Today an Ibrox fan was found guilty of launching a bottle which hit a Celtic physio. We all know the incident and the game it happened in. What we were interested in was who the guy was and what exactly happened that day. And now we know.
Many of us have long written that Ibrox is clearly not a safe place for Celtic officials and staff.
By the club’s own admission, it could not properly guarantee the safety of a broadcast journalist, so how can we believe for a minute that our people are safe sitting in a small dugout with nothing but rabid home fans at their back?
We saw Neil Lennon attacked at Tynecastle.
We have seen this particular incident and others down through the years.
The dugout is a manifestly unsafe place at most grounds.
The only thing that prevents incidents like this every week is that it takes a certain kind of person, nurtured in a certain kind of fan-base before stuff like this can happen.
You only have to dwell for a moment on the forums of the Ibrox fans to realise that some of them are plainly nuts.
There are plenty of other examples of it.
The Ibrox club is one that lives permanently in the darkness of paranoia and anti-Celtic hatred.
When their manager snipes at ours, when their players refuse to use our name, when we are scornfully referred to as “the other lot”, when they can’t even stay around to watch us collect our trophy, and when their fans are fed a diet of supremacist outright guff is it any wonder that occasionally they take it a little bit too far?
Their club carries a lot of the responsibility for what its supporters do. They stoke the insanity. They willingly tap into it for money.
And I was dismayed but not entirely surprised to discover that the man behind this act did so from the “corporate” area. I trust that not only has his season ticket been whipped off him but whatever commercial relationship the club had with him or associated businesses has been terminated with it? You are either serious about this stuff or you’re not.
Nevertheless, there are serious questions here which demand answers, not least of which is how bad does a support have to be before the heated seats brigade are the ones involved in this kind of activity? How does the club’s own behaviour feed into the kind of mentality that thinks something like this is an appropriate response to it?
Yet they’ve learned nothing, and that’s clear from the way Sakala was either encouraged, or permitted, to refer to our club in such a shameful way before the cup final. This is a club which knows that a segment of its support is badly out of control and cannot be trusted at all, and yet it panders to their mind-set every chance it gets.
To be frank, I think it’s some of the directors there who belong in the witness box. How much longer will that club encourage, and even thrive, on playing to the worst of the goon’s gallery?
Is it really going to take someone getting killed before they get a grip?