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Last Night’s Celtic Park Security Operation Was A Horror Show That Could Have Cost Us.

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Last night, I got a text from my brother-in-law outlining the conditions at his end of the ground, nearby where the away fans were gathered. His entire section had been invaded by their supporters, apparently with legitimately purchased tickets.

I’ve sat in away ends at grounds at home and abroad. I had a ticket for Madrid in with the Real fans. I had a ticket a few years before that for Munich in amongst their supporters. I didn’t even attempt that at Lazio because their fans are genuinely unpleasant and you never know.

But we’re talking here about single individuals, unobtrusive, causing no issues, taking seats and keeping a low profile. That is not what went down at Celtic Park last night.

I know the club is looking into this, because I’ve already been in touch and my brother in law has emailed them a report of what happened around his seat, and whilst I’m confident that he’ll get some answers it’s really not right that a large number of away fans was allowed to congregate in a home area and move people out of their seats.

That’s a disgrace, and it created a dangerous and potentially volatile situation. That large a number of fans should have been escorted out of the ground, and their tickets removed from them. I know too that there were Feyenoord fans all over the stadium. They behaved.

But that large number near the away end, they could have caused mayhem and what’s particularly worrisome is that the stewards and the police let them gather and intimidate our supporters.

And it only takes one. One of them or one of our guys to start something that spreads like a virus and turns the whole section into a pitched battle. Celtic would have been blamed for that; security at the tie is our responsibility and if those fans had kicked off we’d have been the club fined and sanctioned and perhaps even wound up with a partial ground closure.

Stewards and police stood off.

One told my brother-in-law that it was easier to move Celtic fans out of that section than to move those who didn’t belong in it; that’s not on.

That’s how bad situations develop. The police should have called for backup and moved those people on. That’s how it is meant to work. That’s how they deal with lateral movement amongst Celtic fans; I am not The Green Brigade’s number one fan, but the police were forever taking action against them for overcrowding and for fans being in the wrong part of the ground.

And yet last night they allowed that? The Daily Record has pictures of Feyenoord ultras in a Celtic section; that’s ridiculous. That’s horrendous and we should be demanding that they explain that. Celtic’s own stewards may have questions to answer.

We have enough problems with UEFA as it is.

That could have gone very badly wrong last night, especially as we won the match with a late goal. You don’t have to be a genius to see how that could have gotten especially ugly. I could not believe it when I got the pictures from his end; there was blocking of the stairwells and everything … UEFA might yet fine us for that, but it could have been a Hell of a lot worse had something kicked off.

Celtic usually nails this stuff. Celtic has a good record in dealing with fan complaints; I heard back from the club pretty quickly after the final whistle, so I know they take anything like this seriously.

Lessons will undoubtedly be learned, and I don’t expect that this will happen again … I am just glad it passed without serious incident. In that regard, we got lucky.

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  • Scouse bhoy says:

    Police scotland are a disgrace celtic should be going right to their head man and tearing them apart.

  • Jim says:

    I sit in section 403 in the North Stand.
    Rows E to L were almost exclusively Feyenoord fans. I have pics to prove it.
    This is a section where season book holders were denied their usual seats in case UEFA need them for Corporate guests.
    What was worse that in the concourse below the stadium a steward was ESCORTING them into their seats and pointing out their seats.
    I genuinely couldn’t believe it.
    There was some nasty bits of to-ing and fro-Ings between opposing fans but thankfully not top much.

    All in all disgraceful that Celtic allowed this to happen.

  • Tony B says:

    What lessons will be learned? The board does what it likes with no thought or care for anything other than feathering its nest.

    They don’t care about the supporters.

    That’s the way it is and there’s nothing anyone can do about it except stay away.

  • Jim McGranaghan says:

    Morning James. I hope you are well.
    A wee note, to let you know I had difficulty yesterday and today, reading and then forwarding the article entitled
    ‘ what is at stake for Celtic tonight’. This is/was very unusual.
    Keep up the great work James. You turn grey drab day, into beautiful sunny days with your writings.
    Thank you.
    JimRaTim

  • CHRIS THOMPSON says:

    The police would’ve been quick to move away fans if it was Celtic fans at Ibrox

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