Some Outlets Are Determined To Attack Celtic Fans Instead Of Taking Pride In Them.

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Coming back this morning, and perusing some of the papers, you would have thought that Celtic fans left carnage in their wake in Madrid. The Daily Record at least carried the story about how one fan was so severely assaulted – an appropriate word I think – by their police that he had to have staples put in his head. Other outlets – and indeed that rag itself – went on the attack over the most innocuous nonsense. It really is quite ridiculous.

As someone who was there, let me share a number of observations.

The first suggestion, made by some of the right wing rags which have decided that our fans must be permanent targets, that we were engaged in “clashes with the police” collapsed under even the most cursory scrutiny.

Not only were there no “clashes” – unless you mean one sided beatings being handed out by thugs in uniform – but Celtic fans everywhere had an excellent time and neither allowed the police to spoil that or worse, were provoked into responding to their heavy-handedness or even outright thuggery.

And you know, when you’re dealing with many thousands of people and a lot of booze is flowing and the authorities needlessly behave like that it’s only going to take a couple of people to react in an aggressive manner to it for things to escalate quickly.

All the ingredients of a potentially bad situation were put in place by the Spanish police … and our fans held up brilliantly. They kept their heads. They continued to do what they had come to town to do; they enjoyed themselves immensely.

I cannot put it more simply than this; no such trouble occurred, anywhere, and not only were my guys and I in the central areas, and we took a lot of pictures and shot a lot of footage in the side-streets and bars, but we had friends in other parts of the city and I was ever alert for the slightest rumour or report and there was nothing whatsoever.

Other reports that we “trashed” the place are equally preposterous. I read some of those with incredulity this morning and this afternoon and I really can’t figure out what some in our media are doing in promoting this stuff.

The press has two choices in a circumstance like this; it can take pride in the travelling fans, and do them the credit of praising them and their behaviour under exceptional provocation or they can find little things to take shots at them for … and some of our hacks have clearly made that decision without seeming to realise that it paints a picture of all Scotland’s travelling supporters, and makes foreign police forces all the more likely to react this way.

When Ibrox fans got into actual clashes with police last season, much of the press was immediately on their side. Furthermore, I didn’t see any reports of “excessive littering” even from their appearance in the final, where they allegedly took tens of thousands.

The stories in the papers about we left tons of rubbish behind us are typically snide and sniping but without the writers either knowing the context or giving much of a shit about it. They are complaining, in the main, about Plaza Mayer; I was in Plaza Mayer and perhaps – and this is just a thought – local officials wishing to bitch about it might have wanted to think about providing litter bins for people to use, of which there were none.

So of course there was litter, especially since all the shops and restaurants in the vicinity did a roaring trade and there was nowhere for fans to put their rubbish. The vague threat that Madrid might “review” its policy on allowing football fans to use the square is obvious rubbish and a complete non-starter. We are neither the first fans to congregate there in large numbers nor the first to leave some empty crisp packets behind us.

The idea that all those local businesses would have preferred a quiet day instead of a roaring trade … don’t make me laugh. Ask the businesses around George Square which had to shut on the day Ibrox fans descended on the place and caused actual mayhem. If they could have stayed open, safely, they would have done so and many would have been packed out the doors.

Does our media think we’re stupid?

Madrid hosts massive games every other week. It has hosted European finals. It has been invaded by supporters from all over the game, of every shade and stripe, and nobody is going to tell me we were exceptional as regards to the mess we made.

This is another example of the Scottish press fishing for an anti-Celtic story wherever they can get it, and not being very particular about how sound their reporting is. As someone who was there, I can tell you how wrong they’ve got it and how out of order their attempt to portray these events as something obnoxious and anti-social really are.

Our fans were not just a credit to our club but this country as a whole.

That some people in the media just cannot help themselves speaks more about them than it does us.

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  • David says:

    Completely agree, I never seen anything but a support having a great time

  • Joseph Mcaleer says:

    A dying industry, ie. the printed word in Scotland is someplace you don’t want to get any Independent truth. The red tops.churn out total nonsense 7 days a week. And if you are a football supporter outwith the Ibrox mindset, forget it.
    Go to the Celtic podcasts, fabulous people doing the great reporting,
    Personally I gave up reading the nonsense a long time ago. £1.50 a pop it’s not even a joke.


    All the more that our Board must call them out over it.
    Ask the media to provide specifics.p and evidence.
    Attacking the fans also blackens the name of the Club
    and could have a detrimental effect on Sponsorship. Kerching.
    That should get the bean counters energised.
    Threaten to sue the papers concerned.
    It’s gone on too long.
    A nice wee Court case would get the Financial papers interested.
    Let them learn about the peculiar Scottish undercurrents to Life and Commerce in good Auld, inclusive, Scotia.

  • Nick66 says:

    The need to compare and liken our support with the Vandals of Ibrox is apparent in the coverage given. When we travel,we enjoy, when they travel they destroy.

  • Effarr says:

    If there was litter left around, then the lack of bins is no excuse. You just don`t drop stuff on the ground unless you are in the habit of doing it. It shouldn`t be too difficult to put empty bags, or bottles even, in your pockets until you come across a bin.
    After all, you have already managed to carry it around when the containers, i.e,. the bags and the bottles, are full.

    In fact, here`s an idea, why not put the empty bags to some use? They are only heavy before you transfer the contents to your stomach or your bladder.

    Maybe it would help that when there is a bit of trouble fans would resist the urge to film it and put it online.

    And why are you buying their rags anyway, James?

  • Stephen McAdam says:

    This is how these cretins operate they know their hun inbred hordes are poison and need to have something, anything!! They can throw at Our Great club and fans!! Like the time Daryl ” Walter is king! Spoke about vigo from 2002 which was nothing!! To equalise years and years of orc violence and hate from same period remember Villarreal they wreck hotels in benidorm on route attacked the Spanish teams bus next season it was pamplona against osasouna where they were officially banned from singing their vile ” billy boys” oh but only then did sfa do something! About 100 years too late!! Then next year the grande! Smashing of Manchester police officers and innocent woman in cars! All factual this was king trying to defend that against a joke on a flight from vigo!! Whataboutery that scum were just like new club are!! The most vile, poisonous club on the planet not one arrest from the smashed bottle in Joe Hart goal none!! Why?! Cause plenty know who it was but they are fine with it ! Came from every corner thst day and that vile club and its directors are happy about it! That they been enabled by the authorities, the sfa and brigadoon Scotland itself all their days tho none stopped them dying!! Ha ha eh snow aff a dyke is your typical orc! Eh

  • Roonsa says:

    Beautiful. I loved every word of this article. This is what this blog is all about. Peak insight. Thank-you.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Just the norm from the sewer rat pro ibrox media. Always lookin for some sort of shite tae dig up about our club or support. Ffs, support apart, just read the sheer, negative, focus they’ve been puttin on OUR clubs statistics all week, clearly because their favourites are now officially the ‘worst ever’ CL team. Same train of thought. Anythin the ibrox club or support fucks up with, they’ll try and drag us intae some sort of comparison.

  • Kris says:

    Well said James! Someone in my work chat replied to my video of us outside the bernabeau singing at full time, captioned best support in the world. “Best support in the world eh?” With a picture of the square that was in all the rags, I just sent a picture from Manchester and said. “says it all”
    On the brutality from the fascist police. My 18 year old son was in the video when they show up with full riot gear on to happy singing supporters having a drink, and start pushing and battering them. I have picture of my bhoys leg with a massive bruise from when they hit him with their batons.
    The noisy neighbours can do no wrong!

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