Celtic heading for slow train-wreck


All it took was one man, Eddie Smith, who joined the referees strike a year ago as their body became embroiled in allegations of lying, bullying and sectarianism, to make it his business to report Celtic fans to Uefa and the SPL, and the support are besieged on two fronts.

After decades of the police turning a deaf ear to illegal and offensive chanting elsewhere this might appear opportunistic, but Smith’s motivations are irrelevant.  We have endured ‘the songs debate’ here for years, the only thing universally agreed upon is that as long as a single Celtic fan sings political songs at a game, this day would come.

I sincerely doubt that Celtic fans sing anything illegal, which perhaps explains why the police encourage observers to ‘police’ the stands, but no one denies many people, including a number of Celtic fans, find such singing offensive.  There is, therefore, scope to mount an attempt to discipline the club, and an easy route to inflict reputational damage on each and every Celtic supporter.

The Debating societies will be exercised on the freedom of some to sing racially-hostile God Save the Queen, or the militaristic, Flower of Scotland, and wait for the reaction to what is euphemistically known as ‘the marching season’.  In this vein I would encourage the Celtic delegation who meet Uefa next month read aloud a transcript of La Marseillaise, which becomes a logical target if Uefa prosecute our club.

I predict Uefa and the SPL will reprimand Celtic with a cease and desist-type warning which will include specific instructions to remove and ban ‘offenders’.  Efforts will be made to prosecute ‘offenders’, which I expect will fail, but not before a few individuals are brought before the court.

Neil Lennon, Jock Stein and since Fergus McCann, the club, have asked fans not to sing political songs.  Many agreed but some will not waver, so it would be an act of vanity for lesser mortals to suggest restraint.  The slow train-wreck will happen.

Don’t take the notion that attempts to prosecute are likely to fail as legal advice.  In my experience, lawyers become a lot less certain once proceedings are underway.

On a separate note, I was pleased to read Iain Blair of the SPL differentiate pro-IRA chanting from sectarian chanting. Lazy jounos everywhere take note.

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  1. Truth_Beauty_and_Freedom on

    Hi Fellow Celtic Fans!



    Why are we being pulled up by UEFA for a few numpties singing ‘IRA’ chants when Rangers are allowed to weekly get away with large numbers singing illegal chants with impunity? Only in Scotland.



    It did my nut in yesterday hearing repeated reports on Radio 5 Live of Celtic in trouble with UEFA, but bhoy was I pleased when driving home to hear Mr CQN himself, Paul67 being interviewed by Peter Allen. Way to go new media! :-)



    Yours in Celtic,




  2. Br\o/gan R\o/gan Trevin\o/ and H\o/gan says:


    15 November, 2011 at 12:35



    great post …. but as we saw with Pat Nevins false assertion at Hampden it kind of doesn´t matter as the establishment despise us too



    so much easier and effective to support an away boycott. Nothing would get fudged. No hunguffery or whataboutery even CELTIC PLC whom we clearly dont trust would even need to get involved.



    Hail Hail

  3. Does the new court date for the huns 1st tier tribunal mean that the deliberations will not be presented until the beginning of May 2012?



    It certainly means less certainty with regards a fire sale in January ?



    How does it affect Craig Whyte´s 90 day period with regards an insolvency event ?



    Does this delay improve Craig Whyte´s ability to attract credit ? I.E CL entry for next season ?



    When will the hun be alleviated of the frozen monies due to HMRC, Mc Intyre and Bain ?



    When is the dispute over the penalties for the small tax bill due to be heard ?



    Hail Hail

  4. Paul 67



    “the Celtic delegation who meet UEFA next month”.



    Is this correct? I believe someone posted that Celtic would not be represented at the hearing, only at the possible appeal proceedings.

  5. assetmanager says:


    15 November, 2011 at 12:42


    Árd Macha says:


    15 November, 2011 at 12:32


    In the case against Drybrough, the hun who was acquitted because calling someone a ‘Fenian Bastard’ and ‘Black Bastard’ in the vicinity of a stand full of huns, could not be classed as a ‘breach of the peace’.



    Surely this has set the precendent. I know it’s not technically the same, but I think there is enough evidence to muddy the waters and present a defence.



    Árd Macha



    I assume that ,following the sheriff’s logic, (for want of a better word) had he called the ref a”masonic bastard” in the same vicinity, he would now be doing 5 to 10 ?







  6. A it of a repeat from last night I’m afraid. From the document UEFA Safety and Security Regulations Editions 2006, currently in place for all UEFA competitions



    Article 45 – Provocative action and racism



    1 The match organiser, together with the chief police offi cer or stadium security


    offi cer, must prevent any provocative action being taken by spectators inside or


    in the immediate vicinity of the stadium (unacceptable levels of verbal provocation


    from spectators towards players or opposing fans, racist behaviour, provocative


    banners or fl ags, etc.).



    2 Should such action arise, the match organiser, chief police offi cer or stadium


    security offi cer must intervene over the public address system or remove any


    offensive material.



    3 Stewards must draw the attention of the police to any serious acts of misconduct,


    including racist insults, so that offenders may be removed from the stadium should


    the police so decide.



    4 The match organiser and participating associations or clubs must implement and


    apply UEFA’s 10-point plan on racism (see Annex).



    Look at the actions required by Clause 2. They did not take place. So either Clause 1 didn’t happen, or the officials failed in their duty to make fans aware that rules were being breached and thereby give them a chance to respond accordingly.



    If we, as fans, are going to be accused of breaching the rules. Then the authorities must administer those rules correctly. They did not.

  7. Paul67



    I have to say that I agree entirely with what you say but feel that if all offensive singing was eradicated from Celtic Park there would still be a large majority of Scots that would seek to be offended.



    A new charge of equating the word hun to be of a sectarian nature or bluenose or bear etc.



    The tricolour will be back on the agenda … who knows bumblebee strips ?



    The agenda will be changed to suit their agenda and to keep us down and under control.




















    Hail HAil

  8. honestly I could do without the IRA stuff, the club has asked for it to stop and that really should be that; if UEFA fine the club over this then it simply has to, no ifs, no buts.



    but no media smear campaign is going to convince me that such chants are sectarian or even illegal. they are not. offensive to some yes but since when is simply holding a view that the state finds simply ‘offensive’ a crime?



    for example, I can go on itunes and download the celtic symphony or boys of the old brigade if I so wished, they are not illegal; are people going to be arrested for even downloading or listening to such “offensive” songs? this bill is only the thin edge of the wedge, mark my words they won’t be content in simply getting rid of IRA chants. Next it’ll be ‘hun’; then it’ll be anything that celebrates the clubs shared irish heritage and before you know it we will have become the glasgow equivalent of hibernian, an inoffensive, soulless shell of a club.



    its quite something that the reaction to celtic staff being attacked and sent bombs and bullets has been to criminalize celtic fans, as if this will stop people having sectarian attitudes towards catholics and irish people; all the while pleading ignorance as to why the sectarian crime data, widely expected to show that most sectarian offences occur in and around orange marches, mysteriously disappeared when it was most needed.

  9. Br\o/gan R\o/gan Trevin\o/ and H\o/gan says:


    15 November, 2011 at 12:35



    From previous article.


    Great post as usual.

  10. AWE NAW —–@12 46 —



    According to -‘Slicker ‘ – Private Eye – Planet Football – Rangers [ NO 1298 30 /9 11]



    ” The tribunal’s decision is likely to be delayed by the fact that 20 -30 player beneficiaries and their advisors will need to be consulted , even if ,as expected , their names are anonymized in the public tribunal funding ‘

  11. Reposted from last article.



    A number of cases have been taken against teams by UEFA due to the behaviour of their fans. Here are the most recent:



    UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Bulgarian Football Union (BFS) in the wake of last month’s UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying match between Bulgaria and England. The BFS is to face charges of discriminatory behaviour relating to chanting by home supporters during the Group G game in Sofia on 2 September as well as charges relating to the setting-off and throwing of fireworks. The case will be heard by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body on Thursday 17 November.



    UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body has fined the Croatian Football Federation €80,000 following incidents at the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against Georgia earlier this month.


    The charges brought against the HNS concerned crowd disturbances, a pitch invasion, the showing of illicit banners, the setting off and throwing of fireworks, violation of kit regulations (manufacturer’s logo on the goalkeeper’s gloves)



    The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has confirmed the following sanctions against Rangers FC after the two legs of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie against PSV Eindhoven. Following a charge of discriminatory behaviour at the first leg away to PSV on 10 March, Rangers have been fined €40,000. The club is also restricted from selling any tickets to its supporters for two away matches in UEFA club competition (with the respective home clubs also not authorised to sell tickets to Rangers supporters). This ban applies to Rangers’ next away match and is suspended for the second away match for a probationary period of three years. The Control and Disciplinary Body also fined the Scottish club a further €40,000 for discriminatory behaviour at the second leg in Glasgow on 17 March, and ordered Rangers to play their next home UEFA club competition match behind closed doors. However, this sanction is deferred for a probationary period of three years.



    The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has announced sanctions for both MŠK Žilina and FC Spartak Moskva as a result of incidents during the clubs’ recent UEFA Champions League encounter in Slovakia. The Russian club have been ordered to play a UEFA competition home match behind closed doors. This sanction is deferred for a probationary period of two years. Spartak had been charged with the improper conduct of supporters at the UEFA Champions League Group F game at the Štadión MŠK Žilina on 8 December. The Muscovite side were also issued a €75,000 fine, after serious incidents which included the ignition and throwing of fireworks.



    Following FC Steaua Bucureşti’s UEFA Europa League Group K match against SSC Napoli in Bucharest on 30 September 2010 the Bucharest side have been fined €30,000 for the improper conduct of their supporters at the game, while Napoli received an €8,000 fine for the misconduct of their fans, who threw missiles and fireworks.



    FK Rabotnicki – €10,000 fine on FK Rabotnicki for the discriminatory conduct of supporters during their UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first-leg match against Liverpool FC on 29 July 2010. Alleged monkey chants against Liverpool’s black players.



    FK Austria Wien have been ordered to play their next two European home games behind closed doors – one of them deferred – and have been fined €20,000. The sanctions relate to events at FK Austria’s UEFA Europa League home game against Athletic Club in Vienna on 3 December 2009. The group-stage match, which the visiting Spanish team won 3-0, was marred by the improper conduct of supporters, including a pitch invasion and the setting-off and throwing of fireworks and missiles.



    NK Dinamo Zagreb against FC Timişoara on 1 October 2009. Initially a three-point deduction from the Croatian club replaced by a €75,000 fine plus a disqualification from all UEFA competitions for a probationary period of three years for serious crowd disturbances.



    Rangers FC have been fined €20,000 and ordered to pay the cost of the damage to FC Unirea Urziceni’s stadium infrastructure, following incidents at last week’s UEFA Champions League match. 4 Nov 2009. Unirea Urziceni were fined €8,000 for lack of organisation at the same match.



    20 August 2009 – FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti have had a 3-0 defeat awarded against them after the misbehaviour of fans caused the abandonment of their UEFA Europa League game against FC Slovan Liberec. The Romanian club must also pay a €50,000 fine.



    NEC Nijmegen have received a suspended one-match stadium ban and have been fined because of an incident involving home supporters during the Dutch club’s UEFA Cup tie against Hamburger SV on 18 February 2009. NEC must pay a €50,000 fine, with the ruling relating to the improper action of local supporters during the second half of the NEC-Hamburg match at De Goffert Stadium. The referee was struck on the head by a lighter after fans started throwing missiles on to the pitch around the 61st-minute mark.



    UEFA’s Control & Disciplinary Body has fined Feyenoord €25,000 and RC Deportivo La Coruña €5,000 following crowd disturbances and the throwing of missiles at the UEFA Cup Group H match between the sides at the Riazor on 27 November 2008.



    NK Dinamo Zagreb have been fined a total of €200,000 for the improper conduct of their supporters, including the throwing of missiles and fireworks, as well as a lack of organisation at two UEFA Cup group stage games.







    The vast majority of times a club has been sanctioned by UEFA have been due to missiles or fireworks being thrown onto the pitch. Only Rangers (and for a second or third offence) have received serious punishment in terms of fans being banned, due to signing alone. The case of Rabotnicki is probably that which resembles our case most closely and that also involved racist (not just offensive) chanting. They were fined €10,000. At worst this is the punishment we will receive.




  12. Careful as you go those Celts who gave tickets for Inverness. Be very sure that they will be a looking for a few arrests and hoping for an away support who will GIRUT in a show of defiance. This will play into their hands.



    This weekend the support need to do just that; support the team – we have loads of great anthems which are neither sectarian or illegal. Suspect they are also not illicit.



    Agree with a number of posters advocating the removal of the Celtic pound. I also despair our Board and CEO who, amazingly, have uttered not a single word since this nonsense blew up. I also think we should remove Lenny from the Friday pre-match press gig cos you know for sure they will not start with on-field events.

  13. Paul,



    Any incling as to the clubs take on



    1. The BBC suddenly ending their unwritten rule on commenting on fans songsheets on live shows?…………in certain circumstances.



    2. The Police suddenly ending their unwritten rule on turning a deefy to proven racist and sectarian chants singing?…………in certain circumstances.



    I, and a score of others await the results of BBC London investigation into 1. This should not have been our job!!!! Please assure me it won’t be left to the support to get answers to 2?

  14. Paul67



    You may recall we joked on this Blog about making, Just Can’t Get Enough offensive.



    What next for Celtic?



    The support already dwindling, require leadership not the brief statement issued yesterday they should be organising dialogue with every facet


    of the Celtic following, and issuing a declaration of intent.

  15. Just seen the findings of the sheriff in Dunfermline….Have to say I was astounded at first but not surprised.


    However he may just have done us a favour because let’s face it….whether we agree with all of the songs and the various ” alleged” add-ons – how many of us would actually be so offended we would ask for police intervention to get them stopped. So it seems that in CP at both the Rennes and Hibs games there was unlikely to have been offensive behaviour ( unless you’re Smith of course) Mr Smith should be disregarded in the same way the two stewards were at Dunfermline Sheriff Court today.

  16. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo says:


    15 November, 2011 at 12:59



    The agents I’d expect. I’d suggest that if the ‘side letters’ exist then the agents will have seen or perhaps still have copies of them. it could be that some are missing and they’re hoping the agents still have them.

  17. The Battered Bunnet on

    First Minister Alex Salmond is due to officially open internet retailer Amazon’s new centres in Fife and Edinburgh.



    The company has created a one-million sq ft distribution centre in Dunfermline and a customer services centre at Waverley Gate in the capital.



    In January, the firm announced 950 full-time jobs for Dunfermline.



    Then in May, Amazon said 500 permanent and 400 temporary positions were being created in Edinburgh.



    The new facilities will make it even easier for Mr Salmond and other like-minded people to buy their own Republican material in audio, digital and print formats.



    Currently, a 3 CD boxset of hits by The Wolfetones, featuring the much loved Celtic Symphony, is available from Amazon.co.uk for only £7.99, while a number of compilation albums featuring classic Irish folk music, including the melancholic ballad The Boys of The Old Brigade, can be purchased in various formats from only £5.00.



    Mr Salmond didn’t say: “We are delighted that Amazon has chosen Scotland as the centre for its operations to distribute material that many of us find offensive, and are actively attempting to outlaw at football matches.”

  18. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Paul67 –



    If the press, the police and politicians have a problem with political songs then why do they never make any reference to A Father’s Advice and Build My Gallows – which are sung by Rangers fans every week?

  19. Paul67



    I will make a prediction.



    If the club do not resign from the league, and they carry on the track they seem to be on……






    They are going down and they want to drag us down with them, well the Celtic board, the ball is in your court, what’s it to be ?

  20. I’ve written lengthy articles on this here, on Keep the Faith and on Celtic Undergound. But I think there is a short answer to all of this if we want to stay out of the reach of the likes of Eddie Smith and his vindictive community. (Police man and referee, eh? What do those two less than noble bunch of sell outs have in common? I shake my hands in despair!)



    So here’s the solution. Fawlty Towers Styleeee:



    Don’t mention ‘The RA’.



    And they can’t touch us.

  21. Imatim and so is Neil Lennon on

    Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo says:


    15 November, 2011 at 12:59


    South of Tunis



    what is meant by



    player beneficiaries and their advisors ?



    Hail Hail






    2010 Never Again



    The plot thickens…..not only hun players and officials involved….quite likely their legal advisers/agents as well

  22. I’ve always been opposed to the singing of supposed ‘IRA songs’ at the football purely because I don’t like it and not because some consider it illegal. However, there is no doubt that the current campaign against us is just the beginning and, after this, there will be something else to offend them. Where will the line in the sand be drawn and who will draw it?




    Squeeze the orange. Pay the tax.

  23. Bonjour fom a sunny but crisp Paris.



    The song singers day has come. As I have posted before, the club asked us not to sing certain songs or add-ons in the stadium and I adhere to that (though my ipod has rebel tunes that I listen to on the way to games).



    At least we’ll find out one way or the other which way it goes. Personally I hjope we get the ok to sing the songs we want to… Does barcelona or athletic bilbao have anything similar in their songbooks?

  24. Awe Naw, if the Rangers tax case ends in January I would expect a verdict in April, so it will have no consequences for this season. Rangers still need enough cash to survive until then, which I can see no source for, so a fire-sale in January remains a possibility. Not something we should be waiting for, of course.



    I think our principle enemies would be delighted if Celtic fans were to boycott one or more away games. I also hear Neil Lennon is not so keen.



    79caps, my apologies if that is the case.



    Bawsman, no info on what the club are doing this week but I know they have been active on the Cup Final comments since the time.



    bournesouprecipe, leadership is hard to give on this one. The club cannot deny the IRA chants happened (they do on occasion) and cannot publicly defend them. Individual Celtic fans who have stepped forward in the media and defended this singing have reaped a barrage of personal consequences.



    This one is a poisoned chalice. I did a couple of media interviews yesterday but had my script ready (great reputation, Fifa, Uefa awards, every club has offensive chanting). I was asked by several outlets if I could point them in the direction of a fan who would do a news piece to back the signing as they were unable to find one (I couldn’t).



    I honestly believe there is no resolve to this one. Positions are entrenched, the trouble is coming.



    Steinreignedsupreme, not aware of either song but I will take your word for it.



    EXILED TIM, I am sure our enemies would be delighted to see us resign from the league. I hope our enemies would do so. Doing so would end them, doing so would end us.

  25. AWE NAW —-



    I assume —— the players who gained benefit from the relevant EBT’s and the agents who represented those players when those players agreed to the relevant EBTs.[ I imagine the agents would have been getting their share of the EBT]



    It seems that it is possible for HMRC to argue that the relevant players/agents knew that they were participating in an EBT that was nothing more than a disguised payment scam.



    I predict it will take a long time —

  26. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    THE EXILED TIM 13.07 i AGREE 100% with your view we are going down on all sides the football side the supporters side and also our credibility. H.H.

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