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Celtic heading for slow train-wreck

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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. It has been clear for some time that the celtic symphony would land us in trouble, and so it has came to pass.

     

    It may not be illegal or sectarian, but it doesn’t need to be for the footballing authorities to take action.

     

    Our club is under attack, an attack instigated by a man who is a blood relation of a good Celtic man, the late Phil O’Donnell. This shows how much the establishment hate us.

     

    Whilst many would like to blame the board, they are in a very difficult position, and to take it out on them would serve the establishment’s divide and conquer agenda.

     

    UEFA will probably warn us to stamp this out. The SPL are the ones who concern me. Should they decide to take action whilst ignoring the continued illegal, sectarian and offensive singing from elsewhere then it is time to take action.

     

    The clubs are the SPL. The same clubs that eat from our trough.

     

    If they decide to make an example of us, then the time is right for a b(h)oycott. I’m not advocating letting us off for doing wrong, but if the punish our ‘offensive’ chants whilst accepting that others are ‘doing all they can’ to stamp it out, then we should hit them where it hurts and pack out Celtic Park every 2nd week, whilst leaving stands empty every other week at ‘SPL’ grounds around the country. This is the only way our voices will be heard.

     

    Now I’m away to enjoy the rest of my holiday!

     

    Hail Hail

     

    ballabhoy

  2. Anyhoo

     

     

    I see big salt & vinegar got a club.

     

    This songs thing will blow over, at the end of the day they are hunting us for one line in a song! I think other clubs have more to fear now. HH

     

     

    Former Celtic star Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink has sealed a dream move to PSV.

     

     

    The experienced striker, who was a free agent, has signed a deal until the end of the season with Fred Rutten’s men, and will now prepare to begin his second stint at the Philips Stadion

     

     

    The 33-year-old, who also played for Hull City, has been drafted in to provide cover for and experience to Ola Toivonen and Tim Matavz.

     

     

    PSV Sporting director Marcel Brands revealed that both parties were keen for a deal to happen “Jan and the club both wanted this very much. He had a lot to thank the club for and wants to give something back.

     

     

    “PSV know what he can do and obviously in his new role he will achieve something. He will form backup for the striker position and his experience will also be felt by youngsters like Ruben Bentancourt and Jurgen Locadia.”

     

     

    Hesselink won three titles in his a five year spell with the club in the 2000’s before moving to Scotland where he won all the Scottish game had to offer. More recently he was with Austrian side Rapid Wien. Hesselink has been capped 17 times by Holland.

  3. The Honest Cover-up on

    James Forrest is Lennon says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 13:27

     

     

    If the war you speak of does go beyond singing IRA songs and, for example, banning the tricolour, then I will back people of your mindset. Until then, many supporters don’t want to be associated with people who sing “ooh ah, up the RA”.

  4. The Honest Cover-up says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 13:48

     

     

     

    ‘Until then, many supporters don’t want to be associated with people who sing “ooh ah, up the RA”. ‘

     

     

     

    And does their wish not to be so associated extend to wishing to criminalise such behaviour?

  5. KingLubo,

     

     

    From earlier, cheers.

     

     

    BRTH,

     

     

    Great stuff. I do think McBride was briefed to represent the clubs/boards views. He sent their message yesterday… I think their is resolve to nip this one in the bud.

     

     

    Paul,

     

     

    I’m surprised at your negativity. There are many, many simple fixes for this problem. I honestly don’t even think we’d entertain the conversations if there was anything, at all, remotely interesting to talk about on a football front. Our game is so devoid of actual sporting interest that we’re reduced to this. If there was a sporting contest, involving characters we believed in, to be talking about how much time do you think this blog would afford to anyone who wanted to bore us to tears with poppy/song/republican/sectarian stuff. Very little.

     

    My view, now well documented, is that this is bordering on a game to play whilst we deal with our boredom. There are many important and influential figures who could be drawing a line under this. Men like yourself, with significant media profile, who could call this drama what it is… I’m loathe to criticise, but, I feel that this is the only story in town, so no-one is really putting it in it’s proper context.

     

    And if no-one is willing to support the songs publicly, and the club is publicly willing to state they want the fans to respect the majority view, then the only story we Celtic fans should be discussing is why some fans object to this and/or refuse.

     

     

    There is, of course, one other story. That is the state of Rangers, the club, the fans, the culture. However, whilst we can’t ignore them and they influence us (mostly negatively), we should recognise that our first responsibility is to the club we follow. Every negative thing they do rebounds on us – their fans are abusive, so a small proportion of our fans, inevitably, take a cue. They mis-manage their finances and our’s are directly affected.

     

     

    I concur with anyone who says they don’t like the expression Old Firm. It is odious and we know it is detremental to our club… yet too many of us say we hate the expression and then place every Celtic thought in a context that ties us to Rangers. Their standards are not our standards. Our message, therefore, can be very simple – let’s set our own standard, as we always have, and not let Celtic fall victim to the universal malais of averaging down (something of a internet led phenom). We are sinking to their level, and accepting at every turn, the premise of a very dubious question.

  6. jimmci says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 12:56

     

    “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”

     

     

    Nothing our support sing is either sectarian, illegal or indeed illicit – i repeat none of them are. They do seem to ruffle the feathers of a the Scots establishment that is all. Lets not hear of offending decent folk – most of the people i know and work with don’t really care as it is in a football stadium that is apart from the little Englanders and Rangers fans.

     

     

    Are we talking of proscribing the Solidiers song along with all other Irish Nationalist songs? Where do we draw the line. Any reference to the IRA , Fenians, IRB or anything else the Uncle Tims and Scots establishment deem as unsuitable. I believe If UEFA fine or chastise Celtic in anyway it will be open season and we will be besiged by demands to change this or do that. I honestly believe that more is at stake here than a few thousand young men singing Irish Nationlist anthems. Do we honestly believe if we stop all the songs they won’t find something else to attack us with? Take down the Tricolour it offends, remove the staute of Brother Walfred – it offends the majority religion in Scotland, oh yes and Timmy stop blessing yourself in public or you’ll be nicked as people really find it offensive.

     

    Someone should remind UEFA that there are streets across the world named after Robert Sands, numerous democratic Parliments held minutes silences to mark his death, workers in America went on strike etc etc – yet if our fans sing a song in praise of his sacrifice the club can be held to account. Only in Scotland, really only in Scotland.

  7. Just read Ian Blairs statement with regards to the SPL “investigation” into reports from Eddie Smith that there was som Pro IRA chants at the recent Hibs match.

     

     

    Why even discuss this and beat about the bush with discussing things like”I hate them, I wish they’d go” or “They obviously have selctive hearing when watching their Hun Team” (All valid discussion points of course …ahem)

     

     

    Why not have a Celtic Spokesperson come out and say “aye you’re probably right, there was songs with the IRA mentioned in them. Now what is the investigation for and what’s your problem?”

     

     

    These songs are not illegal, as far as I’m aware there is no guidelines against these songs, the Police had no reason to act either by reporting Celtic of by lifting a 17 yr old.

     

    So what if they’re “investigating”???

     

     

    What can they do? Have any rules or laws been broken or am I missing something?

     

     

    Sure, the Celtic fans obviously need to have some internal discussions about the Song list and what everyone wants to hear, but forcing the issue via Eddie Smith, the Police and the SPL when no rules have beeen broken is not the way to find common ground.

     

     

    These allegations are all a way of Divide and rule (Old British mentaliity which has worked for Centuries).

     

     

    so, for this evenings News, Ian, Eddie, you’re right, some of our Republican Kids were singing Provo songs, we’ll ask them to stop again.

     

    Now, can we discuss policing procedures and what you’ve done to sort out the standard of ref you’re hiring from the SFA?

     

     

    Mucker

     

    Ooh Ahh Pay Yer tax

  8. Have to say I agree with the posters saying that the ra chants should stop and the Celtic can survive this latest threat and come out stronger. Regardless of whether they’re illegal (they’re not) or just offensive (a useless catch-all) there’s no *need* to sing those songs when we have better, more inclusive ones in our songbook. And we should separate out this latest media feeding frenzy on our club from the previous and ongoing attacks because this is one we can rise above if we really want to. And then get on with fighting our corner and winning on the pitch.

  9. James Forrest is Lennon on

    ernie lynch:

     

     

    And in that event, I would expect every single person who spends a day in jail to counter-charge their arresting officer and mount a civil case against the Scottish Government for wrongful arrest and imprisonment.

     

     

    The law works both ways.

  10. Is it possible that Smith is simply being vindictave because the Green Brigade, having been a thorn in the flesh of plod, have at the same time reinvigorated the Celtic support to the extent that even the media have had to remark on it?

     

     

    The GB have made fools of plod, and plod don’t like it.

  11. The Croatian Football Federation was fined 80,000 euros in June this year for, amongst other charges, the displaying of illicit banners at a fixture with Georgia.

     

     

    The other charges brought were for crowd disturbances, a pitch invasion, the setting off and throwing of fireworks, the violation of kit regulations and insufficient organisation.

     

     

     

    Seriously, if they only get that fine after all they done I can’t see Celtic being hit with anything. If they are hit with the above, I could even pay that… HH

  12. James Forrest is Lennon says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 13:51

     

     

     

    That’s just fantasy.

     

     

    Plod would be within their rights to arrest once the legislation is in force.

  13. I’m on record here as opposing any singing in support of the IRA at any ground. I haven’t changed that opinion. I am also on record as advocating Paul McBride as being added to the Board at Celtic. That opinion I have totally changed. He is quite obviously an intelligent man and, seemingly, a very good lawyer. But to say that those who chant in favour of the IRA at Celtic Park should have punishment meted them, because their singing is OFFENSIVE, merits derision. That’s plain daft. Could it really be, as has been suggested, that he has been promised the Lord Advocate post? Pathetic, if true.

     

     

    I might begin to respect Nevin again if he even tries to fulfill his promise to the nation that he would speak up about sectarianism wherever he finds it. He’s probably still figuring out the semantics.

  14. Canamalar, this is a Celtic site. Personal abuse is neither fitting nor acceptable and promises to make it a persistent feature is inappropriate. Yellow card.

  15. Paul67

     

     

    You paint a depressing scenario, from a glass half full supporter.

     

     

    I agree the Board are in a difficult position, and won’t judge or comment at this time, as to whether or not they have contributed to where, we are today.

     

     

    I would suggest that the rank and file of the Celtic Support are in a much more perilous position.

     

     

    A different more robust, front footed policy from a derby game on 31/08/08 would have helped, when it quickly became clear that there was no ‘due process’ to be followed against sectarian offences that occurred repeatedly inside Celtic Park from visiting supporters.

     

     

    Political add ons are a bi product of oppression and discrimination, ( we’ve seen plenty in the last four seasons ) it got louder from the instant NL was attacked at Tynecastle, they subsided in the new season, and it’s even highly debatable they’ve been heard at Celtic Park this season at all.

     

     

    A new edition of the song book eliminating anything added on about politics, will occur from Monday, that will be the easy bit for Celtic Supporters, but it will not be the end of the matter, our enemies will move to something else, and sadly to paraphrase Neil Lennon in other matters this is just the beginning.

  16. Sandman Is Neil Lennon on

    We are Glasgow Celtic and its followers.

     

     

    We are warm-blooded mammals in a land of cold-eyed reptiles who loathe us with undiluted limbic hate.

     

     

    As evolution prepares to wipe the gyre of that enmity from our midst in an apocalyptic collapse, so proportionally does the antipathy towards us rise.

     

     

    Common ground? There is none anymore. They flail against us with all they can muster; their lackeys in positions of influence cultivate campaigns designed to smear and appease the grand-lizards of their goat-sacrificing ‘kulture’ which hasn’t moved on intellectually or socially in over 300 years.

     

     

    And still some come on here and talk of mediation. Of compromise.

     

     

    I’ll tell you, for what it’s worth, what I think my club should do – and that is everything in its power to bury the SPL financially and all that cling to the hull of good ship cashcow Celtic Fc.

     

     

    Bury them until this dire little land has no sustainable professional top division and we can move elsewhere legally under UEFA’s regulations.

     

     

    There’s no real argument anymore; alsmot every club in the SPL has shown its hand in favour of the Huns (bar maybe Aberdeen and its supporters) when the chips were down for them last season.

     

     

    The pseudo-competent officials in charge of Scottish football are so mired in Hun myth and tainted spirit they deserve nothing more than our contempt and sabotage of every revenue-raising plan they attempt to instigate; TV rights, image rights, any form of co-operation whatsoever with their schemes and dreams.

     

     

    We must become inviolate, self-sustaining and UN-charitable to those who deserve NOTHING.

     

     

    No man alone is an island but Celtic FC must become one – we can afford to – and let the bitter, bigoted rats drown in the financial depths of their own arrogant, narrow-minded design.

  17. ernie lynch says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 13:41

     

    “There’s something a bit peculiar about the psychological makeup of those who want to be referees”.

     

     

    Psychology is key here.

     

     

    In the clinical treatment of narcissism it converts to something more sinister when it becomes megalomania – the shared feelings of omnipotence and super-importance remain but the motive is less about “being charming” and becomes more about a desire to instill fear in others.

     

     

    Paul McBride, with his political defections and public opinions, is losing the plot, hogging the microphone and fueling the fire of the antagonists…time to take a back seat ……there are enough people out there who are only too willing.

     

     

    But the message is clear for the Green Brigade and I hope they have an Auld Heid advising them. Let it go guys and play to your strengths – support the team, bring colour and energy and unite (not divide) the crowd.

  18. ANNAOAN, James Forrest – both of you are invariably a great read but I disagree with some of your points this time.

     

     

    One of the biggest problems we face is division within our own support over this. I believe that dropping the songs that reference the IRA in any of its guises but vigorously defending everything else is a position our supporters could rally around. It also has the advantage of unambiguous definitions of non-offensive and pseudo-offensive.

  19. Sandman Is Neil Lennon says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:00

     

     

    That’s a bitter view, and in my opinion a tragic mis-reading of the society we live in. I don’t even understand where you’re coming from. If I had to guess Celtic form too large a part of your world view. It is simply not how the average native thinks.

     

     

    What is inevitable, if such attitudes persist, is that football, the cultural entity, will slowly fade and Celtic with it.

  20. What is going to happens when the huns next visit our place? They will go through their usual repitoire of vile songs .

     

    Will the police stand there and do nothing as usual?

     

    How will we react if that happens?

  21. Br\o/gan R\o/gan Trevin\o/ and H\o/gan on

    From this morning’s thread below.

     

     

    On another matter, I am not surprised at all at the FTT being adjourned for more days of evidence. Remember that the Rangers point of viw at that tribunal was being presented by the lawyers for Murray International Holdings and no Rangers PLC. In nthe deal between Murray and Whyte it is specifically written into the contract that Murray’s guys will make all the legal running on Rangers behalf and that Whyte’s team– Rangers PLC’s team now– will take no part in the proceedings and will not contact HMRC re this case. It is a Murray show.

     

     

    The hearings are also related to the actions of MIH, with Rangers only forming part of the equation.From what I hear, it is in the interests of all of the former Directors of Rangers PLC who have now resigned to make sure that the tax case decision does not come out until AFTER Rangers have been declared insolvent, which explains why a number of thise persons are doing their very best to sue Rangers PLC, arrest their cashflow as quickly as possible, and so sink their former employers.

     

     

     

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

     

     

    15 November, 2011 at 12:35

     

     

    Good Morning,

     

     

    at the top of my computer screen there are five words, and these are they:

     

     

    Celtic News, not lazy journalism.

     

     

    This site has over the years been commended for the quality of its output, the knowledge and clearheadedness of the contributors, and the overwhelming sense that there is a wideranging, diverse and intelligent readership who have an informed and undying love of Celtic Football Club and its ethos.

     

     

    It should come as no surprise to anyone that last night, today and indeed tomorrow we should be bombarded by press stories concerning this alleged report to Eufa, and even the one to the SPL. It should come as no surprise– given the 5 words above– that some of those reports are misinformed, inaccurate, contradictory, ill researched and at times just plain stupid. It is lazy journalism in action and in person. It is poor journalism. It is the standard of journalism that has been allowed to pass as the norm in Scotland for oh so long. Scotland is a nation where right now the football is of a poor standard, but the journalism tends to be of no recogniseable standard whatsoever– with the odd exception.

     

     

    The 5 words above, are really a call for professionalism. Professionalism and a degree of quality and objectiveness on a regular basis which has unfortunately been lacking for years. We, on this site, should not be surprised at any lack of professionalism as it is what we have come to expect from the Scottish press in the main.

     

     

    Last night there were reports that the complaint to Eufa was on 1) Offensive singing 2) Illicit singing 3)Political singing which others find offensive and 4) sectarian singing. There was no attempt in most places to differentiate between these words in any meaningful way. I have not heard from any journalist that has seen the detail of any complaint. So what do they know?

     

     

    Today, it is slightly different. Even the omnipotent and perpetually everywhere Pat Nevin is quoted as saying that even he recognises there is a freedom of speech issue here. Well done Pat and everyone else, you at least see the nub of one argument– but miss the obvious. Sectarian singing is a crime and no freedom of speech argument can excuse it. If there is a recognised freedom of speech issue then sectarianism has no role to play here and that should be highlighted. This is not a sectarian complaint.

     

     

    Further, Graeme Spiers, who seems to know something, is quoted as saying that everyone should be clear. The chant or song complained of is ” Ooh ah up the ra” and nothing else.He says there is no issue with The Fields of Athenrye nor even The boys of the old brigade as that is a song of long ago– although he goes on to say that whilst it can’t be proscribed he is not sure of its relevance at a football match. Fair enough point Graeme. At least we know what you think is being complained about and your view on some of the songs mentioned in the media. Again it appears that this is not a sectarian complaint.

     

     

    However, what is to be totally avoided here is the conning of the Celtic fans and others by the media. A complaint has been made– eh so what? What has that got to do with the media and why do the media then seek to put a spin on it? Why should that complaint and the answering of it be played out on the public domain? Surely any such complaint is to be answered professionally and privately? No? So the media continually then misinform saying the complaint could be any one of the words used above which includes sectarianism– without any evidence to support that claim.

     

     

    For Celtic, I would advocate a number of initiatives.

     

     

    First I would write to the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, with a copy going to Superintendent Brand of the Co-operation unit, to ask if it is now standard Police practice to intimate formal complaints or comments through a third party such as Eufa or even the newspapers or BBC? If that is not the way that Strathclyde Police are meant to professionally carry out their duties– and I can assure you it is not— then I would ask for a written assurance that this will not happen in the future and that his colleagues will desist in expanding on any matter in public or through inappropriate means. If there is a complaint against Celtic it should be intimated to the club and any governing body and then left at that. No publicity or idle speculation until the complaint has been investigated, answered and dealt with. That is the pratice that should be followed.

     

     

    Second I woud issue a similar letter to the SPL as I see they have spokesperson pronouncing on matters publicly even before any complaint has been sent to Celtic for them to answer. That is hardly the behaviour of a professional body and seems to suggest that the SPL executives at least are not fit for purpose.

     

     

    Thirdly I am bemused at the statements of Paul McBride QC. The media, and I include the BBC just so there is no doubt, are regularly capable of manipulating the news away from actual news into what they want to be the news. For example, the news this morning on the radio was not that a letter had been sent to Eufa, but that here is what McBride suggests Celtic should do– and that suggestion or advice was that Celtic should take action against the Green Brigade by way of sanctions.

     

     

    Now no sanctions were specified, no suggestions made, no positive proposals put forward– just a call for sanctions.

     

     

    There are two possibilities here. The first is that McBride was simply asked to come on the show and pontificate, the second was that McBride cleared what he had to say with the Celtic Board or indeed was asked to speak by that board. Either way what comes across is that his words are most unproffesional and highly ineffective and damaging to his own reputation.

     

     

    What lawyer in their right mind pronounces publicly upon the affairs or the business of his/her client? None worth employing that is for damn sure because you would never know when they were next going to go public with their advice on this or that. Whether he was sent by the board or not, there is only one way to make sure that the proper course of action is followed in response to the complaint and that is to say nothing more than ” When we see the complaint, digest what is says, we will answer it to the best of our ability. Until that time it is not a matter for playing out in the public media as there are formalities and procedures to follow.”

     

     

    If the learned QC went on air without reference to his former clients– or maybe his current clients for all I know– then he should be given the Spanish Archer because you just cannot do that. Who would pay for advice that is given to the press first or released through the press? No One! The advice and discussions between Lawyer and client are confidential and should be kept so. Sometimes the media just have to be told nothing. Even if mcBride was asked to say anything in public by Celtic I am amazed that he suggested taking any action in relation to a complaint that has not been intimated properly let alone determined.

     

     

    Besides, with no offence just who the hell is he to say that Celtic should hit the green brigade with sanctions? He is a lawyer– paid to give advice on the law not an expert on crowd control, public policy, the weather or what will win the 2:35 at Plumpton. He should stick to his job and his area of expertise.

     

     

    Yet there is the problem. The BBC call up and ask for a comment on what is going on and then succeed in making what McBride says the news itself. Surely both he and the Celtic board if they are involved, have to be a bit too clever for that. Even if the board want to do something about the Green Brigade that is not how it is done. You would invite them in privately once you have the complaint and have a word in the ear. Listen guys there is a problem– we can defend it, answer it and so on but just be careful and engage the brain a wee bit because we are under the spotlight– and an unfair spotlight it is. You bring folk together, work out a plan and so on– you don’t just belt out some meaningless nonsense via the national broadcaster. You say you will look at the complaint and will answer it. End of story. Be clever and communicate only through the proper channels.

     

     

    Last year when all the ref stuff was going on the board said nothing. They kept their powder dry and were very professional and focused re the whole thing. That is the way it should be with this. Professional in every respect with no pandering to or by fools who want to set their own agenda.

     

     

    If you answer these complaints properly and professionally, tell the media to get lost, bring the police and the SPL to task for shoddy procedure, you will then set an agenda and send out a marker– we are professional in dealing with our business. We don’t comment and don’t play the news manipulation game and then tackle the real issue by asking for details of any specific complaint and so on.

     

     

     

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  22. James Forrest @ 1:27 very eloquent put post my friend. The stand out point in that post is that this has snowballed since sneaky Ally whispered whatever he whispered into Neil’s ear that night. That deflected attention away from the fact that longshanks had sent his team out to assault and maim his opponents. I have yet to read any condemnation of Smith’s tactics that night.

     

     

    Compare and contrast that to the reaction in Spain and worldwide to Mourinho’s Real Madrid and their current feud with Guardiola’s Barcelona. Now the behaviour at that match was just as bad, if not worse, than at the so-called shame game, yet there has been no call to outlaw Catalan expressions of independence or rebellion.

     

     

    You are right James that the Celtic family is currently split, not in two, but in many differing camps, even the songs debate, tiresome that it is, has many differing viewpoints.

     

     

    We need some leadership from the club, not from Paul67 or the CST or Joe O’Rourke at the CSA, or from self appointed experts such as Paul McBride, a man who has changed sides more often than Pat Nevin.

     

     

    At times such as these we need a statesman like figure such as Sir Robert Kelly, or Jock Stein, or even Martin O’Neill to step forward. I hope the club are keeping their powder dry here, ready to fight our corner, and it may even be that the UEFA charge and the SPL charge will end up showing that what some of our fans sing may be unpalatable to others, but not illegal in what we are constantly reminded is a free country. I shan’t hold my breath though.

  23. THE EXILED TIM says:

     

     

    The time for Celtic to have resigned from the league was in the aftermath of Dougie Gate and at the height of the Neil Lennon affair.

  24. RogueLeader says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:04

     

    Disgraceful backpage from the Evening Times

     

     

    Celtic sell newspapers

  25. The ironic thing about all this is that Celtic Park must be one of the most civilised and trouble stadium there is.

     

    Usually any little disturbance is in the away section . Or otherwise over zealous vindictive policing of the GB.

  26. ernie lynch says:

     

     

    15 November, 2011 at 13:53

     

     

    Is it possible that Smith is simply being vindictave because the Green Brigade, having been a thorn in the flesh of plod, have at the same time reinvigorated the Celtic support to the extent that even the media have had to remark on it?

     

     

    The GB have made fools of plod, and plod don’t like it.

     

    ______________________________________________________________________________

     

    That is certainly the reaction of plod, but the sinister political campaign to invent new terms such as political sectarianism and then have Nevin, the BBC, McBride, Smith etc to float it is very worrying.

     

     

    Talk of legal address is also wide of the mark be it under the old or existing legislation it is a very costly and time consuming business and few have the pockets deep enough to take it all the way whereas plod/pf have the tax money to play with.

     

     

    Boycott away and fill Celtic Park for home games seems to me to be the only weapon we have.

     

     

    In the meantime we the fans should have a meeting to decide what is or is not acceptable to the majority of us vis a vis singing. If this meeting was sponsored by representative groups and leading lights such as Paul67 then I am sure the fan base would accept the consensus and thereafter anyone stepping outside the boundaries would be on their own.

     

     

    Yes they would still go after us for having the tricolour while ignoring the bile from the other side but I can’t see any other way but the fans taking matters into their own hands.

  27. RL- that is not on at all.

     

    JF – having just seen the ET headline it is even clearer that our reinvigorated enemies are at the gate.

     

    You talk about a united Celtic front or the lack of it.

     

    I do not agree with “those songs” being sung at Celtic games but I am prepared to make an exception and start to belt them out if this despicable badger baiting continues, and it will.

  28. Imatim

     

     

    It all depends how we see things, I see far too many paralels with NI, and yes they fought but at what cost to them, not saying in the slightest they shouldn’t have fought, of course the should have.

     

     

    Times are a changing and for the worse imo, money talks louder today than it ever has, and I do not believe that we will be allowed to dominate the football scene, if we were, there deffo would be no more huns, and that will not be allowed to happen.

     

     

    Celtic are potentially the biggest club in the world, we should use this to our advantage, we are so ununtied it’s scarry, unite and overcome, but as we are we are as good as dead if we stay in scotland where we are most definatly not wanted.

     

     

    Welcome to Scotland unless you are Catholic or of Irish decent, or Celtic FC.

     

     

    Internment is just around the corner, open your eyes people, please open your eyes.

  29. The Honest Cover-up on

    Ernie lynch

     

     

    No I wouldn’t criminalise a 16 year old singing such a song.

     

    I certainly wouldn’t condone his behaviour as part of some pseudo intellectual justification of singing songs that he wouldn’t understand though.

     

    What do you understand “up the RA” actually mean?

     

    Do you think it’s acceptable to sing it in a football stadium in 2011?

  30. Bryce Curdy says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:03

     

     

    I have always stated my opposition to IRA chants.

     

     

    My main point though and the one that you and hundreds of others have missed these last 15 years is that any improvement on our overall behaviour does not matter ?

     

     

    “This was the showpiece final everyone wanted to see, and it was a great advert for Scottish football. Both teams were passionate, committed and it was end to end stuff from kick off to the final whistle. The players, management and fans contributed to a memorable occasion, and I urge that their positive example inside the ground is replicated outside it over the course of the evening and beyond.”

     

     

    Ask yourself this question Bryce do you think it is fair that Celtic will get punished more for some neds SUPPOSEDLY singing ooh ah up the rah via the conduit Kenny Scott than Rangers received for the Manchester riots not forgetting that Kenny Scott excused the Manchester riots by stating that it was not Rangers fans that done it ?

     

     

    Hail Hail

  31. James Forrest is Lennon on

    oglach:

     

     

    Let us take a look at some of the arguments surrounding the various songs.

     

     

    The Boys of the Old Bridage references a struggle which was recently commemorating by someone no less “official” than Her Majesty the Queen. Now, under normal circumstances I would expect all True Blue Bears to set aside their animus towards the song based on that factor alone, but they are already cheesed off at her for wanting her taxes paid back in full, so I would suspect the picture of her on the dressing room wall might not be there much longer.

     

     

    The struggle in question, of course, was against British imperialist rule. Which was ongoing at the time in India too. Does this move to criminalise songs about that era also mean we couldn’t sing songs about Gandhi? Or would Pakistani celtic supporters be offended? And if so, should that mean such songs were to be banned, branded criminal and subject to the chest beating we get on here a lot of the time?

     

     

    The song, in tone, does not celebrate either 1) the murder of innocents or 2) dance of the graves of enemy combatents. Quite the opposite. It is about being “proud and glad of the land where I was born.” Sentiments not dissimilar to those of another anti-British anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, itself about a violent revolution against British rule, but a song, as far as I am aware, has never “offended” anyone in this fair land.

     

     

    It is little different, lyrically, to God Save the Queen, with its notorious “rebellious Scot’s to crush” lines, or The Flower of Scotland, itself about a violent, political and military insurrection against the self same forces of the crown. If it is to be criminalised then the law which does so could easily be exercised by Englishmen attending a game at Hampden or like-minded bitter, angry Scots hearing the Rangers fans belting out the national anthem of Great Britain. Furthermore, as Paul has said, and as I’ve been arguing for some time, take a good look at the lyrics to La Marseille, in particular the chours, which reads:

     

     

    “To arms citizens Form your battalions

     

    March, march

     

    Let impure blood

     

    Water our furrows.”

     

     

    Impure blood? That’s what the Rangers fans were censured for singing about, wasn’t it? French fans attending Murrayfield, be warned ….

     

     

    Let’s look next at the Roll of Honour, another song which causes much angst amongst some of our fans and those outside the club. A song about “terrorists”, a song about men who died whilst serving time for engaging in subsersive activity.

     

     

    How about these for subsersive lines?

     

     

    “Visited the causes at the AMC

     

    Only one man in a large army

     

    Are you so blind that you cannot see?

     

    Are you so deaf that you cannot hear his plea?”

     

     

    Those lines are about a convicted terrorist, languishing in a prison cell, an enemy of the state, a subversive song which demands his release although his national government viewed he and his organisation’s violent insurrection as a serious threat. What’s the song? Who’s it about?

     

     

    It’s called Free Nelson Mandela. It is no different in tone, or lyrically, or politically, to The Roll of Honour, except that many in this country viewed his actions as wholly justified and many in this country view the actions of Bobby Sands, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch and the rest as wholly … not.

     

     

    The song Aiden McAnespie is not about a terrorist, but about the murder, by shooting, of an innocent man. It might have no place at a football match, but then if we’re going to ban it then we can’t have the fans singing Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2 either – which is about the murders, by shooting, of 13 innocent men. Such a ban would also cover the well known Republican anthem of the same name.

     

     

    For me, the arguments do not stack up. There is no right in this country which protects someone from being offended. If our fans were singing songs mocking the deaths of civilians, songs which “commemorated” atrocitiies or glorfied war for its own sake I would be among the voices raised in protest against them. This talk of taking politics out of football is sheer nonsense, it will never happen and nor should it. As long as the football federations want to hammer the poppies onto strips and armbands, as long as they want to commemorate one group of soldiers whilst the outlaw others these actions stink of hypocrisy.

     

     

    And for those who complain that this is different, because singing songs about the IRA honours those who have murdered civilians, well … I’ll put away my gun when you put down yours, alright? If you really want to make that case, talk to the people at Ibrox. Tell them to keep the British Army off the pitch. They have a long and “distinguished” history of killing civilians, some of them in the same self conflict as those the Green Brigade sing about, as demonstrated above.

     

     

    This is an anti-Irish crusade dedicated to dividing the Celtic support. There is no case to answer here.

  32. The push by the police for prosecutions reminds me of the old charge here in the 6 counties:

     

     

    ‘In possession of material likely to be of use to terrorists’

     

     

    In effect, you could have been charged with being in possession of cornflakes, as breakfast cereal could indeed have been of use to ‘terrorists’.

     

     

    We are indeed going backwards.

     

     

    Árd Macha

  33. The paranoid jabberings and hypocrisy on here. This is NOT about whether these cretins singing about the “RA” are doing anything illegal, its about whats acceptable at a football ground. What exactly will be lost by shutting them up or kicking them out of Celtic Park? Nothing, nowt, zip, zero, NADA (please inform me if I’m wrong about that). What could be lost by stupidly being seduced into thinking this is a cause? The moral high ground over the orcs for a start, international reputation, money, political goodwill (OK long shot). Like I said yesterday, you got something to say, organise a march somewhere but stop damaging our club. Enough is enough.

     

     

    Swiss

     

     

    wherewerewenowawe_nawCSC

  34. Sir Paul

     

     

    Hiya, Mr.Celebrity?

     

     

    My, My, Ye are getting up there,kiddo…

     

     

    Ah am proud o’ ye!

     

     

    Ye wull go Faur!

     

     

    Enuff of the Scnoomzin……

     

     

     

     

    Yep..that is the Sixty Four Dollah Queestion..Awe RIght…that the Beeb wiz asking,

     

    awe rignt.

     

     

    “When Ye go oot into the Highways and the Byeways,o’ the WORLD.. in yer Sheepskin and

     

    Liberty Boadice.. and yer trusty… Lantern..

     

     

    Looking fur a Celtic Supporter… who.. WANTS…. THE “SINGING OF ILLICIT SONGS TAE CONTINUE at Celtic Games…and…

     

     

    You wull hiv as much Success in Finding THAT Single… Elusive Celtic Supporter… who Actually..

     

    Wants . the Singing of Illicit Songs tae Continue at Celtic Games..

     

    as Auld Diogenes Hid in Looking fur an.. “Honest Man”

     

     

    Strange, is it NOT? that Ye canny find whit ye are Seeking?

     

     

    Na..

     

     

    It is no say strange..

     

     

    Fur.. Like Diogenes Found oot..

     

     

     

    People.. Tell.. Porkies..

     

     

    Especially, when they are asked A Leading Question..

     

     

    EVEN TAE THEMSELS!!!

     

     

    Right?

     

     

    Kojo

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