Pyrotechnics are not part of my Celtic experience. For others, it is an important part. So much so, that it will not be inhibited by Health & Safety rules or the club being fined.
I cannot say how valid the Health & Safety concerns are, but I have one friend with lung disease who tells me this issue presents a real danger. Two months ago, a woman and child were injured by a pyro at the Livingston-Newco game. The same week, a Paranaense fan lost his hand when lighting a device in Brazil. I expect the rule is in place for valid reasons.
After more than a dozen fines from Uefa, Celtic have closed part of the standing section for Thursday’s Rennes game in connection with the on-going pattern of pyrotechnic use at European games.
The problem with pyrotechnic use at football games comes about because those who bring them – as long as they do not blow their hands off or suffer lung disease – are usually immune to the consequences of their actions. There is no personal financial, health or reputational damage, those consequences fall on the club.
I have not asked Celtic about yesterday’s action but I know what the view will be, “I will be the one held criminally liable if there is an incident I do nothing to prevent” – was a previous comment on a different matter.
Celtic have held discussions with supporters’ groups, but a supporters’ group can merely influence, not control, what their own members and others do. Individual fans cannot impose behaviour on other people.
I expect those who insist on setting pyrotechnics off at Celtic games will be fortified by the club’s actions, they are now a cause célèbre. Don’t expect an introspective reflection on whether or not their actions are beyond reproach. Place your bets on what happens next, my money is on more of all of this.
Really annoyed at Dave King for abdicating on a day we have Celtic business to prioritise. Pretty distraught at the news too, we will miss him more than you will ever believe, he has been wonderful. I doubt the Treble Treble would be possible without him. Pick up on this tomorrow.