Not one of you will be surprised at reports this morning that Celtic escaped punishment for “sectarian chanting” when the club and its fans were not, and never have been, accused of sectarian behaviour. Last month one Irish title suggested Celtic fans stood accused of racism before amending their online content to read sectarianism and eventually paying enough attention to zone in on “offensive chanting”. If they’re going to make things up, I really would prefer they accused us of something a bit more original in Scottish football, like genocide. Ironically it would be less offensive.
Celtic have been open to all since its inception and are supported by groups right across Scottish society in increasing numbers. It’s the other lot, you know, them, who brought sectarian practices into the game. From Neil McCallum, our first goal scorer, to Gary Hooper, our last, Celtic have never had this peculiar social deficiency. Never.
The SPL decision not to act against Celtic, after a Strathclyde Police match commander complained, was assured, as Celtic could demonstrate they had previously taken action “all reasonably practicable steps” to prevent what the league called “chanting in support of the IRA”. Both Neil Lennon and Peter Lawwell have spoken in unequivocal terms on this subject in recent weeks.
The league goes on to say, “Such behaviour is unacceptable and unwelcome at SPL matches.” All the league have done here is pitched the ball back into Celtic’s court to prevent a reoccurrence. I don’t fancy that job.