Saturday, 5 January 2019

Taking Responsibility

Here's an interesting article by Andrew Smith in The Scotsman which focuses on the ugly, hateful behaviour at last week's Old Firm game.

The only thing I disagree with is that I wouldn't rush to have these matches played in empty stadiums - what I would do is to, step by step, require the clubs to take responsibility for their supporters.

Because it's true to say that only a minority of 'knuckle draggers' behave in this way, a significant and vocal minority admittedly, so it's important to keep the majority of real football fans on side.

The way to do this, if you ask me, is to have no 'away' fans at Old Firm matches and make the clubs responsible for what goes on inside their own stadiums since there would be no excuse for one side of provoking the other, which is the kind of lame 'finger pointing' response that is often out on these occasions.

I am a regular visitor to Celtic Park where a section of  supporters regularly make the club look ridiculous with their chants which include such 'witty' numbers as:

'Merry Christmas, fuck the Huns' and 'Soon there'll be no Protestants at all'.

Now this kind of vile behaviour has nothing to do with football, it's not an expression of anyone's culture, it's not what being a Glaswegian is all about - instead it's just totally embarrassing. 

So I would make Celtic FC increasingly responsible for identifying, isolating and dealing with these clowns - and making it clear that no group of fans are bigger than the Club.

Banning certain supporters, playing games behind closed doors, deducting points or imposing large fines might all play a role going forward, but in these days of CCTV and modern technology there really ought to be nowhere to hide.         

Comment: Vile behaviour shames fans on both sides at Ibrox 

The 750 Celtic fans were confined to a small corner of Ibrox.  Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS 

By ANDREW SMITH - The Scotsman

It doesn’t matter about the split of the supports when Rangers and Celtic meet. Some of those in attendance will invariably induce queasiness about how low they are willing to stoop and yesterday proved no different with all but 750 in the stadium roaring on the home team. 

Celtic’s reduced backing did not prevent their fans deliberately disrupting the minute’s silence to remember the victims of the Ibrox disaster with a cacophony of mock coughs. When shouts from the Rangers support – which included one of “you f***** terrorist-supporting scum” – also began to puncture the air in response, referee John Beaton blew to end the minute’s silence after under 30 seconds.

It goes without saying that the Rangers support regularly belted out anti-Catholic anthems, but they also held up banners relating to the Celtic Boys’ Club child abuse scandal in the form of “Big Jock knew” – which relates to unsubstantiated claims that the late Celtic manager Jock Stein had alleged knowledge of the abusers’ actions – while at various stages chanting “paedos” 
in reference to the recent convictions. 

However, they also had new dirt to dish with a ditty mocking the personal and mental health issues that have forced Leigh Griffiths to take time out of the game. Bellowed round the ground at intervals came a song exhorting “f*** Leigh Griffiths, you won’t be playing football any more”. Maybe one day they should consider playing these derbies behind closed doors to spare the rest of us such vile behaviour.

Read more at: