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Strikers like Anthony

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When Anthony Stokes picked himself off the ground having won a penalty yesterday his eagerness for a piece of the action was clear.  Having missed the majority of the season through injury he is a player with a point to prove.

The penalty correctly went to Kris Commons but Anthony still had an opportunity to remind us what a valuable player he can be.  He is not the strongest or most skilful player at the club but he is a natural goal-scorer.

Competition for a place in Celtic’s attack has seldom been more acute.  Lassad, Miku, Samaras, Stokes and Watt are all pressing for a place alongside Gary Hooper.  Each of them will have to consider the possibility of new arrivals in the summer, when securing a place in the squad, never mind the starting line-up, will be a challenge.

Anthony’s return to fitness, and form, is a timely reminder of what he brings to Celtic, and what we have missed once or twice this season.

On Friday 1 March the Lisbon Lions will be at the Kerrydale Suite providing commentary and answering questions on their magnificent European Cup final win in 1967. This has never happened in 46 years since that game, to say it is a unique opportunity fails to tell the whole story.

The event is part of our 125 4 125 campaign – central to reinvigorating the charitable spirit which is part of the club we love. It will be a family occasions, tickets are available at £10 for adults and £5 for children. The night has been organised by several fans working in conjunction with the people at Celtic Charity, so please do your best to support this great occasion. Individual tickets or tables are available, details here.
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  1. Towards the end of 2012, the Green Brigade announced a two-match boycott of Celtic Park due to the continued police harassment of our members. We hoped to highlight the extent of our ill-treatment and perhaps force the police into a re-think regarding their bully boy tactics. Sadly the harassment has actually worsened since then, leading up to the events of yesterday which left the group with little choice but to leave the stadium before kick-off.

     

     

    It has reached the stage where our very existence is under serious threat as fans will not continue to pay £500+ to be treated like criminals.

     

     

    After the disappointment of Tuesday night, we had made it our intention to thank the team for their efforts and once again back them to the hilt. However, it was clear that the police, and indeed club officials, were not going to allow this to happen.

     

     

    Even before we had even got near Celtic Park, the police had tracked us down at the CSA on London Road. They took our merchandise off of people who had recently purchased it and questioned the staff as to why our members were allowed in the building.

     

     

    As we approached the stadium and began to enter, some members were told that they were to leave as they had received a football banning order. No warning or explanation was given. Others were greeted by a message at the turnstile after swiping their card that read “suspended for one game.” Again, without any warning or explanation as to why this was the case. These ‘’bans’’ were at the behest of the club and not the police, for reasons still unknown.

     

     

    We were then approached by a Celtic steward who advised us to be wary when entering the section, as he was advised by Strathclyde Police that they intended to arrest some of our members, and that they were in possession of a ‘wanted’ list with names and pictures of the unfortunate fans who were to be singled out. It was at this point that we decided that we were putting our own members at risk by entering the stadium. As we made our way to the exits, one Focus officer, Tommy McCrindle, was grinning from ear to ear, goading the group into a reaction that fortunately he never got.

     

     

    It would seem that the police and indeed the club have upped the ante even further in recent weeks. The facts are;

     

     

    – We are now 10 members down since the turn of the year.

     

     

    – We have had two members arrested and charged over the ‘zombie’ banner that was unfurled at the Norwich friendly. One of those members was arrested at a busy airport in front of family on arrival from holiday.

     

     

    – The first of those charged had his first court appearance last week. This was laughed out of court but not before the stress and inconvenience of telling family members, taking time off work and missing big matches.

     

     

    – Numerous members’ have been harassed at their homes in recent weeks, another clear tactic of intimidation.

     

     

    This is all done under the say-so of Strathclyde Police’ FoCus unit. Celtic supporters have the same police officers following them week in, week out. This allows them to become familiar with the names and faces of our fans. It would appear that they use this familiarity to try to intimidate us even further. Simple things like name-dropping partner’s names or family members’ names has become an all too common theme. It’s all part of the bullying nature of this unit. The aforementioned McCrindle actually has on his social networking site that his job description is “full-time Fume-a-pest & termite control.” McCrindle was also in the midst of controversy following the Juventus game, as three members were arrested to be charged with a minor breach of the peace which quickly became offensive behaviour at the football, leading to banning orders being made a part of said members bail conditions. McCrindle even went as far as to attempt to pressure the Procurator Fiscal in to ensuring that one of the accused would not even be granted bail. The sad thing is that it’s our money that pays this man’s wages, whilst also affording this unit countless ‘’working holidays’’ to places like Amsterdam, Barcelona and Moscow.

     

     

    After the last boycott, Peter Lawwell and Neil Lennon publicly expressed their desire to meet with us to iron out any issues we may have. We decided that this was something which we should try to use, so contacted them via a private email about this almost immediately. Sadly, they were ‘too busy’ but would contact us when they were ready. We’re still waiting on them getting back to us about that particular email, although we did receive one prior to the Juventus game with an agenda that in no way mentioned any of the concerns that we outlined. We advised that we weren’t prepared to discuss anything any further with them until our initial request was granted. We are still no further forward with that and as a result, any relationship with the club has completely disintegrated. Since this relationship has broken down the ticket office has become entirely uncooperative with us whilst the chief steward with whom we had a good working relationship with has been moved post.

     

     

    We have never met with Neil Lennon before but have had numerous dealings with Lawwell in recent years. At almost every meeting, he has made promises that were never kept so this is nothing new. He met our members to discuss the fall-out over the “Let’s go to War banner” that depicted Lennon setting fire to Ibrox and had “Huns FC” written on the stadium. This led to charges and court cases which lasted 18 months for 3 of our members. We had met with Lawwell to discuss this and to see if he could lend his support to the case. Lawwell advised us that he thought the charge was ‘a joke’ and it was his opinion that the term ‘huns’ was in no way offensive. Furthermore, he went onto say he’d be happy for the club to defend us in court. We were clearly delighted with this. However, when our lawyer contacted him about this a few weeks down the line, Lawwell denied all knowledge of the meeting and refused to comment any further. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a senior member of Celtic security, David Brannan, was used as a prosecution witness.

     

     

    We have heard in the last couple of weeks of meetings involving Lawwell and other Celtic fan groups. At these meetings, Lawwell has made no secret of the fact that he intends to see the end of the group sooner rather than later. He was quoted as saying that he would “give them enough rope to hang themselves.” We were told that Lawwell used CCTV footage of the section to pinpoint who he felt the ringleaders were and picked out a member as someone who ‘had to go’. We have also been informed that other fans groups may have attended similar meetings with Peter Lawwell and if this were the case, we would find it extremely disheartening that we were not informed of the club’s intentions by other Celtic fans. At this stage however Celtic’s agenda seems clear – They are intent on finishing the group off.

     

     

    Our decision not to attend yesterday’s match was not something that we had planned. We simply felt that it was a decision that had to be made purely to protect our own members and those within 111. It has now gotten to the stage whereby members of our group live in constant fear of the police showing up at their homes or workplace with a trumped up charge, or to be told that they are banned from football matches as they approach the gates of 111. Now, more than ever, the continued support of the rest of the Celtic fans is appreciated immensely. We cannot stress enough that if things do not change for the better, the group will be unable to continue to attend matches to support the club that we all love.

  2. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on

    Paul67

     

     

    Do you have a view on what is happening to the Green brigade?

     

     

    Their statement today names Peter Lawwell as their number one enemy.

     

     

    Is he?

  3. If this is true thousands will stay away. Colluding with the police to harass and intimidate Celtic supporters means the end for Lawell. I hope the club can prove it is not the case.

  4. Paul67

     

     

    Stokes was my MOTM yesterday – I think he has observed the improvement in the squad during his recuperation and didn’t shirk the challenge.

  5. BIG-CUP-WINNERS on

    PeterScarff

     

    19:16 on

     

    17 February, 2013

     

    If this is true thousands will stay away. Colluding with the police to harass and intimidate Celtic supporters means the end for Lawell. I hope the club can prove it is not the case.

     

     

    My thoughts exactly. Right now I feel like chucking it.

  6. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on

    Memo to Peter Lawwell –

     

     

    Defend your name and reputation…….or leave.

     

     

    Oh and you can take your stinking bonus with you.

     

     

    Shut the door behind you.

  7. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on

    Philbhoy – It’s just the beginning!

     

     

     

    19:11 on 17 February, 2013

     

     

     

    Head the Ball

     

     

    I don’t care what name he posts under.

     

     

    However, if what he says is true, Lawwell and Celtic FC may have a problem.

     

     

    Don’t ya think?

  8. PeterScarff

     

     

    Yer having a larff. There’s less than no chance that PL will be fired by DD over such a matter.

  9. I’ve got to say that I and fellow family members will monitor this situation closely and will make a decision on renewals when we see how this develops. If my suspicions are correct it’s stuff your season books.

     

     

    I’m sure they can spread huge adverts over the top tier.

  10. It hasn’t taken him long. Stokes now tops the goals/assists per minute table:

     

     

    Player, mins played, mins per goal/assist:

     

     

    Stokes …….. 330 …….. 41

     

     

    Gershon ……. 66 …….. 66

     

     

    Commons . 2240 ……. 86

     

     

    Watt ………. 1185 ……. 91

     

     

    Hooper …… 2800 ……. 93

  11. Philbhoy, I’m a great believer in people stepping forward openly when important issues like this are being discussed. I can only relay what I have heard directly from Peter Lawwell in regards to the Green Brigade (generally supportive, including “they’re great”, with concerns over lateral movement).

     

     

    If others hear differently from him, they should say so openly, and quickly. Comments in the shadows are not the way to do it.

  12. Time for all supporters who are members of the CSA, Affiliation, CST, IACSC, DCSC or any other official org if thier representatives attended sessions with Peter Lawell & David Hawthorn were they were shown video footage of GB and given a slanted view of this group from Peter Lawell others.

     

     

    If this is true then we the support need to know.

     

     

    Personally I had heard about it prior to Christmas and alluded to Peter Lawell actively being involved in a campaign to rid the club of GB. IMO I believe this is the case!!!

     

     

    Financially the club is on a sound footing and there is a lot I applaud Peter Lawell for. His treatment of sections of our support and allowing the police (assisted IMO) free reign within our stadium has to be questioned however.

     

     

     

     

    MWD

  13. Philbhoy – It’s just the beginning!

     

     

    It was very disturbing. I don’t doubt that Celtic will have to respond to that.

  14. From bottom of previous thread.

     

     

    ‘gg

     

     

    19:18 on

     

    17 February, 2013

     

    OK I’m overseas and the current repression, is there another valid description, of the GB doesn’t effect me directly.

     

    I don’t necessarily subscribe to their Maoist, Marxist, Leninist, Thatcherite philosophies and frankly don’t care what they are.

     

    They are Celtic supporters.

     

    We have all been there growing up and maturing. Well apart from Ed Ursus.

     

    We are seeing a division of our support and a rift being created between club and fans.

     

    These younger fans, 99% of the CP attendance in comparison to myself, are the future of the club and the key to our longevity and success.

     

    The Salmond regime and the Strathclyde Stasi are using the recently passed act as a cudgel to bludgeon the Celtic support into a mould approved by Edinburgh.

     

    It is obviously an act against a basic human right to show support for the political philosophy of choice.

     

    While legal challenges need to be built against this, and this will take some time, our management and board need to rebuild bridges with the GB and with the wider support.

     

    Without blaming any side, an OPEN dialogue needs to take place with everyone effected.

     

    A prominent supporter needs to act as an intermediary between Celtic management and the fans in question. The grievances and the club’s position need to be aired openly.

     

    From that a clear, concise and agreed code of behavior, which does not impinge the right of free speech or expression, needs to be made public.

     

    No more obfuscation or prevarification.

     

    Lets air our grievances out in the open and publicise an acceptable way forward.

     

     

    Intermediary?

     

    How about someone from the Church hierarchy as I believe there is a strong element of religious persecution involved?

     

     

    Blessed are the peacemakers.

  15. When “Green Brigade” boycotte was announced in 2012 I compared the situation with what happened between Legia Ultras and my club. I said that this was first step to make total war between the support and the club. Saddly, I see I was right. I just read the Green Brigade statement and feel that this was written by an irresponsible few guys. The most stupid thing is give details of talks with Peter Lawwell. I might be wrong but guess that few things should be kept secret. Now Peter Lawwell is the target. The question is: The Green Brigade things Peter Lawwell is to be kicked out as first step to make things right?

     

     

    To make my position clear, I would like to say that Ultras like Green Brigade are solt of the stadiums and support. I can imagine games without them but don’t get fooled.

  16. Paul.

     

     

    Surely the board understand what the greenbrigade brings to the atmosphere at Celtic park?

     

     

    Why cut our own throats?

     

     

    Green is using every sounbite to fill ibrokes,while our powers at be are slamming the door on the face of our fans?

  17. The GB statement makes depressing reading.

     

     

    Can we expect the Club and the polis to respond?

     

     

    Or will the board find time when they are no longer ‘too busy’ to meet with the GB -again – and hear their grievances?

     

     

    No? I dont think so either!

     

     

    If that turns out to be the case, then I despair.

  18. I would like to repeat the point that PL can only defend the GB to a certain extent. While they continue to sing IRA songs, he can never fully endorse or defend them. A victim of the IRA could challenge Celtic FC as to why they are not condoning such chants. Do people think PL is crazy? Why would he wish to break up a group which gives such an atmosphere to CP?

     

     

    The police are being given what they need by the GB.

     

     

    The name linked to the GB statement was moronic.

  19. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on

    Paul67

     

     

    The Green Brigade calls Peter Lawwell a liar.

     

     

    Hardly a comment in the shadows.

  20. I wanted to say : I can’t imagine game without Ultras like Green Brigade.

     

     

    Paul67

     

     

    There will be plenty coming out of the shadow blaming this and that, and no one to discuss things. At the end of this road you will not regognise, who is the one who decides about support. That was what I saw here.

  21. If this is true the upshot is this. The club are feeding info to the police including home address etc. Some may say this is a fishing expidition by the cops to intimidate ordinary fans enjoying a day out supporting their team . I think its a political and secterian witchunt by the police an organisation reeking with freemasonary and right wing nutjobs.

  22. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    PeterScarff

     

     

    We need to be careful before listening to buns trying to stir things up…

  23. John O Neil

     

     

    Just because you’ve posted it twice still won’t make it right.

     

     

    And living in Russia doesn’t meant you can’t keep up to speed, with

     

    what songs are sung inside Celtic Park.

  24. prestonpans bhoys on

    John O Neil

     

    19:29 on

     

    17 February, 2013

     

     

    To be honest the bhoys who belt out PIRA songs are in my area 112 and not the GB. Roll of honour and the boys of the old brigade are the only two PIRA/IRA songs sung by the GB.

  25. The GB statement makes it clear – Celtic are complicit in the victimisation of us, the support.

     

     

    I haven’t missed a home game in two seasons but have now come to the conclusion that the only option open to us is a boycott of the next home game against Dundee.

     

     

    I for one, cannot continue to back a board who are assisting and even initiating a sectarian onslaught by the police and authorities against us.

     

     

    A warning to PL – your actions WILL lead to a schism between the supporters and the board that hasn’t been seen since the early nineties. Are you ready for 20-25k crowds for the rest of the season?

  26. The GB statement makes painful reading, and I fear that most if not all of it is true.

     

     

    I don’t think a statement from PL is what’s needed at this stage.

     

    The rags would gladly fill their pages for weeks.

     

     

    Rather, a meeting between the GB and PL needs to happen ASAP.

     

    Common ground needs to be found and guidelines set out.

     

     

    It would be a great pity when we are in such a good place at the moment (great group of young players, great football, doing well in Europe, club’s financial state, the Hunchback show in Govan, etc) if some kind of compromise can’t be found.

     

     

    Gardez la Foi.

  27. If singing IRA songs is the ‘crime’, why are they not dealt with in a stadium as they sing? No chance of a conviction?

     

     

    Intelligence gathering; constant filming home and away; travelling abroad to monitor them; numerous arrests and no convictions…looks like a huge waste of public money to me. And this is a group not involved in football violence.

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