As expected , Celtic have released a statement after the bother at Fir Park;
” fuck off the lot of you. ”
Alright, I’m paraphrasing.
But you get the gist.
The wordy statement, for those who want to read it, is here;
” FOLLOWING events on Friday evening at Fir Park Stadium, Celtic Football Club today announced that it has issued precautionary suspensions against 128 individuals preventing them attending matches involving Celtic, pending further investigation. These suspensions will cover matches at Celtic Park and away matches.
In addition, the Club will be relocating around 250 season book holders in Section 111 to other areas within the stadium, or offering refunds covering the remainder of the season to those who do not wish to be relocated.
Events such as those on Friday night do not represent the Celtic support or the Club. These events were an embarrassment to our great football club and are absolutely indefensible.
It is clear that there is an element which has no hesitation in bringing Celtic’s name into disrepute. This is something the Club will not tolerate and we therefore have no other option but to take this action. We will not allow the great name of Celtic to be damaged in this way any more – our supporters deserve more than this.
While recent events are very regrettable, we would like to thank our many thousands of fans for the wonderful, positive backing which they continue to give to Celtic. We are sure these supporters will understand the position which the Club is in and we are also sure they will unite with the Club as we move forward.
Celtic Football Club is in excellent shape on and off the field. The Club is in a very safe and strong position and we have a young, exciting team working hard to deliver quality football and success for our supporters, as they did on Friday evening with a magnificent performance. This is what we want to be talking about and this is what we want to celebrate.
Celtic has a proud 125-year history and fundamental to that history have been our fans. Our supporters enjoy a wonderful reputation earned across many years, many families and many generations. This is something we must protect vigorously. ”
Now, whilst it is easy to step back and say thats that then, there are actually two statements within that one.
First, the trouble at Motherwell, where flares were thrown on to the pitch, and seats were damaged.
Second, the relocation of the Green Brigade-not to Copland Road, as some had feared-but to other parts of Celtic Park. Or they can have a refund.
See, if you and your pals don’t behave, you’ll not be able to sit together. Like at school, really.
The problems at Fir Park, and the suspensions will be interesting. Are those banned the ones who actually caused the trouble, or are they the ones allocated the seats where the bother occured?
This is very important, as it is obvious from just the replies to the diary that a lot of supporters could not even get near their seats on Friday night, and the stewards, who ought to be carpeted for their lack of supervision, have a lot to answer for allowing that situation to develop.
Simply because they should have dealt with the overcrowding the minute it became apparent it was happening. Now, this is in no way absolving the supporters from any blame. They misbehaved, and thats that. But supposing a serious injury took place, and someone had to have a few months off work ?
Who is liable ?
Motherwell, obviously. Thats why the stewards are there. They are paid to ensure the safety and well being of patrons.
And they didn’t. So they have to be called to account. If people involved in ensuring safety do not do their jobs properly, the results can be tragic.
This didn’t happen, fortunately, and in no way can be used as an excuse for errant behaviour from Celtic supporters. But it can be used as a defence if innocent fans find themselves banned, as will probably happen.
It will be interesting if no innocent fans are banned, because that will mean that someone has had his eye on this group of supporters for a while, and has been waiting for a chance to get them. Which doesn’t excuse their behaviour, but will fuel the paranoia already present.
The relocation of the GB, whilst not entirely separate from the Fir Park trouble, was always going to happen after the Milan game, and its worth noting that in the statement, it says “in addition “, which implies that the 128 are different people from the 250…
Theres no mention of any crossover.
Most fans are annoyed that it has come to this, there should have been a happy medium, where we could all co-exist and get along.
Last word on it for now goes to my wife;
” See, your fans are just like everyone elses, and you don’t like it ”
Yup. Thats about right.
Thats because it gives idiots like the parasitical journalist Hugh Keevins a chance to run with stories like this;
Genuine Celtic fans must stand up to the yobs and win back the soul of the club, says former Parkhead star Lou Macari
MACARI played against Stirling Albion in 1972 when an irate Jock Stein confronted fans chanting their support for the IRA – but he reckons even Neil Lennon would struggle to get the message across now.
It means that the bitter old fool can mention the IRA -which is always a good fall back for those who want to have a pop at us, those who are jealous of the reputation built up over the years at home and abroad that the support has enjoyed.
Its worth mentioning that Macari never actually said anything about standing up to the bad fans, and thats just Keevins trying to get us to fight amongst ourselves.
And he’d love that.
Now is the time for Celtic fans to remember what we are good for, a time to assess the damage to our reputation, and a time to begin the healing process. Instead of turning on ourselves and worsening the fracture, put a plastercast on it , protect it, and help it to heal.
Theres countless other comments in the media, which is to be expected, let them have their moment, and then lets put it right ourselves. Quietly.
Then the press can just concentrate on telling us that we are about to lose all our top players, and pinch everyone elses, thus continuing to destroy an already crippled Scottish football.
Ewing Graham wins todays Charles Dickens award for Fiction with this in the Record;
” CARDIFF CITY are using their Celtic connections to try to lure midfielder Joe Ledley back to his hometown club.
Manager Malky Mackay, a former Celtic defender, sent the Premier League club’s chief scout Tommy Johnson – who played under six different managers at Parkhead – to run the rule over the Wales ace during Friday’s 5-0 win at Motherwell.
Ledley was one of Neil Lennon’s first signings in 2010, joining from Cardiff on a Bosman after losing out to Blackpool in the Premier League play-off final.
But with his old club finally winning promotion to the top flight last season, a return to the Cardiff City Stadium would hold more appeal for the 26-year-old.
Ledley is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to agree terms on a new deal.
Cardiff are also monitoring the progress of Dundee United teenagers Ryan Gauld and John Souttar and Johnson also took in their 4-1 win over Hearts on Saturday.
Georgios Samaras is another Celtic star in demand, with the 28-year-old Greek on big-spending MLS side Toronto FC’s wanted list.
Lennon wants to tie up the striker on a new deal as soon as possible.
But according to reports in North America he has been named as one of the Canadian side’s main summer transfer targets along with Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe and Brazilian Gilberto Oliveira.
Samaras would be free to discuss terms with MLS club Toronto from the start of next month. ”
At least at Etims we are honest about our bullshit. Ewing Graham, who put together that collection of random words-notice, not a single quote from anyone- makes a living from it.
We do it for fun. And we actually believe what we say, because at the time we hear it, it is usually from a decent source. However drunk he happens to be, or how wrong he turns out to be.
But there is some praise for the hoops, hidden away in the Evening Times;
Celtic Europe form behind Scotland’s rise in rankings
Granted, this headline won’t win any awards for clarity, but the story, when deciphered, is actually another sign that armageddon hasn’t happened, and things are improving in the European rankings, which has to be the benchmark. The rankings determine how many qualifiers have to be played, and more importantly, who they have to be played against;
” From a lofty ninth place just 11 years ago, Scotland slipped to 24th spot last season. ”
Which was the low spot. The article continues;
” In real terms, that has meant the Scottish champions have gone from shooting straight into the Group Stage – with the guaranteed £16million that goes with it – to having to negotiate three rounds before they can get into the draw with the big boys of Europe.
At the same time, Scotland has lost the second qualification spot which went to the runners-up in the SPL.
Just four years ago, those two places were still available as Scotland were in 13th position in the rankings, having spent the previous six years between ninth and 11th spot.
However, such has been the drop off in results from Scottish participants in European competition, a dramatic and damaging fall from a high of 33.375 ranking points to just 15.191 last year has occurred.
Uefa base their co-efficient rankings on the previous five years’ results, with points awarded for wins and draws plus bonuses for reaching the Group Stage and further rounds.
Now, thanks to Celtic getting to the last 16 of the Champions League last season, and qualifying again for this season’s competition proper, Scotland’s alarming drop has finally been reversed and 23rd spot will be our new position. ”
It doesn’t seem like much, but it is a start. It will take a while, but the removal of the tumour that was eating into the integrity of the domestic game will lead to the patient getting better. He just needs time, and a little encouragement from his friends.
It will take a series of high points-gathering seasons to restore Scotland’s second spot in the qualifying rounds for the Champions League, reserved for the top-15 ranked nations.
And more of a contribution has to be made by the other clubs who join the Premiership champions in Europe because all points earned are divided by the number of clubs who enter the two competitions from that country. ”
And we could stop calling it the bloody Premiership, because sooner or later the original Premiership will want to defend its brand name. Theres a lot of money down there, and all it will take is for them to think that Scottish football is trading on their name, and it really will be armageddon.
But I’m sure those at the SPFL had already considered this possibility…. although their record on allowing entities to use someone elses name does seem to hint that its an aspect of business law they don’t fully understand.
The team have toddled off to Barcelona for tomorrow nights Champions League game, just in case you had forgotten , and I’m off to the bookies to bet on Scott Brown being ordered off.
Not because he tends to do that sort of thing, but because it looks like we’ve drawn the short straw with the referee again.
This is Sergei Kasarov, and you might know him from the Scotland -Macedonia game, when he was let down by a call from one of his assistants as Nikolce Noveski gave the visitors an offside opener in the 1-1 draw.
Or you might remember him from the time he upset Valery Karpin during a Moscow derby so much that Aiden McGeadys pal and boss had to be held back by security.
Is Hugh Dallas picking the refs for our games ? I cannot find where he is working just now. Though I’m fairly sure he is involved in passing on his knowledge and experience to other referees.
Such as here, where he explains the red hand of ulster salute to a UEFA referees convention.
Right, dig out the old cassette player and have a listen to this. We like to cover all the arts on this site, and so if you like a tune to listen to on the way to work, you might fancy this one.
Its a tribute to the number seven jersey, by regular reader Paolo Rossi, and is best listened to with the volume up. Well, most records are, or you wouldn’t be able to hear them.
English fans are delighted to hear about the economic troubles in Italy, and are hoping they are docked ten points in next years World Cup if an insolvency event takes place.
And with the match fixing scandal going on in England, Second Rangers midfielder Ian Black has moved swiftly to deny he has any involvement. Black was caught up in a betting scandal earlier this season, and has said he is not involved in any match fixing at all, and will be available for this Saturdays 4-1 win at Stenhousemuir.
Gerard Butler was the man in the picture fulfilling his dream of playing at Celtic Park, albeit in a charity match against Man Utd . But he played like it was a cup final, despite his physique being not of the standard required for top level sport.
Apart from providing a bot of dig, this guy, shown here after scoring against Barcelona, , did something unique for Celtic. Who is he, and what did he do ?