Quantcast

Celtic heading for slow train-wreck

1282

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.

Click Here for Comments >
Share.

About Author

1,282 Comments
  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 29

  1. To the floor

     

     

    Ask yourselves this question do you think it is fair that if Celtic get punished for some neds SUPPOSEDLY AND YET TO BE PROVEN singing ooh ah up the rah via the conduit KENNY SCOTT more 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

  2. It sounds as if a Scottish version of the N.I. Special Powers Act is being trialed. Don’t forget, as a previous poster pointed out via a Guardian article from 10 years ago, that contemptable excuse for a human being, Tony Blair, laid down a template in the Terrorism Act. What is a terrorist? Whatever they want it to be. Now I’m no great believer in the Human Rights Act, as it stands, since it gives judges scope to make their own interpretations into law, or at least precedent. It does however, still stand as some sort of protection against “laws” such as the proposed Scottish one. The lawyers can see amountain of cash waiting for them, hence Mr McBride’s stance. The reaction last year to Dallas and Dougie (a comedy act to outdo all comedy acts) being squashed is becoming more clear. The refs are absolutely one-sided. Celtic can deal with this by asking for English, Welsh, or Continental refs, and doing it formally. BRTH is right when he says it should be done with dignity–but that again looks like we are taking it on the chin, a la Mowbray. There is no dignity whatever on their side, and my contempt is for Smith, Nevin, Keevins, and all the rest of the souptakers.

     

    I’ll wear no convict’s uniform

     

    Nor meekly serve my time

     

    That Britain might brand Ireland’s fight

     

    800 years of crime.

     

    Stand up to them, but do it sleekit.

     

    Change one or two words of the songs.

     

    Challenge them in courts, papers, TV or wherever.

     

    From now on they are Orcs to me, not huns.

  3. Maybe we should perfect a Celtic version of the “haka”. I think the All Blacks are allowed to do this -war dance? or challenge.

  4. Sandman Is Neil Lennon on

    BontyBhoy says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:04

     

     

    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.

     

     

    =======================================================================

     

     

    The average native is the problem with this country. The bitternes sof our society is the problem, not my view.

     

     

    While you’re drawing up plans to link arms with Huns and form a human peace chain around Ibrox sing songs of harmonious unity and love, some of us have noticed they’ve taken the gloves well and truly off.

     

     

    Only, their fists are now cast in hollow ceramic and their jaw is of glass.

     

     

    We hold the real power, the financial clout Murray’s bloated arrogance ground us underfoot with in the late 80s and early 90s.

     

     

    We now have the iron jaw and fists of steel.

     

     

    We need someone to wield them.

     

     

    Do you think Fregus McCann would have taken current events lying down, in some misguided spirit of compromise?

     

     

    Get real. Wake up.

     

     

    They don’t know compromise. They don’t know live and let live.

     

    They take any olive branch as a sign of weakness, any forward step as a threat to their delusional superiority.

     

     

    They’re going down, trying to drag Celtic with them. Now is the time to sever the financial lifelines. Not to sit meek and wring your hands.

     

     

    Now is the time for Peter Lawwell to come out and earn his corn. Defend the support. Take the limelight, repel the animosity, show them who has the power and how much their insolence will be tolerated.

     

     

    Otherwise we take your approach and sit quietly in the corner while the Huns bounce around like rabid dugs sinking their teeth into whatever part of Celtic culture they can.

  5. The Honest Cover-up says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:14

     

     

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

     

     

    It’s part of a lyric of a song. It’s always chanted/sung as part of that song, never on it’s own.

     

     

    To me it reminds me that not so long ago it was commonplace in parts of Glasgow to see graffiti in support of the IRA.

     

     

     

    ####

     

     

     

     

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

     

     

    Of course it is. It’s nonsense to suggest otherwise.

  6. Statement from the ACSC

     

     

    It would appear that we are now under full scale attack from the Scottish Government, the Judiciary, and the Police, not forgetting the SPL and UEFA.

     

    It seem to me that the interference of Match Commander Eddie Smith is particularly sinister; it’s been said that reporting to UEFA direct is common practice; if that’s the case then show us the statistics; how many times has it happened in the past? And which team; or teams were involved?

     

    I would suggest that this is the next step by Alex Salmond in his campaign to impose on us the completely unnecessary new legislation regarding behaviour at football matches; and it would appear he is being abetted by the Lord Advocate Frank Mullholland and the Police.

     

    How else would they explain the case of a 17 year old Celtic supporter getting his door kicked in at 6am on Friday morning by a van load of Strathclyde’s Finest? His heinous crime singing “Ooh ah up the RA”

     

    My information is that the bhoy appeared in court yesterday afternoon; the judge was imposing the usual banning order (which in itself is a punishment before trial); but the Prosecuting Fiscal opposed that and asked that he be remanded in custody.

     

    A 17 year old remanded for singing when some of the most hardened and deviant criminals in Scotland are getting out on bail; it would seem to be completely disproportionate.

     

    I firmly believe there is far too much political interference in the policing strategy for football matches; that would appear to be the case in the Prosecuting Fiscal’s Office as well; is this brave new Scotland being twinned with China; or North Korea?

     

    Are we not the same support; singing the same songs; that won both the UEFA and FIFA Fair Play Awards in 2003; just what exactly has changed?

     

    I would be happy to have a debate with the Club and the other Celtic supporters groups on the issue of singing; but I’m not prepared to stand back and watch a generation of young Celtic fans be criminalised for supporting their team.

     

    The Celtic fans will have to stand up and oppose these unprecedented attacks on our supporters; trying to bully us into submission will not work; that has been tried for over one hundred and twenty years; it failed then; and it will fail now.

     

    There will be a few ways of helping which I will inform you of later in the week. The most important thing now is to try and get this young bhoy out of a prison cell; and back home where he belongs.

  7. Graham Spiers Commentary

     

    Last updated March 22 2011 12:01AM

     

     

    Another week, another excruciating example of the problem Rangers have with a large section of their support. Walter Smith’s team, going into Sunday’s Co-operative Insurance Cup final as underdogs, won quite a few admirers for their gritty 2-1 win over Celtic.

     

     

    Alas, no one who was at Hampden Park as a neutral, and who had any understanding of the type of songs that were being sung, could have found anything remotely appealing in the antics of the Rangers support.

     

     

    For fully 120 minutes the Ibrox legions belted out stuff about the Pope, Fenians, and some of their other favoured subjects.

     

     

    Quite a few of us have become used to “the Rangers problem” over the years but Sunday at Hampden was still quite an eye-opener. It was the consistent, incessant nature of the bigoted chanting that was truly shocking.

     

     

    One of the problems we have in tackling bigotry in Scottish football is the sheer ignorance of the subject that we have to put up with. For instance, Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish Justice Secretary, clearly didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, to judge from the fatuous statement he released after attending the match at Hampden.

     

     

    After the prejudiced chants had boomed out, the following was MacAskill’s take on the whole spectacle. “This was the showpiece everyone wanted to see — it was a great advert for Scottish football,” he said. “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. Football is a force for good in society.”

     

     

    Given the nature of what was chanted inside Hampden, this was an utterly ludicrous statement. MacAskill, clearly, is totally unfamiliar with the sort of problems given an airing at Hampden if he thinks that the sort of chanting which the Rangers fans kept up apace represented “fans contributing to a memorable occasion.” This is risible.

     

     

    I didn’t expect a Rangers statement yesterday on the shocking tone of their supporters’ singing, and nor was one forthcoming. Rangers’ preferred position on their problem is this: let’s just have a general media silence on the subject, and let’s keep any fuss to a minimum. From Rangers’ point of view, the fewer headlines there are about their problem, the less need there is of any requirement to act.

     

     

    But that is a tough scenario to hope for. The Ibrox club have already been censured by Uefa over bigotry, and more than that, a number of Rangers supporters’ songs have specifically been banned by European football’s governing body. So it is asking a lot for every newspaper to turn a blind eye (or deaf ear) towards songs which have repeatedly been outlawed.

     

     

    What is more galling for those who want to be rid of this poison is the seeming ignorance — such as was revealed by MacAskill — or inability in government or police circles to be able to fix it.

     

     

    Hampden on Sunday rang out to bigoted chanting from the Rangers end, yet the police statistics for “sectarian-related crimes” were paltry, never mind MacAskill’s absurd words about how wonderful it all was.

     

     

    This isn’t government action. On the contrary, this is inaction, and even incompetence. The truth is, we are getting nowhere today with the problem of sectarianism in football. In fact, we are regressing, Edinburgh summits or not, at an alarming rate.

     

     

    Rangers, in trying to fight their own specific problem, have lost ground. Indeed, if you were at Hampden on Sunday, with bigoted chant after chant ringing out, you would think that the club had gone back ten years in their quest to solve the problem. And for many others, meanwhile, it actually means very little.

     

     

    OK, so there is sectarian chanting, they say. So what? What does it matter? Just let it go, let’s just concentrate on the football.

     

     

    Rangers lack the guts to truly take on their own support on the issue, and the same applies for the Scottish FA.

     

     

    The docking of points really would force the bigots to stop their chanting, and the SFA has the power to do this, but it is too scared to.

     

     

    Meanwhile, too many other people won’t touch this problem with a bargepole, claiming the accompanying aggro that comes with such debate simply isn’t worth it.

     

     

    So Scotland just goes on living with its embarrassing bigotry problem. Ignorance, incompetence and cowardice ensure it.

  8. A related point. McBride QC on Shortbread last night also had a go at other fans for sectarian and offensive singing, particularly Hearts. However, he was also quite clear that he considers Hibs fans to be guilty of singing pro-IRA songs.

     

     

    I have to say that in my 30-ish years of watching Scottish football I have not been aware of any obvious ‘IRA songs’ from Hibs fans. Out of interest, is anyone else aware of this having been an issue at Easter Road?

  9. Swiss Tony says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:19

     

     

    Fields of Athenry – nothing to do with football acceptable, or unacceptable?

     

    Just Can’t Get Enough – nothing to do with football acceptable, or unacceptable?

     

    You’ll Never Walk Alone – nothing to do with football acceptable, or unacceptable?

     

     

    The point I’m making is this. If you’re going to ban a song, it has to be for a clearly definable reason, first;y so that people understand why and secondly so that a line is drawn.

     

     

    Personally I’m not Irish and I have no real affinity with the songs, so I don’t sing them. While I accept that some people might find ‘Up The Ra’ distasteful, until such time as it’s been made clear that it’s illegal and why, then I’m afraid that’s just tough.

  10. Newcastle are also tracking £10m-rated Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud, 25, who has scored eight goals in 12 games this season.

     

     

    We were not interested in him when he played for a Ligue 2 side?

  11. Cut and paste for those who cannot open the link;

     

     

    “We are now under attack form the Goverment, the Judiciary, and the Police”

     

    It would appear that we are now under full scale attack from the Scottish Government, the Judiciary, and the Police, not forgetting the SPL and UEFA.

     

    It seem to me that the interference of Match Commander Eddie Smith is particularly sinister; it’s been said that reporting to UEFA direct is common practice; if that’s the case then show us the statistics; how many times has it happened in the past? And which team; or teams were involved?

     

    I would suggest that this is the next step by Alex Salmond in his campaign to impose on us the completely unnecessary new legislation regarding behaviour at football matches; and it would appear he is being abetted by the Lord Advocate Frank Mullholland and the Police.

     

    How else would they explain the case of a 17 year old Celtic supporter getting his door kicked in at 6am on Friday morning by a van load of Strathclyde’s Finest? His heinous crime singing “Ooh ah up the RA”

     

    My information is that the bhoy appeared in court yesterday afternoon; the judge was imposing the usual banning order (which in itself is a punishment before trial); but the Prosecuting Fiscal opposed that and asked that he be remanded in custody.

     

    A 17 year old remanded for singing when some of the most hardened and deviant criminals in Scotland are getting out on bail; it would seem to be completely disproportionate.

     

    I firmly believe there is far too much political interference in the policing strategy for football matches; that would appear to be the case in the Prosecuting Fiscal’s Office as well; is this brave new Scotland being twinned with China; or North Korea?

     

    Are we not the same support; singing the same songs; that won both the UEFA and FIFA Fair Play Awards in 2003; just what exactly has changed?

     

    I would be happy to have a debate with the Club and the other Celtic supporters groups on the issue of singing; but I’m not prepared to stand back and watch a generation of young Celtic fans be criminalised for supporting their team.

     

    The Celtic fans will have to stand up and oppose these unprecedented attacks on our supporters; trying to bully us into submission will not work; that has been tried for over one hundred and twenty years; it failed then; and it will fail now.

     

    There will be a few ways of helping which I will inform you of later in the week. The most important thing now is to try and get this young bhoy out of a prison cell; and back home where he belongs.

  12. James Forrest is Lennon on

    JohnnyClash:

     

     

    Some of the characters in Irvine Welsh’s book “Trainspotting”, Hibs fans, sang them at a New Year party. Maybe he’s referencing that?

     

     

    Honestly, when someone leaves the TORY PARTY for not being reactionary enough, his credibility is shot.

  13. ANNAOAN – of course it’s not fair. Almost nobody on this site thinks it’s fair. But this is not about fairness; its about being smart enough to distinguish the battles you might win from those you never will.

     

     

    You and JF both suggested that if we concede the right to sing lyrics that reference the IRA, then it is the start of some slippery slope. I disagree. It is a natural and very clearly and unambiguosly drawn line that our entire support can rally behind.

  14. Sandman Is Neil Lennon says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:28

     

     

    Good post the reality well put however i fear PL has proved far to many times he is not the man we need

     

     

    A war time Consigliari is required, not a micro managing beancounter

  15. JohnnyClash says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:31

     

    ‘A related point. McBride QC on Shortbread last night also had a go at other fans for sectarian and offensive singing, particularly Hearts. However, he was also quite clear that he considers Hibs fans to be guilty of singing pro-IRA songs.’

     

     

    I heard him say that.

     

     

    It’s garbage.

     

     

    He made a fool of himself.

     

     

    A motor mouthed, narcassitic, intolerant, arrogant prat.

  16. mcbride is a grade A media whore,

     

    who knows very little about much of everyday life.

     

    his hand in the back page of the evening times tells all.

     

    he’s taking the side of furthering his own agenda and career.

     

    not sure if hes an uncle tom, i think hes just simply put…an a’hole.

     

     

    weeminger…spot on.

     

     

    this is now open war on the celtic support

     

    the fight is now on for our survival

     

    are we up for it?

  17. James Forrest is Lennon says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:34

     

     

    ‘Honestly, when someone leaves the TORY PARTY for not being reactionary enough, his credibility is shot.’

     

     

     

    I suspect he’ll end up in the SNP.

  18. James Forrest is Lennon on

    Bryce Curdy:

     

     

    Listen, my point has sod all to do with our “right” to sing IRA songs. It’s about our RIGHT TO SING period, full stop.

     

     

    It’s about a basic, democratic freedom. I don’t care whether you are offended by the songs or not. If you think we should have the state trying to impose ad-hoc law then you and I have very different views on what freedom is.

     

     

    The poppy debate this year was low-key, but I think one facet of it was worth going over. Those people died for freedom, for freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom to do the very things the SNP government, the police and the media want to stamp out.

     

     

    What we are seeing here is an assault on basic freedoms, targeted against one group of people, It should be opposed by every right thinking person, whether they agree with the songs or not. Reading people who suggest we should meekly obey … it is sickening.

  19. Sandman,

     

     

    Obviously I don’t really agree, however, I like the prose and appreciate that you’ve neither called me a hun or resorted to anything childish. Of course, why would you… that’s just my experience, so no offence.

     

    Still though, how do we reconcile your view with mine. We talk of the same thing – Scotland – yet we see it so differently. It’s worth saying I’d never paint Scotland as the perfect culture or country. It’s flaws are manifest, and in Glasgow and the West it’s easy to find some drunken loser who will behave in such a way as to support any prejudice you may hold (or I, for that matter). However, there are many more Scots/residents of Scotland who have little time for this discussion. They don’t recognise what you’re talking about. Many would say that the ignorance, bigotry or intolerance that so blights your view and experience is a direct consequence of poverty rather than any inherent cultural bias. Alcohol plays a greater role than education in this debate. That the East End of Glasgow is nothing short of a national disgrace is a much more worthwhile conversation than the marginal affects of genuine bigotry. I mean, we all travel to Celtic Park don’t we. From much nicer environs. I can think of many occasions when I see that level of degradation in my daily life.

     

    I grew up in a fantastic part of Scotland. Bigots in that part of the world were less interested in Celtic (i mean our diaspora) than they were in Eastern Europe or Asia, but of course they existed. Meanwhile the non-bigots, the non-interested formed the majority.

     

    At any rate, it’s my experience that few among us have the stomach for such conversations and debate. Most people want to watch the X-Factor in peace.

  20. Scottish Police reorganisation will mean voluntary redundancies, promotions and reapplications for a similar job in the new structure.

     

     

    ” We are looking for guys like you, Eddie. The only problem might be one of perception.

     

    You know sectarian and offensive stuff will be a big part of policing going forward.

     

     

    We will be needing people who can take the difficult decisions: take the unpopular decisions; demonstrate that they are above the tribalism. I don’t have to spell it out, Eddie.

     

     

    When we get around to selections you will need to be seen as being fully committed to our strategy going forward.

     

     

    By the way, you will be match commander for the next few Celtic games.”

     

     

     

    Okay, you know that I have made this up but that does not mean that it may not be the explanation for Eddie Smith’s new found and Celtic-focused zeal.

  21. weeminger says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:31

     

     

    Easy.

     

     

    Fields – A folk song and in no way politically motivated to wind up bigots

     

    Just can’t – about love of Celtic

     

    Walk – Song of support

     

     

    Up the RA is distasteful as you pointed out. Now I dont profess to know all the ins and outs of what UEFA deem to be illegal or punishable at this stage, but clearly its borderline. If Celtic get fined, will that draw the line for you?

     

     

    Swiss

  22. The Battered Bunnet on

    JohnnyClash

     

     

    My understanding is that Hibs supporters for many years have been stealing hubcaps to fund subversive groups like… like… like The Proclaimers.

  23. so daft = possibly politically motivated = ned

     

     

    whereas enthusing about ones penchant for a wee puff on a public forum is …………………

     

     

    didnt think you’d joined the celtic quaint news brigade

  24. Swiss Tony says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:42

     

     

    ‘Fields – A folk song and in no way politically motivated to wind up bigots’

     

     

     

    It’s no more a folk song than The Celtic Symphony. Not politically motivated? ‘against the famine and the crown ,I rebelled they cut me down’. It wound up McNee, so God knows what it does to the huns.

  25. correction;

     

     

    I can’t think of many occasions when I see that level of degradation in my daily life.

  26. Bryce Curdy says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:35

     

     

    You and JF both suggested that if we concede the right to sing lyrics that reference the IRA, then it is the start of some slippery slope. I disagree.

     

     

    Where did I suggest this ?

     

     

    I would be grateful if you would cut and past it for me with an indication of the time of my post ?

     

     

    Hail Hail

  27. ernie lynch says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:46

     

     

    :o) I’m not always serious you know.

     

     

    Swiss

  28. Swiss Tony says:

     

    15 November, 2011 at 14:42

     

     

    Yes it will because it will have been tested in front of a panel and the reasons for any disciplinary action will be clear. There will also be a clear reason for those singing it to be told to stop. It will no longer be a case of “we might get in trouble” but that we have actually been in trouble.

     

     

    It’s a lot like looking after a three yr old. They never stop and think “this might get me in trouble” they just do it until they’re told not to and why.

  29. Good day for this to slip under the radar, Means they will have to bo bust in December or HMRC will be getting their hands on all that transfer money… HH

     

     

    A tribunal dealing with an appeal by Rangers FC against a disputed tax bill and penalties totalling about £49m is set to continue into January.

     

     

    The First Tier Tribunal in Edinburgh was expected to conclude on Wednesday. It has now been listed to take place on 16, 17 and 18 January 2012.

     

     

    The disputed bill and penalties relates to Rangers’ use of Employee Benefit Trusts to pay employees.

     

     

    The club faces the prospect of administration if it loses this case.

     

     

    Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) claims that £35m is owed by Rangers in unpaid tax with a further £14m due in interest and penalties.

     

     

    HMRC has also had £2.8m of Rangers assets ring-fenced over a separate tax bill which the club is understood to be disputing.

     

     

    Former board members Donald McIntyre and Martin Bain have also taken Rangers to court to freeze a total of £780,000 of assets pending the outcome of their damages claims.

  30. James Forrest – no you listen.

     

     

    Shove your precious ideals and show a bit more pragmatism ffs. The club we both love’s reputation is in tatters today, fairly or otherwise. Ask yourself why. This outcome was the inevitable consequence of taking part in a battle we never had a hope in hell of winning.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 29