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. james forrest – so mcbride had credibility ????



    i’ll join the campaign to stop political singing at celtic park if political oppportunists promise never to show their smug


    faces at celtic prk again



    wonder what this chancer will say to his 10 year old wean if he asks him why folk are wearing poppies

  2. Surely McBride would have been well at home with the non reactionary Glasgow Labour Councillors, who led the City Council for years, who done nothing about a sectarian employment policy, played out in full public view, just a few miles from the City Chambers por cierto.

  3. James Forrest is Lennon on

    One sentence in there destroys your argument entirely.



    “Fairly or otherwise.”



    You would tolerate anything, any assault on our club, no matter how defined, no matter how motivated, in the name of “protecting us” from unappeasable enemies.



    Your “pragmatism” would have us on our knees, at their mercy.



    We are being urinated on, and you would indulge in self-flagelation and beg those doing it to give you a raincoat.



    We are under attack by unscrupulous foes who will stop and nothing. Surrender to them all you want. But stop blaming our own fans for this, because you’re doing the Devil’s work for him as long as you do.

  4. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on

    Keep in mind the PR machine at work in Govan. They seek to undermine us.. Divide us by foul means.. They ve been so desperate for this singing situation.. To the extent I could believe it s made up or set up.. Who are the alleged singers? Just because they say they are Celtic fans ….etc.. Show me the evidence!!!!



    Granted chants could be heard on the crazy night at Tynecastle when Neil was ” not” proven to be attacked but this whole thing stinks of a blue driven desperate conspiracy to deflect from problems in Govan..







  5. bryce curdy – reality check – when rangers are on their knees – celtics name would have been blackened in any way possible – the greeen brigade was just a soft target –


    THE EXILED TIM says:



    15 November, 2011 at 13:20



    Thanks for the reply Paul.



    I know our enemys would be delighted if we resign from the league, but are we willing to be treated as scum for the rest of our lifes ?



    This is not about the sfa and the referees, or even the media any more, the establishment has spoken and we are the ememy within.



    They will not allow us to dominate the football scene, they will bring us down to the hun level if we stay, that is as good as dying imo.





    I personally think this is a reasoned response. BUT it means that the bustards-ugly carrion,btw,wi beady eyes and beaky noses-have won.



    I’m all for coming out fighting,with not one backward step,but I genuinely think we are outnumbered and facing inevitable defeat.



    We either go down fighting,or live to fight again.



    Not sure I can stomach the embarrassment involved in the second option,and don’t fancy the first.



    Quandary time,bud.

  7. tommytwiststommyturns says:


    15 November, 2011 at 10:07


    MWD – to follow up on your earlier post, it would be interesting to know what UEFA delegates attended the Rennes game. A poster on here yesterday mentioned Kenny Scott, former security chief at Mordor who now acts as a security adviser to UEFA. Although, I’m sure he would be completely impartial in all aspects of his job….



    The fact that complaints have been raised after two home games is quite interesting, considering some of the away support’s repertoire this season, particularly the retro 80′s songbook! The reasons for this “backlash” have been discussed on here before, so I won’t go over old ground.



    It’s almost as if someone is determined to attack the home support, or more specifically a section of the home support.


    Removal of the GB from Celtic Park will also remove the matchday atmosphere….and thousands of season card holders like myself if our esteemed board just let it happen!











    I’m with you. If the club bend over and help remove the GB ill be taking up those snowboarding lessons rather than season books.




  8. How many politicians, councillors, Labour, SNP Tory Greens Liberals anybody, have raised their head above the pulpit since we were reported to UEFA por cierto.

  9. ANNAOAN – I’ve cut and pasted the following from 12.54. Apologies if you feel I’ve misunderstood you.






    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.




  10. Ooh Ah pay your Tax……Ooh Ah Pay your Tax



    Ooh Ah pay your Tax……Ooh Ah Pay your Tax



    Ooh Ah pay your Tax……Ooh Ah Pay your Tax



    Ooh Ah pay your Tax……Ooh Ah Pay your Tax

  11. Bryce



    apologies accepted.



    I thought we had a degree of singing as far as Celtic fans were concerned. Sectarian, offensive, political and illicit



    I was being specific you weren´t.



    Which I have noticed over the occasional times that you post seems to be a trait.



    I.e vagueness



    Also I rarely see you post positively on us.



    Hail Hail

  12. Por Cierto says:


    15 November, 2011 at 14:56


    ‘Surely McBride would have been well at home with the non reactionary Glasgow Labour Councillors, who led the City Council for years, who done nothing about a sectarian employment policy, played out in full public view, just a few miles from the City Chambers por cierto.’




    I think we’ve been over this point before.



    Glasgow City Council did not have the power to deal with the huns sectarian employment policy. A policy of course that was once widespread throughout Scotland. People from a solid Scottish Presbyterian background were preferred to Irish Catholic incomers and their descendants.



    The Cooncil can be accused of many things. A pro hun bias isn’t one of them.

  13. BobbyM



    Aye, stick or twist, not a good choice to have.



    People better placed than us will decide, I don’t mean the club, they have made their intentions clear.



    This is up to the supporters, united we stand, divided we fall.



    Ooh Ah pay your Tax……Ooh Ah Pay your Tax

  14. Been out of the loop for a few days in a corner of a foreign field that is forever foreign, any good news about the ole Celts?



    Oh, well.



    Bryce Curdy -good to see you postin’ again. I hope you’re lookin’ after your junior staff ;/)

  15. p>LEADING QC Paul McBride today urged Celtic to take sanctions against members of its ‘Green Brigade’ section of fans who continue to sing songs glorifying the IRA.


    McBride, who advised the club’s manager Neil Lennon during some of his troubles last season, was reacting to news that Uefa will hear a charge on December 8 over alleged “illicit chanting” by supporters during a Europa League tie against Rennes earlier this month.



    That has now been followed up by confirmation of an SPL probe into similar chanting – again reported by Parkhead police match commander Eddie Smith – during a league game against Hibs on October 29 which was marred by trouble inside the stadium after the final whistle, believed to involve members of the ‘Green Brigade’, which led to two arrests.



    “The particular organisation who tend to be involved singing this are called the Green Brigade,” said McBride, a high profile Celtic supporter.



    “Education has not worked and now it is time for sanctions. To be fair to Celtic, they do have, generally, a very good reputation with their fans in Europe.



    “But we can’t ignore the fact that, for a number of years, there have been a small section of the Parkhead crowd who sing songs about the IRA and the provisional IRA and they dress it up by saying that it’s political and not religious and it’s not sectarian. But it misses the point entirely. It is offensive.



    “What do you say to a 10-year-old child who asks his father why people are singing about killers at a football game?”



    While McBride pointed out that the case against Celtic on this occasion had yet to be proven, he expected that it would result in tougher action from chief executive Peter Lawwell.



    “Celtic, on the face of it, may have a case to answer and it may well be that, as it is the first time it has been drawn to Uefa’s attention, they will be simply given a warning,” he said.



    “But it’s a warning shot to Celtic that they will have to deal with it as an issue.



    “To be fair to Peter Lawwell, he has been doing that for the last couple of seasons.



    “He has been discussing it with their so-called leaders (the Green Brigade), I am not sure their leaders are actually in control of all of them, but he has been discussing it with them.



    “He has been making it clear publicly and privately, he doesn’t want this kind of activity and, in a crowd at Celtic Park of say 58,000, we are talking about no more than 500 people.



    “So it can be done and I think, Peter, he won’t be embarrassed, he will be angry that the club’s otherwise excellent reputation is being diminished by this kind of activity and I think we’ll see fairly firm action over the next few weeks from the Celtic board.”

  16. James Forrest is Lennon on

    To quote the reactionary Paul McBride:



    “What do you say to a 10-year-old child who asks his father why people are singing about killers at a football game?”



    I would suggest that if he’s 10 years old, knows who the IRA are, knows they are “killers” and has an issue with songs being sung which mention them that he’s already indoctrinated and close-minded, but that’s what happens when daddy is so far to the right that he quits the Scottish Tories because they are not hard enough on freedom of speech. I would suggest that even at 10 he’s a lost cause.



    One of the stupidest, most blatantly slanted, biased, hyperbolic, loaded questions I have read in quite a number of years.



    He might as well ask why killers are being honoured on the pitch at Ibrox, why we have a former Prime Minister strutting the globe as a peace envoy despite starting a war, why we live in a country …. oh you get the drift, and I’m fed up with it.

  17. James – so I ‘would tolerate anything’. What utter rubbish. When have I said such a thing? I have suggested that our collective support, in the overall interests of the club, might consider a very small, limited and specific concession



    Any you would defend anything, even if the inevitable consequence of your ideals was a complete trashing of our club’s reputation in the eyes of the world. Not just stupid but selfish too. i can’t thank you enough.



    ANNAOAN – I don’t see pragmatism is a dirty word and am intrigued that you do.



    swede7 – I know it’s not about singing. It’s about picking your fights.

  18. Bryce Curdy



    Couple of really great points you make. Of course ‘we’ (they and them are equally appropriate, because I no longer know which side I’m supposed to be on) cannot win this argument… isn’t that one of the oldest sayings in the book; never argue with dogs and children… or was that fools… Anyway Mark Twain definitely said, ‘never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference’.



    Personally I think it’s high time I took that advice myself. At any rate, there is another famous Einstein quote about doing the same thing over and over again.



    Swiss Tony



    Good stuff. And extra points for spelling UEFA correctly. It’s hard to take a post seriously when it’s given as EFAUaUEAE or a any number of variants.

  19. The Honest Cover-up on

    Ernie lynch.


    Good for you. Paul says the media are looking for a Celtic fan to put themselves forward and defend the chant. Maybe you could step forward and tell the world, your family, friends, work colleagues and boss on camera that you think it’s great to sing “up the RA” at a stadium in 2011. Everyone could judge you as being the great guy that you are.


    Maybe you could take some lecture notes down to Manchester with you and use them to argue with relatives of the innocent victims of the bombing there who dare to take offence at your childish, embarrassing behaviour.


    You sound like a top bloke.


    Somehow I think you’ll continue to hide behind your keyboard though.

  20. I’ll say one thing about Craig Whyte he wasn’t kidding when he said a few weeks ago Rangers were not going to be held solely responsible for Scotland’s sectarian problems, ( words to that effect )



    Do you think he knew something?

  21. ANNAOAN – the posts are starting to cross.



    Don’t get the vague allegation, and surprised also about the negative one. Probably more likely to post when things are troubling me.

  22. James Forrest @ 13.41



    Exactly what I was saying last night. This is a bad law that will prove unenforceable



    How can anyone be convicted for singing a political song about an organization whose deeds have only recently been commemorated by Britains head of state. The laying of that wrath will come back to haunt them. This law is so flawed it will eventually cost millions in wrongful arrest lawsuits in the European courts. It will though take it’s toll as it will all take time and someone somewhere will have the stress and ignomy of being dragged through a number of court appearances



    The Celtic, Catholic and Irish are in for a long fight for the next few years




  23. James Forrest is Lennon on

    Bryce Curdy:



    Our reputation will NEVER be destroyed in the eyes of the world, no matter WHAT spineless, yellow bigoted little men in Scotland might do.



    The world knows us, and has honoured us. The world not only accepts us for what we are, but respects us for it.



    The only people in who’s eyes our reputation is “sullied” are the people in this country who already detest us, or self-flagelating elements like yourself, who don’t get that we’re all grown up and politically self aware.



    Let me repeat; our fans have done NOTHING WRONG. We have broken no laws, violated no ethics. We have “offended” people. But those people are offended by the mere fact that we exist, and singing some songs or not will not make their view of us better, it will only inspire their contempt and make us seem weak in their eyes, which will prompt the next round of attacks, which people like you will again find a reason to tolerate and accept.

  24. ANNAOAN – more crossed posts. I do actually believe that and James will be shocked to learn I do also believe in freedom of speech. But unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world and it’s often about making the best of things in the circumstances.

  25. The Ghood will prevail on

    James Forrest,


    Let’s say we have a Euro tie against a Manchester side – you know, the city the provos blew up.


    Would you be comfortable with IRA songs being sung? If not, why not? And don’t Scottish people too get to find them reprehensible?


    It’s time for these chanters to grow up and stop embarassing my club. You DON’T get to chant what you like following Celtic – you are representing the club and they have stated clearly not to make reference to the IRA.


    As I keep saying on here, the huns, more than anyone, DO NOT want us to stop these chants, because it allows them to point the finger, and saves them from being marooned on their island of bile and hatred.


    The war is over. Let’s give it a rest

  26. !!Bada Bing!! says:


    15 November, 2011 at 15:27


    bourne-Kindly refrain from posting football related items on this blog,thank you.;)









  27. The Honest Cover-up says:


    15 November, 2011 at 15:19



    Funny you should mention Manchester.



    Have you heard of the Manchester Martyrs?



    A group of Irishmen hanged for the murder of a British policeman.



    They were commemorated in a song written by TD Sullivan.



    Brother Walfrid invited TD Sullivan to sing the song at Celtic Park.



    How would you have explained that to the widow and orphaned children of Police Sergeant Charles Brett?

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