So Seville wasn’t destroyed after all, nor left looking like Manchester.
Still, the Peepul want to leave their mark on a city where Celtic fans went and had a big party. We too had to contend with water issues inside the ground. But no big song and dance was made out of them.
Once again, it is the sense of entitlement wafting off the Peepul that creates the greatest stink.
I am not going to say that the stadium authorities got everything right, but in their defence they make a plausible claim that their personnel were attacked when attempting to replenish the water supplies.
Perhaps by fans who simply wanted first dibs on the stuff, or perhaps just because that’s sometimes what the Peepul do.
But I will say that all the over-dramatised nonsense is pretty ridiculous.
“Someone could have died!” screams one of their sites tonight.
Actually, no, nobody was going to die because they didn’t get a cup of water.
You’d think these Peepul had been on a trek across the Gobi Desert to read some of this stuff.
Those who drank too much booze during the day might have had an elevated level of risk, but I’d question how some of them got in the ground in a state like that to begin with.
There are complaints that the full range of pubs and other facilities wasn’t open to them in the city centre; well, I’m afraid their reputations were just a little too far in front of them for that. All the back-slapping over how no-one got arrested is certainly overshadowed by a lot of footage of their fans doing battle with rival supporters.
It’s also worth saying that their range of offensive songs would have seen many of them charged and prosecuted here in Scotland for conduct liable to cause breach of the peace and for religious aggravated hatred.
The Spanish don’t seem to have realised what the gutter rat element of their support was actually chanting … our press does, of course, but they don’t give a shit because they got to write their positive headlines.
Yet still, the Peepul rage at a city which treated them better than they deserved and with what, if you watch that footage, was astonishing leniency.
I have a theory as to why they didn’t go on the rampage, and it actually stacks up when you think about it.
On the first night that their fans were in town, and for the two or three nights thereafter, the Spanish police deployed the riot squad at several junctures, to observe them and act as both a deterrent and a reminder of what would happen if they kicked off.
In short, this would not have been a Manchester style containment operation or Glasgow Police’s “step off and sort it out with arrests next week” unusual style of law enforcement.
Those boys were getting ready to move in and crack skulls and they wouldn’t have given a toss how much Follow Follow’s regulars squealed like pigs on the way to the jail wagons.
The other factor was the Germans. Ibrox’s numbskull section are perfectly brave when they are terrorising the civilian population, but hard-core football boot-boys from another country who are up for the fight and more than willing to kick the shit out of anyone they deem as being on the other side is another matter entirely.
Avoiding a proper rammy with those guys, or the Spanish cops, might be the smartest thing the Peepul have done in many a long year. A lot of heads were sore enough on the return flights the following day. There would have been enough blood running in the streets to clear away the bulk of the rubbish they left behind.
The defeat needed a smokescreen though, and so of course there were “issues” which they could moan about.
The self-congratulations over how their fans behaved is somewhat overshadowed by the simple fact that they only did so if you don’t include the sporadic violence and the sectarian and racist singing, and that their club had to wheel out a number of legends who practically begged them to, which at other teams would be a source of embarrassment.
There’s another theory too; that the hard-core lunatic element couldn’t afford to travel en masse to a city like Seville. Certainly, barmy estimates of 100,000 of them making the trip seem grotesquely overblown, but then what’s new?
There’s talk of Peepul suing. It seems to be the done thing now, and there are plenty of ambulance chasers who will be happy to take the case. But for what though? They fell victim to bad planning and the standard security operations which take place when the circus is in town. I don’t know what else they expected, with Ibrox’s history of European final rioting.
Mental distress maybe? They should sue Aaron Ramsey.
He certainly took away enough of their money that he can afford to pay some damages.