Celtic’s email to those who had their season tickets suspended yesterday, in the Green Brigade section, alleges a series of incidents, including “intimidating and threatening behaviour towards staff” on multiple occasions, “forcing open fire exits to permit access to individuals without tickets” at Fir Park, a list of pyrotechnic and banner violations and several other transgressions, which they hold the Green Brigade responsible for.
Consequences extend beyond staff wellbeing and Uefa fines. Last season, Glasgow City Council’s Safety Advisory Group, who licence the stadium to open for spectators, wrote with “concerns regarding the conduct of certain spectators located within the north-east curve area”. As a result, Celtic have to report to the Safety Advisory Group after every home game. Hoped for progress has not been made.
The Uefa fines mount up but alone were not going to move the dial. Behaviour towards staff, forcing open gates and the Council’s safety certifiers are absolutes. No one should be threatened at work without their employer taking appropriate action. Organised groups of people cannot try to open gates to allow additional number in. The Safety Certificate is non-negotiable. Inevitably, Celtic had to be prodded into action.
I witnessed none of this (apart from the pyro and banners, obviously) and it could be a different group of lads behind everything. Talks will inevitably take place to resolve the issue; we can hope.
St Mirren are third in the league and absolutely rocking. They got the St Johnstone manager the sack at the weekend and only went behind at Ibrox after a red card and a penalty kick. We are not short of big games but this could be a significant one come the end of the season. An early goal for the good guys tonight would be very welcome.