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The SFA Should Be Asking Ibrox What It Has Done To Keep Celtic’s Staff Safe.

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If there is a scary story from the past week it is the one about how police had to restrict access to Ibrox for certain fans when they discovered a cache of weapons inside the stadium and which had been smuggled in there, presumably when one of their supporter groups was planning its tifo, a plan which police later cancelled to much wailing.

I have not read such a disturbing Scottish football story in a long time, and it is amazing to me that it was not making wall to wall headlines, although maybe I should not be.

In the coverage over the club’s appointment of a new PR man they made it clear that one of the campaigns he has helped them on these past years has been the one to push aside any notion that they should be responsible for the behaviour of their fans. They don’t want to deal with the monster they’ve created. The media apparently doesn’t either.

Still, that story is profoundly disturbing and I am sure that Celtic’s directors will be particularly troubled by it, especially in light of yet another attack on our staff on the day of the game, the second such time this has happened recently.

I posted a piece earlier in the week about how manifestly unsafe that ground now is for our fans; it seems that our staff are no safer than the supporters and, in fact, may even be in a far more precarious position.

Who needed a baseball bat inside a football ground? Was that for swinging across the segregated seats or was it intended for someone the carrier could get much, much closer to? That’s a thought to keep our security people up at night.

And yet it’s not our security people who should be most concerned. If some baseball bat wielding nutter had gotten near our manager with that weapon their club would be at the centre of one of the darkest days in modern Scottish football history and the recriminations over it and the fallout would have been immense.

Their claim – as exposed by Michael Nicholson in November – that on the day a Celtic physio was struck by a bottle last season that the CCTV was not working in the section where glass was thrown onto the pitch and ended up in the Celtic goal is absurd and shocking but an example of how much contempt that club has for the rest of us and how little it really cares about getting a grip on its lunatic fringe.

As it is, this time some of the weapons were found and it is to be hoped they are the subject of a far-ranging investigation within Ibrox and at Police Scotland. The implications of this are enormous, and gravely concerning. The people who placed those weapons there must be found and removed from the club’s fan-base immediately. It is a start anyway.

The wider issues relating to this fixture and a toxic support which the club no longer even attempts to keep a rein on are going to be with us for a while. I am worried about every visit to that ground now, and not about anything that happens on the pitch.

I don’t believe I’ll be alone in feeling that way.

I would bet that a lot of people inside Celtic Park aren’t terribly thrilled by the prospect either.

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25 comments

  • John A says:

    Undoubtedly a very dangerous place, also no doubt the ref will be intimidated by it too. Lots of us are saying we should refuse tickets for there but that would feel like leaving our manager and players on their own. What is the solution as nothing will be done tol its too late.

    • Johnny Green says:

      Our manager and players are undoubtedly on their own, 700 supporters penned in a corner of that rat pit doesn’t alter that fact. They are not exactly a battalion of cavalry ready to ride to the rescue of the team. We should no be putting our faithful supporters in that position and it’s time to stop accepting tickets from these vile peepul.

  • John Copeland says:

    In any normal law-abiding city ,if a cache of weapons were found planted in a football stadium for god knows what reason and were found by the Police ,would one of the first courses of action not be to close the part of the stadium where the weapons were found ? Apparently not !

    • Pan says:

      In any civilised country it should be!
      So does it say about our country, our police and our authorities, who basically turn a blind eye?
      Action would re-assure normal, civilised human beings. Not attempts to describe one lot as bad as the other. The evidence of the disease with their support and inside Ibrox is overwhelming! This is NOT the case anywhere else, and those who attempt to say it is are as GUILTY as the perpetrators. Such hatred has been tolerated by those in authority, but the bully is never tackled, so the disease remains. They have created this MONSTER.

  • Frank Connelly says:

    we shld have told them to stuff there 700 tickets.We dont want them anywhere near our ground or areas outside. Time for the club to step up and tell them there lot are barred for the April game

  • BJM says:

    The var guy reviewed the weapons and his decision is they were not in an unnatural position..

  • Mr Vincent McSherry says:

    The Celtic board have a lot to do with this crap as they dont care about their own support so long as they continue their wall of silence. They are obviously afraid to critisise the SFA , Spfl and rangers fc. Disgracfull behavour from the CFC board

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Think we proved after last seasons 3-0 game without them in the stadium, we don’t need them tae ‘create’ an atmosphere and definitely don’t miss them. Personally, all for these Derby games now bein for home support only and it’s up tae the visitin team tae adapt. The ibrox club are responsible for the way things are right now, so let’s just go the whole road. Barcelona & R Madrid among others dae it, so can we.

  • Bob (original) says:

    You’d think that the second CFC staff member who was injured could have a strong case to sue sevco for negligence?

    As in: what additional measures did sevco take AFTER the match at which the first CFC staff member was injured at Ibrox?

    It seems that they did hee-haw to address the safety risks to CFC staff – and as a consequence, a second staff member was injured?

    And as ever: if it had been sevco employees injured – repeatedly – at Parkhead… 🙁

    • Johnny Green says:

      It’s CFC he should be suing as we have a duty of care to look after our employees. We should be taking the whole matter much more seriously and putting the spotlight on THEM for their negligence.

      • Pan says:

        This is something I believe should occur. If taken to a court of law, the evidence is so overwhelming. Fergus would have been on top of it like a ton of bricks. We should never forget that Fergus gave us the club we have today – NOT the Board. They have a duty of care to the staff, to the fans and also to Fergus’ legacy.

      • Magua says:

        Fair point, Johnny.

        Hail Hail.

  • Frank Kelly says:

    James,
    you wrote recently about the possibility of organised crime taking hold in Scottish Football.
    I wonder if this might be the thuggish element taking more of a foothold.
    The ever threatened PUL community may be gearing up to lash out.
    Just a thought.

  • Neil Smith says:

    Should we not be asking why no arrests ?

  • Michael McCann says:

    I agree, but I believe there is always the possibility of a pitch invasion if Celtic go there and blow them out of the water. Many decades ago Belfast Celtic departed football after a sectarian pitch invasion which left a number of Belfast Celtic players severely injured. In this climate anything goes at Ibrox and yes the Celtic directors should be very worried about the safety of the players, staff and fans. It really is violent sectarian insanity dressed up as The Rangers football supporters

  • Pan says:

    Absolutely Michael. This appears to be the situation in our little sectarian country. The authorities turn a blind eye to affairs at Ibrox and there is plenty of damning evidence to support this.

  • scouse bhoy says:

    they wrecked george square twice and no one in authority was accountable they shamelessly gave the mob an escort it really was a disgrace. they are above any law.

  • John S says:

    Ibrox is manifestly unsafe. There have to be sanctions.

  • Seamus McGonigle says:

    Disgraceful lack of governance and responsibility for what is utterly criminal behaviour.

  • Jack says:

    Scotland won’t do anything if anything they support it by allowing the club to dissociate from there fans when it suits the this new co is a platform for neo nazist and catholic haters

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