THE Scottish Professional Football League is to review its policy on fan behaviour in the wake of criticism over its apparent impotence on Rangers* supporters sectarian singing.
Nil By Mouth, a Glasgow-based charity set up to combat sectarianism, led calls for SPFL clubs to adopt a “strict liability” policy that sees clubs punished for fan behaviour, a system which saw Celtic fined by UEFA today after supporters lit flares at their Europa League game against Dinamo Zagreb in December.
The SPFL arrangement sees clubs cleared if they can show they did everything possible to prevent offensive behaviour. A statement from the league read: “An SPFL board meeting was convened by conference call this morning to discuss recent (Rangers) supporter misconduct at several matches.
“The strong view of the SPFL board is that such behaviour has no place in Scottish football.
“These events and the current regulations in this area will be reviewed and discussed in detail when the board meets in person at Hampden in March.”
The SPFL recently announced it was taking no action against Rangers or Celtic following the Scottish League Cup semi-final after 10 people were arrested for breach of the peace with sectarian singing heard among the vast majority of Rangers fans while flares were let off in the Celtic end of the ground.
Rangers supporters could again be heard chanting sectarian songs during their team’s 2-1 Scottish Championship victory over Raith Rovers last Friday and it is understood SPFL match delegate Tom Purdie has mentioned that in his report. On top of that there were also racist chants directed at former footballer Stan Collymore who the Rangers support described in song as a ‘black fenian b******’ after Collymore called them out on social media for their sectarian bile at Hampden.
On Tuesday, Doncaster called the offending Rangers fans’ behaviour “distasteful, shameful and selfish” but added: “It remains the SPFL’s position that if it can be established that clubs have done everything required in overall management of the event pre-match, during the game and post-match then they have no case to answer.”