The Ibrox club’s demented statement yesterday, where they blamed Celtic and the police and our stewards for the ugly events at the end of the game forgot to include one specific party who carry as much of the blame as anyone; themselves.
They created the precise conditions for those scenes yesterday.
They have created the precise conditions for similar scenes at their own ground next season.
I am not arguing that anyone had the right to behave like a pissed up ned.
I’ve spelled out what I think of the Celtic fans who engaged in that behaviour; they need to be identified, banned and then prosecuted and if the cops happen to lose the key to the cell down a manhole I won’t demand a public inquiry.
But let’s not sugar-coat this; Ibrox is partly responsible for those scenes, and if their fans were “unprotected” as they claim then that’s no more than a consequence of their own policies, which have placed an undue burden on the police and the stewards.
The restrictions on the number of away fans has created those problems.
I wrote about this some weeks ago, when I talked about the nastiness which permeated the atmosphere at Ibrox. Our supporters had to gather two hours before kick-off and were given a full police escort to the stadium.
Similar measures would have been in place yesterday. Both sets of supporters now have tiny away enclaves, surrounded by rivals. The slightest provocation can set off mayhem.
The club responsible for this is not ours.
They have created dangerous conditions for both sets of fans.
They have given the police and stewards at both grounds an intolerable situation to deal with, and that would have been obvious much sooner had fans been inside stadiums last season and had their club not banned our fans, and ours responded in kind, earlier in this one.
Two years ago, one of the things Ibrox considered in order to protect Celtic fans was netting; this website broke that story. They themselves know that these are hazardous conditions for the away support, but still they pander to their lunatic fans by continuing this policy.
The police are raging at Ibrox’s demented statement; they alone actually have the power to do more than just talk. They and the SPFL should be getting together and forcing that club to climb down on its dire policy of limiting away fans to such a number.
If they warned the Ibrox board against its poisonous, inflammatory rhetoric that would help too.