Celtic today issued a plea, through the Supporter Liaison Office, to fans that they should not overcrowd the standing section, as safety issues continue to be at the forefront of thinking at the club.
The standing section was closed for yesterday’s game as a result of issues with pyrotechnics and, we know now, overcrowding.
I have to presume that there have been strong words exchanged between the club and The Green Brigade over pyro, because it does not form part of what John Paul put out today; instead the focus is on fans not being in the standing section without tickets for that part of the ground, an issue which has plagued the area for an age.
John Paul is correct to point out that we’re the envy of many a club with this section; that includes the club across the city, who’s fans frequently bombard their board with demands for the same sort of thing at Ibrox. More impressively, clubs from all over England are now implementing their own standing sections … and even Liverpool are looking into it.
But having too many bodies in that section risks everything.
It is manifestly dangerous for all the reasons seating was introduced to grounds in the aftermath of Hillsborough, and the club has, over and over again, requested that fans respect this and take it seriously.
All those who feel a responsibility to the club can do is repeat this warning over and over and over again and hope that it gets through.
If it does not then one of two things is going to happen, and you can take that to the bank; either there will be a serious incident in that section which renders all further discussion and debate moot and forces the club to a terrible, necessary, decision or someone else, whether UEFA or the council, will take the matter out of our hands.
Those of us who repeat these warnings are often accused of scaremongering.
If only we were.
As a smarter man than me once said, “it doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
The club has had its warnings; it is now passing them on to the fans themselves.
In short, we’re way down the line towards the latter possibility.
On Thursday, everyone inside Parkhead has to behave in a way that reflects our awesome reputation. The very best of behaviour, and only that will suffice if you are in that end of the ground.
And you should only be there, of course, if you belong there.
Christopher McLaughlin says:
February 14, 2022 at 12:39 pm
Jake Hansen says:
February 14, 2022 at 7:06 pm
Christopher McLaughlin says:
February 15, 2022 at 10:43 am
John S says:
February 14, 2022 at 4:29 pm
1. If there are people getting into the section without tickets then that is Celtic’s fault and no one else’s. They should guarantee no one gets into ANY part of the stadium without a ticket.
2. Part of the problem is that there are lots of season ticket holders who would prefer to stand but have not been afforded the opportunity. There should be several standing sections. I have been on the supposed “waiting list” since the very beginning and expect to be on it forever. This is very poor customer service.
It’s not poor customer service by any stretch of the imagination. If there are only so many season tickets in that area, and the current holders do not give up their ticket, then there is nothing to change. That’s how season tickets and a waiting list work.
Why can’t we have 10,000 more stranding places, or 20,000. Not very long ago almost the whole stadium was for standing. And many of us preferred it then. All the “waiting list” proves is that the club has not provided the accommodation its customers want. It’s the definition of poor customer service. If the number of standing places matched the demand for them, people wouldn’t have to try and sneak in to the standing section.
Surely Celtic has stewards that can count, read tickets and recognise dangerous pyrotechnics ?
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