Let me applaud Andrew Smith of The Scotsman today for his outstanding article on the game yesterday, and the way he focussed a big part of it on the appalling events off the field at Ibrox.
The stuff on the pitch got most of the headlines elsewhere.
Those who did write the headlines were mainly focussed on a tiny group of Celtic fans and how they “disrupted” the minute’s silence. For the most part, they ignored, or tried to ignore, other events.
Those other events were properly explored by Smith, who deplored the vile bigotry of the Ibrox fans, with their disgusting songs and their abhorrent, 17th century hatreds on full display.
Smith, too, mentioned the idiots in our own support and I’m not going to write the rest of this before laying down, once again, my utter disgust at those amongst our fan-base who behave like the most reprehensible trash.
Who do they think they represent? Not the rest of us, nor the great mass of humanity. If you can’t be silent for dead football fans, then you’re a piece of shit. You are not a rebel. You are just a low order arsehole.
Andrew Smith nailed it, as he’s nailed it on these subjects, time and time again.
He also slammed Beaton and Collum, not only for the penalty we didn’t get but for the one that the Ibrox club did get. It seems not everyone in the media is content to play this little farce out and pretend that there’s nothing wrong here.
“Ange Postecoglou’s men were left with yet more gripes about a system that has caused them only grief in the two months since it arrived in Scottish football,” he wrote at the end of the piece.
I can only applaud him for telling it straight, in every way.
Here’s what the real story of the game is; Celtic fans were subjected to a torrid time of it yesterday.
If it wasn’t the shameful chanting from people who wanted to wade up to their knees in our blood it was the scum who rained bottles and other objects on our supporters.
Ibrox’s ticketing policy for these matches blatantly puts our people in harm’s way.
It is high time Celtic refused to take tickets for this game, and refused to offer any to their fans for Parkhead. The current system is grossly dangerous whenever we go there.
A couple of years ago, when this standoff started, I was told by someone at the centre of the operation to keep our fans safe that there was such acknowledgement that they were being put at risk that there was actually talk of netting being used to protect them. It was a ghastly idea, but I now wonder if it wasn’t also the correct one.
Something has to give. The disgusting images of our fans being treated for injuries after a barrage of missiles yesterday are terrible and frightening.
For their fans to crow over a couple of halfwits amongst us who couldn’t stand silent for 60 seconds is grotesquely hypocritical when they refuse to condemn those amongst their own number who are actually endangering lives with this vile behaviour.
It is stupid too because it is their club which will be held accountable if someone is seriously injured or, God forbid, killed at that ground.
But we should not be waiting on that.
This is not the first barrage like this which our fans have been subjected to.
As long as we are hosted in that tiny part of the ground, surrounded by hatred, this will continue. Our club has to walk the fine line between depriving our fans of the chance to watch their club and making a public stand by rejecting tickets.
I fear that something sufficiently serious is going to happen which renders that choice redundant.
Our fans are being put at risk by that club and its reactionary policy, designed only to appease a hard-core of its own fans, and they are not going to change that stance unless, or until, something breaks.
It is simply not worth it any longer, and I don’t think too many people could realistically object if we simply tell them we won’t subject our fans to that level of risk.
And of course, that will mean that their own fans are no longer welcome at Celtic Park.
In many ways, their club has made this easy to do.
When they cannot guarantee the safety of Chris Sutton, in the commentary box, then they can’t guarantee the safety of 700 supporters without a glass partition to protect them.
They are damned by their own words, as well as their inaction, and we surely cannot, much longer, allow this to carry on.
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