Dysfunctional Amsterdam


Three weeks ago there was little argument against the observation that Ajax had the worst European travelling support we have seen at Celtic Park – half a century of history.  Attacks on Celtic fans by a roaming gang on Tuesday night was not a surprise.  The banner, which Uefa are trying to ignore, but will surely be shamed into doing something about, was offensive and, in most jurisdictions, a criminal offense.

When the police collaborate it’s hard not to verge into the realms of branding a society “dysfunctional”.  Amsterdam is wealthy, affluent, liberal but intolerant, badly policed and violent.  The visit of Celtic fans passed with less incident (and arrest of visitors) than most visiting fans endured in recent seasons.

Visit Bruges instead.
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  1. Lubo's Magic Boots on

    My personal experience of Amsterdam is definitely a mixed one. I visited about 7 years ago. On my first night myself and my then girlfriend were attacked by a thug with a knife as we walked the short distance from the city centre to our hotel. During the attack he locals didn’t bat an eyelid as he first threatened me with his knife at my stomach, I managed to shake him and he went for my girlfriend, stealing her handbag and removing her purse. I went after him and he disappeared into the maze of small streets and canals. This type of incident I’m led to believe happens in a lot of major European cities. When I got back to my girlfriend she was obviously shaken and terrified. A few locals had tried to comfort her telling her it happens all the time and had alerted the police. We got taken to the local police station to make a statement. It was here that I was shocked by their behaviour. Firstly they blamed us for the attack, saying it was our fault for walking about late at night (it was about 11 o’clock), for not being armed ourselves and for “looking like we invited it.” Secondly after they took our statements they basically told us to get out. My girlfriend asked “Can we not get a lift back to our hotel?” to which they said, we’re not a taxi service, you can walk and you can’t get robbed again now anyway. She broke down in tears and I convinced the policeman that it might be a good idea to give us a lift, seeing as it was out first night in the city, we didn’t know where we were and we were victims of crime and that she didn’t feel safe walking through the streets. With a big sigh we got our lift home (which turned out to be about 3 miles)


    I know they were busy, but to me it seemed like they had a problem with tourists and they didn’t want to know because we weren’t Dutch. Apart from that incident I found the city and people wonderful, though we did explore less than we maybe would have done had we not been attacked

  2. In defence of Geordie Munro:



    It’s all Colin Farrel’s fault. It’s his line from the film In Bruges. Not the greatest film ever but worth a watch.

  3. If we want notice to be taken of this, then it us up to Celtic fans themselves to inundate the Dutch papers, Dutch politicians, the Amsterdam tourist Board, the Dutch embassy, The Dutch police complaints board (am sure they have one) and Ajax representatives with complaints as to the behaviour of their police. Probably won’t happen though – we;ve got Ross County at the weekend and we’ll all move on (apart from the poor sods stuck in a Dutch prison right now).

  4. Brogan Rogan Trevino 14:34



    Good luck with job and look forward to the read.



    Needed to point out the irony though of your reference to Anne Frank’s Diary and being an example of “whole truth…”. The diary has been proven to have been actually mostly written by her convicted fraudster dad Otto. Just a heads up..



    Also, got to agree with some on the need to self defend. No co-incidence that after years of travelling away with good record we get embroiled with these skirmishes due to bad policing and unprovoked intimidation. Clear to see that our police didn’t protect us like theirs joined in.

  5. Geordie Munro


    14:18 on


    8 November, 2013






    Think that’s gone over a few heads :)


    Great movie.

  6. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    14:50 on8 November, 2013



    I have lots of experience with Holland and the Dutch. I find many of them as small minded as most Island monkeys but without the Island so they have no excuses. I dont really differentiate generally between the English Dutch and Germans they are generically the same behaviour wise




  7. channelislandcelt wee oscar has done it before and he'll do it again on

    Lennons passion. What the charges mate ?

  8. Bad week, but I’m over it. The Ross County game can’t come quickly enough. The history books will show we lost 1 – 0 away to Ajax, no great shame in that. It’s not like our team’s deid or anything. A happy week-end to CQN’ers everywhere.

  9. Lubo, sounds like you were just unlucky – could’ve happened in any major European City (including Dublin, London, or Glasgow). Admittedly the police in Amsterdam are worse than useless – in their defence however they do have to deal with scumbag and idiot tourists 365 days a year who visit their city with the sole purpose of getting wasted on whatever drugs they can find. After a few years living there I also had a serious disdain for tourists of any hue !



    In my two years of living there however, and socialising almost entirely in the vicinity of the red light district (ooops), I didn’t see one real fight, and was only faced with an attempted robbery once (during which a passing dutchman on his bike proved to be my saviour – fighting off the crackhead who I was battling with !).

  10. South Of Tunis on

    Awe Naw



    Mrs S of T was born/reared in Padova but moved to New York in her early teens .She sounds like Carmella Soprano when she speaks English..She speaks fluent German but doesn’t like it because she says it sounds like someone with a respiratory infection having a chunder.

  11. An Ajax player who has played a grand total of 3 league games plus the game against Celtic has been called up into the Dutch national squad: 21-year-old Joel Veltman.



    Sounds to me like a slap in the face for our Virgil.

  12. Paul67



    The Amsterdam folk that we met were all very helpful and friendly, we shouldn’t tar the decent Dam folk with that of their scum hooligan element. Their undercover cops weren’t much better.




  13. Amsterdam is just another nowhere place if you take away the tits and spliffs. ….the authorities know it and allow it…….



    The Amsterdam police are the real culprits here,,,,,,how can over a hundred hoodies squeeze into a small alley and not be kettled and arrested?



    The (Dutch) guy who video’d them decried them as being like rats…..



    Next time……just say no!

  14. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    UEFA were quick enough to react to / punish the Club for a recent banner…….what’s the difference..?……. will also discourage those who are trying to give racism the red card…oh, no, wait…..that’s UEFA……strange old world…..!!!!

  15. lennon's passion on

    channelislandcelt wee oscar has done it before and he’ll do it again



    15:01 on 8 November, 2013



    Just seen it on sky Jim White having great pleasure Reading it out never said what charge was.

  16. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    15:09 on 8 November, 2013



    Go’ne gie yursel a wee slap oan the heed wae wan o’ they caps……LOL

  17. The Battered Bunnet on

    There’s lazy journalism, misinformation reported as fact. This needs to be pointed out and corrected.



    There’s so-called churnalism, press releases reproduced and presented as news without scrutiny. This needs to be ridiculed.



    There’s news filtering, news stories not published to avoid conflict with another interest, often commercial, and relatedly, news management, stories presented to create a desired impression. These need to be challenged.



    Then there’s disinforming journalism, where the objective is to mislead the reader by either filtering out central facts which don’t fit the manipulated narrative, or less commonly, plain old lying. This is often actionable in court.



    Then there’s Opinion, where the writer gives a point of view with which the reader is at liberty to agree or disagree, and which can (where the purpose suits) include many of the shortcomings noted above.



    Good journalism reports the news, including its context. It does not provide opinion, and should not seek to influence opinion beyond providing sufficient relevant information to allow the reader to form their own opinion. This is an extremely difficult thing to do as the tone of voice of the writer, their personality and their perspective, are necessarily embedded in the piece, and is inferred (often wrongly) by the reader.



    Good journalism, like ‘good’ anything, is unusual, primarily because it’s difficult. It’s so difficult that the very best journalists are set on pedestals, given awards, revered and respected by profession and public alike.



    The world lost John Cole today, aged 85, widely known for his work as Political Editor of the BBC in the 80s and 90s, but steeped in the inky trades from adolescence, to which he returned after his retirement from BBC.



    A few folk on here will remember the Lonrho affair, more yet the miners’ strike, most Thatcher’s downfall, all of which featured John Cole telling it like it was from his perspective, which was typically smack bang in the centre of it.



    John Cole was a talented writer and instinctive news journalist. He had a sense for what was going on and went to find it. He was widely respected in his profession and held in the highest regard by those who knew him personally.



    Despite this, sometimes he got it plain wrong. He’d acknowledge the mistake and move on. On such occasions he was rarely, if ever, accused of bias in his work, albeit as a Northern Irish Unionist cum British Republican during a period of huge social change, there was plenty of mud to throw at him.



    If the quality of our democracy is reflected in the quality of our press, John Cole did as much as any in the profession to uphold our way of life, and this during an age of developing opinion manipulation and increasingly sophisticated news management.



    Not unrelatedly: For those inclined to slag off Tom English, and I see references above to ‘Tom British’ amongst other examples of cheap pseudo-bigotry, you might want to consider whether it is the messenger you object to, or the message.



    Indeed, you might want to consider the reflection of Lazy Journalism: Lazy Reading.




  18. tommytwiststommyturns supporting Wee Oscar on

    Greendreamz – The Dutch police would have been shpending time with their gay loversh!




  19. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    The Amsterdam banner was sectarian..

  20. Been a braw day here in Lower Saxony…..here,s hoping your day has been braw too…btw do we have a any results in from yesterdays test ? (with nae squicking)..


    I was a very chimp like ….4/9….but as a fan of Karl Pilkington ,I am well happy with that…braw …………..pass the banana..

  21. 67Heaven … I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors




    15:18 on 8 November, 2013



    According to Phil the charge is ‘discriminatory behaviour’. He says Uefa media said it was about the banner.

  22. From the club website :-



    NEIL Lennon has praised the conduct of Celtic´s travelling support following the off-field events in Amsterdam on Wednesday.



    The club is currently investigating what happened in Holland, and the manager spoke on the subject when addressing the media today.



    “I´m disappointed but not surprised if you look at what happened here at Celtic Park, with the Ajax fans, ripping up seats and throwing them at our supporters,” said the Irishman.



    “If there are Celtic fans who have been out of order and they are season ticket holders, then the club will take appropriate action, obviously.



    “But I think there is a culture at Ajax. I think the Man United and Man City fans have had problems over the years, so I don´t think it´s exclusive to Celtic.



    “I´m not going to point the finger at them as don´t know what the facts are. But our fans are exemplary. I have been here 13 years and everywhere they go, they have been an absolute credit to the club.



    “Again, I don´t know the facts in front of me, but if there was a reaction, there was immense provocation in the first place.”

  23. Looks like CQN is no longer the place to go to for the ole poppy debate as it has seriously kicked off on the ole Grauniad






    Without wishing to kick the Guardian back in line by opening the debate here, I want to relate an incident from yesterday evening as I was on my home from work.



    When I entered the City Thameslink rail station, there were two young men in uniform (cadets/trainees/territorials…don’t know) both with trays full of poppies and the accompanying money tin. I had actually walked past them when one of them moved towards me quite aggressively and said “Sir, you seem to have lost your poppy”.



    We eyeballed each other for a couple of seconds and it was clear that this guy was hoping for a reaction from me so that he could have a go at a traitor to this great country.



    While I didn’t give much of a toss about the antics of a wee ratbag who’s been at the dressing up box (and didn’t lose any sleep over it), it very much brought home how aggressive the poppy campaign is, especially in London. People like the guy yesterday believe it is open season on anyone who doesn’t think or act as they do. Sadly, society on the whole allows them to be beyond reproach in the mistaken belief that those who attract their ire bring it upon themselves since they are failing to honour people “who died so that you’d be free to not wear a poppy”



    Well, somebody yesterday certainly wanted to deny me that freedom



    John Snow was not quite right when he used the phrase “poppy fascism” but if he had said “poppy bullying” he would have been bang on the money.



    I don’t know who is to blame for this attitude so I will go with my default and say it’s the Daily Mail.

  24. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Pseudo bigotry …..LOL …. Dont you mean professional incompetence …and what a litany we have to speculate on.



    I have labelled Tom British ia West Brit to highlight that he is the bigot. A journalist is paid to tell the truth surely ?



    Or is that now unacceptable in Old Firm think ?




  25. Sorry lads. Been busy



    I meant to come back on and post a few more In Bruges quotes. I’m blaming dharma ;)



    Cheers Tomc and quick draw in my absence. But I gotta disagree qd, it’s a gid wee movie. ;)





    Strange,that. I seem to have lost my willingness to wear one.



    And I’m not far off-thanks to the way a benevolent charitable campaign has been hijacked-from stopping donating altogether.



    One more point,it used to be veterans who stood at supermarket doorways,etc,with their collecting tins.



    Now it seems to be active servicemen.



    Yet the forces complain about cuts,and being undermanned?

  27. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    the battered bunnet



    15:16 on8 November, 2013



    There’slazy journalism, misinformation reported as fact. This needsto be pointed out and corrected.



    Are we talking about resolution 12 and CQNs official output since the 5 way agreement?




  28. Im Watching Sky Sports ,regarding Jim White what has he said ,to upset a few on here,a its because he supports rangers.

  29. Must apologise to George Munro for misunderstanding his reference and thank Quickdraw for pointing out the origin of the quote.



    Perhaps my quickdraw reaction was simply the result because since I lived in Belgium for four years I get a little annoyed when disparaging remarks are made about the country which has produced so much beautiful architecture and art for all to admire.



    On this occasion I got it wrong.

  30. BMCUW



    The whole attitude around it now is what you would have expected in Thatcher’s Britain. Remember how in some places, you could not say anything negative about the Falklands campaign?

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