nonsense in the press and on certain forums of the Sevconian persuasion you’d think we’d more than justified it already. They dredge up cases where UEFA has closed grounds and stands and hold them up as if they are proof that our fans should be banned from attending games.
This incident was potentially serious.
The club clearly had a hell of a job on its hands in talking UEFA down from a position where dire consequences could have followed. But UEFA has made it clear that it knows rule breaches have taken place at Celtic Park but equally that none of them justifies for a second the kind of punishment some people have consistently demanded.
Celtic’s reputation around Europe is sterling.
I just got back from Munich and I saw it enhanced everywhere we went in that city.
UEFA is not going to close stands over political banners. They might do it over smoke bombs and flares, and they would certainly do it if a rain of missiles greeted an opposing player or fans routinely got onto the pitch, but most of what is in the so-called roll of dishonour is minor league stuff and the governing body knows it perfectly well. The Celtic support is revered across football; Nyon knows what we are.
The manifest stupidity in bringing flares and smoke bombs to games has to stop; give the fans their due on that since the start of the season. There have been no occurrences of it of any noteworthiness. The club outlined its own position clearly in closing the safe standing area, and the fans have taken heed. I cannot commend everyone involved enough for showing common sense and doing the right thing, for the good of Celtic.
That aside, we’ve got nothing to fear from UEFA and they have no reason to worry about us. The media has dredged up our record again but nothing in this is new. They did all of it when we were cited in the first place.
What Celtic will hope for, what we all hope for, is that it’s for the last time. We are the best fans in the world, and UEFA knows this full well.
I’m just tired of people giving the Scottish press license to suggest otherwise.
This is a re-post of a long piece from last year … these are some of the many things that make us great.
As the media is taking such pleasure in highlighting the negative, I thought it was right to accentuate the positive.