Two things happened yesterday which didn’t surprise me one bit.
The first was that the authorities at Hampden released a new set of regulations governing what fans can bring to the game on Sunday. The second was that a Celtic supporter’s organisation promptly told its social media followers to defy the stadium regulations.
This morning, at least one Celtic site has wholeheartedly agreed with them.
So this is what cup semi-final day has become to some people; a showdown with The Man.
Is this what we’re turning into now?
People who can’t wait to get waded into a fight?
The way the system works is that if you want to do a tifo you make a proposal and supply information on it and those who run the stadium get to decide if you can do it. Hampden looked at the proposal and said no. It’s that simple.
This did not have to provoke an argument.
Most normal people shrug their shoulders and move on.
But a section of our support wants to turn this into a showdown. They then told fans to bring as many flags as they could, and again Hampden’s bosses have imposed restrictions.
Even this isn’t enough to make people just attend the football and leave it at that.
Now ordinary supporters are being urged to break stadium regulations and some will.
It’s as if those regulations are optional. It’s as if the rules themselves are optional. It’s as if the rules are arbitrary and stupid and meaningless and exist just to inconvenience people.
But stadium regulations exist for a reason.
Most football grounds across Europe have, at one time or another, imposed limits on flags. Celtic have done it.
So there’s nothing exceptional about this.
Flags can be used for all manner of purposes, and people in our support have used them to smuggle pyrotechnics and what-not into stadiums. And flags, to be frank, are a pain in the arse.
I don’t know about you, but I attend games to actually watch the football, not the back of a big bit of canvas.
One of the reasons for the restrictions is just that simple; when hundreds of people are using them thousands aren’t seeing the pitch.
The simple fact of it is, Celtic’s tolerance of certain activities is on the wane and Hampden’s is non-existent.
We’re guests in their house this weekend and some folk want to piss in the sink and up the back of the curtains.
And sadly, like I said, I’m not even surprised by that.