In the aftermath of the game at the weekend, I said that there would be a clamour from Ibrox and their media toadies to have Celtic give them tickets for Parkhead. We went there and won, in spite of their having that advantage. I knew there was no way they were going to simply roll over and allow us a similar one. The moaning was certain to start.
Earlier today, a friend on Twitter sent me Stephen McGinn’s ridiculous remarks on this that Celtic needs to “do the right thing” and give Ibrox tickets for that game. Who is Stephen McGinn, and why should anyone at Celtic give a toss what he thinks? John Hartson, on the other hand, should know better. He said that Celtic’s directors should join those from Ibrox “around the table” and sort this out. How many times do we have to point out that Celtic has tried that?
We’ve been pushed to the brink of our tolerance, and then beyond it. We have no option but to refuse tickets for Ibrox whilst the safety of our supporters has been compromised. McGinn says that Ibrox’s hands are tied because they’ve sold season tickets for that end … in this he’s certainly got a point. I said that in the most recent article on this.
Which is why this season, there will be no away fans at these games.
They have made it impossible for ours to attend their stadium.
Celtic is going to ban their fans from ours. There are no longer any compromises to be had.
As long as they endanger our fans safety their own will not set foot in Celtic Park. If the governing bodies want to step in and sort this out it will not be before time, but Celtic should make it clear that their supporters will not be inside Parkhead during this campaign. Any rules which come into place need to do so in the next campaign.
That’s only fair and reasonable. Having no fans inside Ibrox disadvantages us.
That they have very deliberately created that unsafe situation, in part I suspect to engineer this result, makes this a sporting integrity issue. In the interests of balance and fairness their own fans will be banned from Celtic Park. A regulatory solution to this is certain and Celtic will make sure that we force one, but any such solution will affect more than our two clubs and so it’s only right and proper that the other clubs also have time to make new away fan arrangements.
Right from the start of this, part of the problem has been the unwillingness – call it whatever you like; bias, cowardice, ignorance – of people in the media to call out the club responsible for this. Celtic has tried to do “the right thing” right from the start; it has done us no good whatsoever. From the moment this began people have been telling us we need to do more. We’ve attempted mediation and been rebuffed. What more can we do?
What more except, it seems, to play the role of the fool, which is what some people would assign to us. We didn’t start this, but some have acted from the first as if we had.
First we exhausted all our avenues for compromise. Then we exhausted our patience. Our tolerance for Ibrox’s nonsensical behaviour is now zero, and so is my tolerance of our press in this issue.
If people can’t, or won’t, get their facts right they should shut it.
If they want to continue to hold Celtic responsible then they either don’t know what they are talking or just don’t care about the facts. Either way, I couldn’t care less what their views are any longer.
Celtic will now do what it is in Celtic’s best interests to do, and anyone who doesn’t like it can go to Hell.
Because this is what they’ve pushed us to.