Government’s decade of harassing and criminalising football fans


I get that we all need to do our bit to suppress Covid, but we know so much more about the disease now than we did earlier in the year.  We know its transmission rates in well-monitored socially distanced outdoor spaces is significantly less than unmonitored indoor spaces.  Maybe by as much as 1000 times safer.

If the country needs to go back into lockdown, fair enough, but if indoor venues are preferred over football stadiums it has nothing whatsoever to do with the virus or science.  It is politicians who are blind to evidence picking on the same people they have victimised for years.  This Government has harassed and attempted to criminalise football fans since they got their mits of power over a decade ago, it would be a disgrace if they went against the science to stick the boot in one more time.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7

  1. I have always thought that goal difference should not be the deciding factor, when teams level on points.


    Most leagues use head to head ( as it does away with the goal difference driven by how many you can score against minnows)



    2002/03 We still would have lost the league using head to head against DeadCo.




    We each won one game Home and Away


    Using the confusing Celtic site format of Celtic score first ( rather than home team first!!!).


    Both our wins were by 1 goal, their wins were by 2 goals.



    H 1:0 W


    A 0:2 L


    H 0:2 L


    A 2:1 W



    The Onlooker

  2. Transport to and from the game plus a small bevvy – that’s the issue not socialised distancing at the match

  3. Blojo with a list of restrictions, that we have been doing up here for weeks, which means Wee Nicola’s new measures will be stricter than England, she’s on TV at 2.20

  4. The Onlooker – those are the stats for season 04/05 when we lost the league by a point. If we had drawn the final game against Motherwell we would have lost the league on goal difference (or on the head to head as you say). The 02/03 season would have been different as we drew 3-3 at home, got beat 3-2 away, won 1-0 at home and won 2-1 away so we would have taken it on the head to head. Alternatively, if player registration rules had been applied correctly we would have won every game 3-0! Cheers, Craiginho

  5. Sorry to disagree, but you can’t lump the current COVID situation in with the criminalization of fans. Having fans outdoors watching a game id just fine if you can individually teleport them from their front room to their seat in the stadium. Otherwise there are too many opportunities for exposure.



    Exposure is time and proximity based. Person to person the longer you are nearby to someone with the COVID infection the higher your chances of getting it, we also know that the virus hangs around on hard surfaces where exposure time can be shorter. The act of transporting a fan from their home to their match day seat (assuming there is no teleportation solution in the next week or two), offers too much opportunity from person to person exposure or surface to person exposure.



    I thin safety first, and any authority not putting safety first in these circumstances is acting worse than an authority that seeks to pursue erroneous regressive laws acting against the behaviour of football crowd.

  6. Or, P67, mibby there’s a dod of the old Hanlon’s Razor at work ie: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”. Re COVID, many governments (incl our own well-meaning local mob) have blundered stupidly due to bad briefings and buck passing rather than vindictive intent.



    Here, we’re in lockdown for 4+months and is ongoing. Not great, but happily staying the course to eradicate to as much manageability as is poss. Want to throw some shrimps on the communal barbie this Xmas after all.



    Football runs thru my veins but I sure dont want the virus anywhere in there with it. Health first, says I.

  7. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Indoor pub – small – safe.



    Outdoor stadium – large – not safe.



    No science, no logic.



    Driven by perception?



    SFTB – from last thread, good post on recollections from 2003.



    Just one qualification if I may …



    I recall the post match stats vividly.



    Dunfermline, faced with a team with lots of possession and with significant in-play time …..




    …. committed 10 fouls.



    Killie nearly double plus 4 yellow cards plus a Celt carried off.



    From that I have historically surmised both teams DID NOT expend equal effort that day.



    Old news though.



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith




    ‘Driven by perception?’






    In my experience football stadiums are not hygienic environments and crowd behaviour is not conducive to stopping the spread of a virus.



    The matchday experience might be different for the likes of Peter Lawwell.

  9. The Battered Bunnet on

    Clearly the UK government, and many others around the world, are ignoring the scientific evidence and using the Covid-19 catastrophe to stick the boot into football.



    Just about done with this bleating.

  10. Pingback: Government’s decade of harassing and criminalising football fans Paul67 - Celtic FC News Aggregation

  11. Paul 67,






    There is also no scientific rationale for disallowing sound in a pub during a game.


    I believe we are the only country in the free world to impose such a controlling draconian measure.



    My conclusion is that Nicola et al just do not like football and do not value its contribution to the economy or to society.




  12. Paul67



    As I said on the last blog post, the Germans are showing us a way forward.



    Many said that they were crazy to resume football in May behind closed doors. Doomed to fail. No way footballers could successfully stay in a bubble. Yet they did.



    The rest of Europe followed suit.



    Now they have a sensible response to fans going to games.



    Areas which have a low infection rate are allowed to have a reduced number of local fans.



    There were 10,000 Dortmund fans able to attend their last game. All season book holders who were local Dortmund residents.



    On the other hand no fans were at games in Munich or Cologne. Schalke’s game at the weekend is also under threat.



    6000 fans in a 60,000 stadium is manageable. Fans could remain 2 metres apart at all times on stairwells and in toilets. A stadium built to hands 60,000 can handle 10% capacity.



    Glasgows infection rate would be too high for this to happen right now but that shouldn’t prevent fans in Dingwall from going to a game.



    Ban supporters buses and offer free parking in the bus park for households to travel in their cars individually.



    Offer seats to local fans only.

  13. Honestly, as someone who’s lost a relative to this thing already and who’s worried about others in the family, I am absolutely sick and tired of this pish – and that’s what it is – that these measures are un-necessary or designed to hammer football fans.



    Absolute garbage, I’m sorry to say.



    On allowing a test-run in rugby before football there was a point there … ridiculous decision and one that they couldn’t defend and didn’t even try to.



    But I’ve listened to all this crap about how stadiums are safe and it’s exactly that. The editorials on here talk about the science; the science is the same across Europe and these measures have been imposed across Europe. If the Scottish Government is anti-football fans then clearly the one in Westminister is as well.



    You don’t need to be a scientist to know that cramming people into stadium concourses in their thousands is insanity. That policing it is a headache that makes it just not worthwhile. That travelling to and from games requires filling public transport with fans … manifestly unsafe. That ferries from Ireland will make marvellous focal points for outbreaks that snake across the country …



    I could go on and on, but what’s the point? The overlords have spoken, and this is the line.



    It is lamentable. It sends the message that those of us who are worried about loved ones or ourselves are hysterics. But hey, Peter’s bonus is up for grabs, and that’s what matters.

  14. Football matches are treated as more dangerous than pubs and restaurants when there is no evidence to support it.



    Pubs and restaurants are more important to the economy. That’s it. It’s that cynical.

  15. Clearly Paul 67 has a greatwer handle on the evidence than me. As far as i can see there is very little evidence on the safety of outdoor events involving thousand of people in COVID affected areas. Any actual evidence is retrospective and observational and not based on scientific process. We do think that the Champions League game in Northern Italy in February was a super spreader event, linked to a very large and deadly outbreak. Similarly, the European games at Anfield and Ibrox in March are suspected of being super spreader events. I would think that it is appropriate to be wary of outdoor sporting events. The movement of large numbers of people creates opportunities to spread the disease. I would assume that in order to have the very low risk Paul mentions then nobody can get refreshments or go to the toilet. No-one can use the handrails going up ad down the north stand. Noone can touch anything other than the seat they are sitting on and no-one can shout or sing.


    I agree that it is madness that pubs can open. i just think the argument should be about that and not creating more opportunities. Public Health is a difficult area to get hard evidence, often requiring long time period of change of behaviours. I would be interested in the hard evidence and studies that Paul alludes to.


    I do think this government have victimised footbal fans but don’t think this is the fight to have with them about it.

  16. GREENPINATA on 22ND SEPTEMBER 2020 1:10 PM



    It’s to try to prevent people from getting too caught up in the atmosphere and to discourage people from shouting. You shout, you excrete droplets. You maybe forget about physical distancing.

  17. “You don’t need to be a scientist to know that cramming people into stadium concourses in their thousands is insanity.”



    Bollocks as usual. Nobody is suggesting cramming people in.



    10% capacity isn’t cramming people in.

  18. TIMALOY29 on 22ND SEPTEMBER 2020 1:22 PM








    ‘Pubs and restaurants are more important to the economy. That’s it. It’s that cynical.’







    That’s not cynicism.



    You have to balance the benefit to the economy against the risk of spreading the virus.



    There is no benefit to the economy in allowing fans back into stadiums. There is a risk of increased transmission of the virus. So why allow it?

  19. ERNIE LYNCH on 22ND SEPTEMBER 2020 1:27 PM



    Even if that’s the case. I’d have more respect for the first minister if she came out and said it.



    If course people are holding outdoor concerts etc. But that’s not football for the plebs so it’s alright.

  20. As for NO Music in Pubs or TV Sound…that is a feckin joke.



    The Bar STAFF have control of the TV by remote control from behind the Bar…so NO Customer can turn the sound up louder on any TV…forcing any other customer to shout…FACT !


    As for no Juke Box music…thats also a joke…as my local Pub has sanitisers next to the Juke Box for folk to use…and again the Volume is controlled from behind the Bar by the Staff…its impossible for any customer to turn the volume up louder etc.


    I tend to usually play many songs on my locals Juke Box…and many punters have said that the music is sorely missed…although I am much better off…moneywise due to being unable to play the Jukey.



  21. Through the rain on

    Lock-down…. Such a difficult situation for any government /politician and I suspect we’re are all relieved we are not having to make the decisions.



    That said since thousands of folks travel into our major cities weekdays and weekends (Many thousands more than would travel to attendance limited football stadiums) the continued closure of stadiums seems very random and ill thought out. Clubs could almost certainly ensure supporters allowed in were coming from a geographically limited area in a way retail and hospitality sectors could not.



    Three thousand fans in Celtic Park would be significantly safer than any shopping centre or café.




  22. TIMALOY29:



    10% is 6000 people inside Celtic Park.



    You want to think for a minute about the infrastructure requirements of that alone? Say it was 100% safe and feasible … say you wanted to make it as safe as possible; sit them ten seats apart from each other.



    So you have one fan every ten seats.



    In a ground the size of Celtic Park, I don’t even see what the point of the exercise would be. Do you see value in sitting in a mask, ten seats away from your mate? How are they going to police it? Are you going to wati your turn on the stairs? Queue with social distancing for the one open bathroom in each section?



    The other alternative is opening sections of the ground to make it a bit more “fan friendly” … and then when contact tracing confirms that concourses and stairwells and toilets ARE a focal point for this thing and we have casualties as a result, your grovelling acceptance that you got it wrong will not bring back the dead.



    Here’s what it comes down to.



    Some people don’t care. They just want to be in the pub. Some people just want to be back in football grounds. Some people just want to go karaoking or sit in their favourite restaurant.



    And some of them couldn’t care less what the impact of that might be.



    Is this stuff inconvient? Of course it is. The number of stuff we’ve all missed out on already, you could write books on it. And some folk didn’t take this seriously even from the start and were happy to fill each others heads with how it would be over by the start of this season blah blah blah.



    Total fantasy, all of it.



    Some folk just want what they can’t have, and they can blame the government as much as they like, but the wailing and screaming on here about the injustice of it is not going to move the experts and the people tasked with, you know, actually protecting lives one iota.

  23. Hello again all you young rebels.



    Midfield shield.


    Welcome to our blog, a know ye urny, but ur ye?




    As regards young Greg , I was referring to the contrary opinions


    on here.


    I personally would prefer the PSG left sider, but think that’s gone




    Big Jimmy


    Git yir bags packed and get over here to the warm sunshine and


    a vibrant rebel peninsula 8-))


    H.H. Mick

  24. James Forrest,



    Sorry to hear of the loss of your relative. Personally, a reminder that our loved one’s health trumps absolutely every other agenda here.




  25. On a positive note.



    Catriona and Judith (channeling her miss jean brodie in her prime tweed number) for a double nugget on reporting scotland.



    I didnt even notice the pandemic update.

  26. As I often do…I am watching BBC1 and the News coming from a reporter in the Govts Holyrood building.


    Behind the reporter there are numerous staff/folk walking up and down the stairway to the Govt Chamber…and perhaps other offices ?


    NOT ONE person in the background is wearing a mask….and there are several folk in this brief “Live Report” , who are holding onto and/or touching the Hand Rails as they go up and down the stair way…WITHOUT any cleaning taking place after someone has put their hand(s) on said Hand Rails…and yet Nicola says that I cant play the Juke Box in my local Pub ??



    So the Scottish Govt shouldnt be concerned about anyone in a football stadium ( or ibrox/Hampden) using any Hand Rail inside any stadia, as its allowing Covid to possibly spread in its own Govt Building !





    feckin joke !







    I would be over in the blink of an eye..IF I can STILL get my Bru money to live on ?




    HH Mate.



    No pub TV or juke box……. Bliss!





    There is nothing wrong with background music being on in a Pub.


    I take it that when you go into any shop and/or get in a Taxi etc…YOU INSTRUCT the Owner of the shop and/or the driver of the Taxi to turn any music OFF…cos you dont want it ?


    Somehow I doubt that you do…so double standards in relation to you not liking background music in Pubs.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7