Return to SNP sender, when one becomes six


I’m not taking the SPFL- face recognition plan too seriously but that’s not to say the politics behind the suggestion should be ignored. Scottish football has no hooligan problems, compared England or the Continent our game is orderly and sedate. Until recent years there was no such thing as a flare problem, and offensive signing was a thing of the past.

All that changed when the SNP government got involved in 2011. Two managers shouted at each other after a game, three Rangers players were ordered off, and First Minister, Alex Salmond decided a summit was necessary to reign in the game’s wilder elements. What utter tosh.

Three weeks later, Justice Minister, Kenny MacAskill congratulated fans on creating a great atmosphere at the League Cup Final, which was notable for the re-emergence of the previously eradicated Billy Boys song. At an instant MacAskill rebased what was acceptable behaviour at Scottish football.

Since then the game has been trying to put the genie back in the bottle. The arguments were rehearsed in the CQN comments pages and elsewhere, “They are congratulated by the Government for singing The Billy Boys and we can’t sing about nationalist politics”, or words to that effect. Songs which had disappeared from the Celtic support lexicon were soon back and remain. Incalculable damage done by two incompetent clowns.

Since then the Scottish Government and a very small number (very small indeed) of senior officers at Police Scotland decided to subject football fans to the kind of surveillance that would make a military junta of a banana republic blush.

It’s a mess. Officers on the ground readily complain in private, all other political parties pledge to repeal the Offensive Behaviour’ Act, while sheriffs line up to mock cases arising from the Act. Football has been left to pick up the pieces left from a Scottish Government created problem. The Government refuse to accept any liability, will not repeal the Act and having celebrated a new, low, standard for spectator behaviour, seem quite happy with the situation.

Scottish football was doing very well before the Government decided to rebase what is acceptable behaviour. No football authority will succeed in any endeavour if the government is working against it. What the SPFL did was make a clear, if clumsy, attempt to return the problem to sender – the newly disinterested in football Scottish Government.

When one becomes six

I’ve scoured the internet today but cannot see any complaints about Celtic’s alleged “one up front” tactics. This season hasn’t gone to plan, but we’re making an incredible number of chances and scoring a remarkable number of goals.

One up front leaves space for, what is in effect, two wingers on each flank, and an attacking mid able to work inside the box.

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  1. Slow this morning Bhoys, Great article Paul. Your on the money the Govt created the problem to suit the climate at the time and now as you say this govt couldn’t care less. Doesn’t suit anyone just now to try and fix scottish football.



    Well done again Celtic, Flying last night. You can see the concentration in Efe eyes. We have played poor teams and struggled last night we didn’t, Ruthless. Good for the Bhoys confidence. Was thinking earlier and I hope that Jo hasn’t been dropped because of the twitter stuff and Ronnie has just realized he’s off form,




  2. Damn it…. ..



    Just wasted almost 30 mins of my life chasing the podium… big wean ha ha… I terms of sporting integrity I read the article first…



    Ah well top 10 will do.



    Good article Mr67

  3. I’m sorry Paul67 I rarely disagree with what you write but to say BB was all but eradicated prior to the OBFA is errant nonsense.



    I also believe that Manchester was still fresh in their minds when the summit was held.



    We’re all in agreement it’s a policy that needs binned but to suggest it was all rosy before it, and that it’s entirely to blame for lapses on behaviour since is just silly.

  4. Paul, could you or one of your trusty Aberdour Elves give me a nice warm fuzzy feeling that the £1000 raised by the Barca ball auction for TBs skin cancer charity hit the mark please?

  5. I watched 5 policemen stand by as a steward searched every Hamilton fan at a turnstile last night,talk about a waste of resources?

  6. “One up front leaves space for, what is in effect, two wingers on each flank, and an attacking mid able to work inside the box.”



    Yes – but the flipside, as my buddy texted me last night, is that ‘The reason we lost the goal was we were playing one at the back!’

  7. foghorn leghorn on

    modern day blushing banana republic military juntas are rubbish…



    …so i’m told.



    And as for Cyborg Super-Squirrels – well that’s just nuts

  8. Remember the SNP cabinet member stated that the Intention was to widen the sectarian songs issue to “even things up”.



    Republican songs are not sectarian, in fact, it can be argued that they were the opposite.



    The target for the OBAS as Celtic fans and the Police have behaved accordingly. Despite the IRA’s political wing now being in Government in Stormont, Celtic Fans Irish songs were the target.





    As you know,I usually scroll and ignore,but the above post referenced me so I’ll reply.



    It wasn’t an attempt to bait you. You’re not that important.



    It was an attempt at humour,as was my comment about Leigh Griffiths and Bromine. I wasn’t attempting to bait him either.



    Playing the victim doesn’t suit you.

  10. I cannot agree with what you are saying Paul.



    You are saying that the SPFL have handed back the issue to the Government by asking for something so outragous that it will never happen. But the outragous is already happenning and scottish football, the clubs and in our case Celtic are effectively joining in on a racist agenda set by the scottish government.



    Quite apart from the rather astonishing continued curtailing of civil liberties across Scotland this is further enhrining the criminalisation of football fans. The SPFL are not to be congratulated on “joining in”. Celtic have failed to show any semblence of either morale courage or leadership on these matters. It seems they are uninterested in the welfare of their support.



    Everywhere I look in scotland I find more and more moves towards illiberalism and in some cases facism (some of which has become occassionaly evident on this site). Coupled with scotlands racist problem and an electorate with a dangerous herd mentality, these are pretty scary times. I think it ill behoves anyone to downplay that.

  11. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    All that changed when the SNP government got involved in 2011. Two managers shouted at each other after a game, three Rangers players were ordered off, and First Minister, Alex Salmond decided a summit was necessary to reign in the game’s wilder elements. What utter tosh.



    I find it difficult to believe that Murray International Impending financial collapse and Sir David Murray´s public backing of the SNP had no part to play in this summit




  12. NegAnon2 on 20th January 2016 12:55 pm



    A point more eloquently put than my short missives highlighting that GCC updated their CCTV system so that it can also do facial recognition.



    They currently claim that this feature is not being used, but at the same time it’s known that they are testing it’s tracking capabilities – which is suspect will be using the face map as the unique identifier. What’s likely is that GCC simply aren’t linking faces to names at the moment.



    In some respects I’m ambivalent about facial recognition at the game. Not because I agree with it, I don’t , but if they can track me all the way to the stadium it doesn’t make that much difference if they know what seat I’m in.



    Personally I don’t believe this is coming solely from the SPFL, it serves no purpose for them. I think pressure is coming from Police Scotland either directly or via the clubs, who are probably being told that more needs done to identify ‘trouble makers’.

  13. You vote Nationalist and are then surprised at the exponential rise in Police powers????……………..How naive can Scottish people get????????

  14. Facial recognition…aye right.


    Once hearing is attended to….you know, that selective hearing that doesnt hear bigotry, but picks up the sound of a flare from miles away.




    Is Scottish Football really that wild?


    Well, it will be next season.


    The SFA blazer mob, the huns, and the Celtic PLC, will have a lot to answer for when the sevco mob go berserk next season.


    Old Firm resurrection should be banned.




  15. saltires en sevilla on




    Good stuff and in broad agreement.



    Except, seem to be skirting around the constant sectarian bilge we endured from oldco. It wasn’t nearly fixed and you rightly identify leaders in govt. bigging it up with barely a word of condemnation.



    I feel you could be a bit tougher on this. However, that is easy for me to say hiding behind a blog name.



    Accept the focus that would bring..



    Keep up the good work





    Fascism,racism,a dangerous herd mentality.



    Still on Page One,and you’ve hit Godwin’s Law gold!



    To be honest,I never really thought Scotland had a racism problem. Having spent most of my adult life in England,ours seemed insignificant to theirs.



    Most people from other backgrounds whom I’d known in Scotland in the 70s and 80s spoke with much the same accent as I did,while in England,speaking in a local accent was unusual for them.



    As a result,it was easier for immigrants to assimilate into Scottish society,IMO.



    Serious question-what do you think has changed that?

  17. Crowd for last night given as 45,659. What’s the point in that ? I know they include ST’s but……

  18. Just in reply to those who are suggesting Griffiths could have been punted…



    Griffiths signed a new contract recently and will be going nowhere. Any key player we have sold in recent years has refused to renew their deals and forced the boards hand (VVD, Hooper, Wanyama etc)



    Biton recently signed on but Rogic is dallying. If Tom doesn’t sign on, you can bet your behind he will be off in the summer.



    That’s the way of it.





    Not since they started intruding on my leisure time.

  20. Wait till that facial recognition machine clocks the ugliest fans in the world.








  21. minx1888 praying to Wee Oscar on

    Thanks BMCUW it should take you to the link for the Irish Famine memorial that will be built in Glasgow. Just launched the fundraising site!

  22. Does anyone remember the wee app post barca game? It was a ‘tag yourself’ photie of the entire crowd. It was capable of pinpointing your seat re section row and number.



    This was put online by the Club.



    Ergo, the club has already utilised a tool that can identify every attendee, by matching the image and records held via ticket purchase. You can get close enough for recognition but perhaps not the full airport eye scan recognition.



    Would any of that data be shared with Police Scotland?



    Proposing a tool equivalent to airport anti-terrorist measures for the entertainment of football sport watching is perverse. The fact that it’s proposed by the Clubs (via their membership body the SPFL) is also perverse and shows the contempt that the clubs have for their supporters.



    Pretty soon they’ll be a minutes silence before every game because all games will officially be a wake where no behaviour outside of passive sitting in silence will be tolerated.



    The OBAFA is an affront to democracy, decency and society. Not because of the subject matter it attempts (badly) to deal with but because it is not universal and applied only to certain types of people and situations. That is the main reason why it should be repealed. The alternate is to make offence universal and have that policed but 1984 looms that way I think…




  23. Old firm and sevco are two different things. Secvo may arrive at Celtic Park next year supported by the vast majority of Rangers (IL) old fans, but there will never again be an “old firm” match. To put the two together is highlighting the mind set that smsm wants you to believe. PR perception at work here fellow tims por cierto





    I wish you all the very best of luck with it,and you can count on a modicum of help from me.



    Building it might be easier than protecting it,mind.




  25. The Wee Minger is so brainwashed by the SNP that he will defend the indefensible time and time again.



    Paul’s article lays it on the line – it was gesture politics gone mental from an SNP rabble desperate to make their mark whist shouting to the world “we are going for separation” – they have never espoused a proposal and/or policy to help the poorest of our ordinary working people.



    The OBA was/is a stupid gesture, just like releasing Megrahi, a convicted mass murder, to send out a message to the world -” we are the SNP, wha’s like us and we CAN actually do something independent of the UK government”



    MacAskill and Salmond are two cheeks of the same erse.



    Wha’s like us – the answer is nothing has ever been like them and NEVER will – how some so-called Celtic fans and others of our persuasion have been inducted into their ‘cult’ absolutely beggars belief.

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