Banning 128 fans seems impossibly indiscriminate. I don’t know how it was decided but it sounds like “those eight columns and sixteen rows” – painting with a very broad brush. If so, the Club must meet with those in the affected area as soon as possible to allow fans who have had nothing whatsoever to do with vandalism or dangerous behaviour to continue to follow their club. If such a letter arrived on my doorstep, I would want to face the Club urgently. We’ve all been tarred by the pyros, banners and vandalism, but some are paying a higher price.
Unless there is specific evidence against an individual, the default expectation must be that bans will be lifted after interview.
Back in July, after the Club and the Green Brigade met to agree a way forward following some early season Uefa disciplinary problems, we wondered if either could control every last hanger-on hoping to ‘stick it to the man’. Statements in recent days from both organisations show how impossible this has proven to be.
When I wrote my article on Saturday I didn’t expect the condemnation of the previous night’s incidents, from all sections of the support, to be so comprehensive. We’ve seen elsewhere the damage procrastination and deflection can be. There is no need to deflect. We will not blame Chelsea fans. Nor is there need for ‘whataboutery’. Vandalising seats and throwing flares is now endemic in our game but Celtic fans are judged by higher standards. The Celtic support is characterised by by enormous generosity. Still.
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