The chanting/banner slow train wreck


Apologies to all who, like me, tired of the circular ‘songs debate’ on CQN many years ago.  Back in 2011, when Celtic had a similar action from Uefa to defend as they now face, I predicted a slow train wreck:

The Debating societies will be exercised on the freedom of some to sing racially-hostile God Save the Queen, or the militaristic, Flower of Scotland, and wait for the reaction to what is euphemistically known as ‘the marching season’.  In this vein I would encourage the Celtic delegation who meet Uefa next month read aloud a transcript of La Marseillaise, which becomes a logical target if Uefa prosecute our club.

“I predict Uefa and the SPL will reprimand Celtic with a cease and desist-type warning which will include specific instructions to remove and ban ‘offenders’.  Efforts will be made to prosecute ‘offenders’, which I expect will fail, but not before a few individuals are brought before the court.

“Neil Lennon, Jock Stein and since Fergus McCann, the club, have asked fans not to sing political songs.  Many agreed but some will not waver, so it would be an act of vanity for lesser mortals to suggest restraint.  The slow train-wreck will happen.”

A few weeks later I wrote:

Singing Flower of Scotland will (correctly) never be criminalised but you can expect charges to be brought for expressing similar sentiment.  Legally, this sounds like a reach by the SNP government, but it’s likely to be a few young football fans who carry the responsibility of establishing how the judiciary view this matter.

“While Celtic will never condone IRA chanting (or, apparently, try to mitigate it as inconsequential, as others did before them with illegal and prejudicial chanting) they have a responsibility to ensure positive parts of our Irish tradition, including the national anthem, the flag and other symbols of the club’s rich and diverse culture are defended.”

Since then:

Uefa and the SPL have reprimanded Celtic.

Efforts have been made to prosecute ‘offenders’, which mostly fail.

Despite pleas from Neil Lennon, or earlier from Jock Stein, some insist on signing political songs.  As Jock and Neil were ignored it remains an act of vanity for lesser mortals to try to convince others to desist.

Charges have been brought for expressing sentiment similar to that in Flower of Scotland.

Celtic have not, should not and cannot try to mitigate IRA chanting or banners as inconsequential.  It is not inconsequential, Jock Stein knew it a long time before the SNP government. Fill your boots on debating why it has consequences below, it’s a huge intellectual topic, you’ll enjoy it, then you’ll get bored of it and move on.

If you want the opportunity to have a Debating Society on this, there is space on the comments section, knock yourself out.  I’ve been through the songs debate often enough to know some of our community feel it is incumbent upon them to sing IRA songs at football games.  Pointing out the words of Jock Stein, or the inevitable conclusion to this singing, or how things have developed in Ireland, will not change this perspective.

That’s the thing about slow train wrecks, nothing can stop them. It’s more productive to plan on how to deal with the aftermath.

Congratulations to the Bucketeers who raised over £26k for the costs of mounting an appropriate legal defence to the Dam Square five.  This is a stunning amount of money raised, which demonstrates the strength of feeling among the support.
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  1. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    4th….story of my life

  2. Am I allowed to support Fans Against Criminalisation but to find the Green Brigade Banner display self indulgent and harmful to the Club I support and consequently unacceptable particularly in that this proceeded apparently in the Green Brigade’s full knowledge of the consequences for the Club and Celtic’s Supporter’s reputations worldwide?

  3. In a move designed to change the topic on CQN – Neil Lennon has confirmed that Mo Bangura’s loan deal is over and he is set to return to the 1st Team Squad.

  4. The runaway train came over the hill and she blew.



    Train whistle blowin’, out along the bay, all bound for morning town, many miles away.



    Come on come on, do the locomotion.



    CaseyJones CSC

  5. In a move designed to link your bulletin with the ongoing debate: maybe the Green Brigade could come up with a suitable banner to welcome Mo back to Paradise … ?




  6. Uefa fine clubs all over Europe for some really petty stuff, don’t see clubs banning fans because they got fined.


    This reputation the club bang on about only exists in there head, do people think clubs all over the world crack on about Celtic all the time half won’t even know who we are.


    The only thing they go on about is the atmosphere at European nights and we all no who brings that.


    Lawwell loves this fan on fan fighting because it deflects the attention away from the shite on the park and him failing to back Lennon in the transfer market

  7. Favourite Uncle – my point was more about it not being black and white. The reaction of Govts to such men and women is always about timing and context.. I’m sure for a long time there was a feeling (at least for some) that we should have nothing to do with any former Irgun members, but that route had least political gain so it was put aside.



    Over time the moderates will nearly always defeat the hardliners.



    Fair points though. It’s always an education on here. :)

  8. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    I feel sick that navigating hearts on Sunday could result in us facing the zombies in the near future.


    That is the true corruption of the Scottish game.

  9. derbyshirebhoy


    12:45 on 28 November, 2013



    Yes you are. You are probably in the majority with your viewpoint.

  10. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma



    11:11 on 28 November, 2013









    Now, if some of the tub-thumpers, Citizen Smiths, and hand-wringers could stop to read it in full we might get accord on what a waste of time and energy the whole GB debacle has been and be able to move on from a fresh start with no grudges, open minds and a willingness to understand more about the intracacies of the different facets of the whole situation.



    Yes, and also, Santa Claus will be bringing a £5 million + striker for Xmas…

  11. Come January, Fridjonsson and Bangura to add to Pukki, Stokes, Samaras and Balde.



    Quantity over quality.

  12. Paul67 etal.



    Another episode in the War between the Green Brigade and Celtic Football Club, people will say it’s not a war, but too me it is a war, promises from the Green Brigade that are not adhered too, they told lies to Celtic that there would be no more, for a better word (dodgy displays) of banners, Placards, Songs, and so on, and so on. Why defy Celtic, Why put Celtic into more trouble by this defiance you show, if fines don’t work there are other options that can and probably will take place through time, ie closing the ground for a period of time.That could be the coup de grace, if it continues.



    If your not going to take heed and listen to people, then your time is up, I’d rather there was no singing, than no football at Celtic Park, and the latter could happen someday, The Rangers couldn’t close us, but some obscure people that have latched onto us, could succeed, where they, (The Rangers) have failed, that would be a black day for our club.



    The politicisation that’s going on at our club is going to far now, what would Brother Walfrid have said about it all. Would he have agrred with political banners, I doubt it, Would he have agreed about the furore about selling Poppies, again I doubt it, He’s probably up in Heaven now saying ‘Why couldn’t I have been a French priest that was dispatched to Scotland to look after the poor’ Why am I getting tarred by the same brush as these disillusioned Celtic Supporters that are bringing Celtic to their knees. AMEN.

  13. Sometimes protest does bring with it consequences. A consequence of the GB’s protests may well see fines or partial stadia closure. But can someone show me a protest against an injustice that has been fought without consequence. It is not as if the GB are hurting or killing anyone. They protested at a UEFA game against a unjust law during a game governed by a bunch of corrupt football officials who are lining their pockets daily.



    I am however in agreement with BRTH that Saturday’s protest should have been aimed at Dam Justice rather than FAC justice.



    MWD so I had my say

  14. Paul



    Not posted on here in quite some time. And must admit I sighed as I read the headline of your article, but as I read on it was the best article in a long while.



    Great work.

  15. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    ‘Come January, Fridjonsson and Bangura to add to Pukki, Stokes, Samaras and Balde.’



    -we’ll be able to play 2-2-6.



    Maks sesne tae me, and it maks sense tae Mo.

  16. dontbrattbakkinanger



    13:02 on 28 November, 2013


    ‘Come January, Fridjonsson and Bangura to add to Pukki, Stokes, Samaras and Balde.’



    -we’ll be able to play 2-2-6.



    Maks sesne tae me, and it maks sense tae Mo.






    And Forster up for the corners!

  17. dsda



    The Honest Mistake loves being first – 12:52 on 28 November, 2013


    I feel sick that navigating hearts on Sunday could result in us facing the zombies in the near future. That is the true corruption of the Scottish game.



    Agreed! I’m currently having trouble with my own conscience in that I think I’d be happy for us both to lose our cup games if only to remove any possibility of playing them anytime soon!



    Then again, I think Falkirk are a pretty generous 3/1….

  18. cliftonville celt from belfast praying for Oscar the wee legend on

    brogan rogan trevino and hogan supports oscar knox, mackenzie furniss and anyone else who fights neuroblastoma



    As an Irish Republican raised in Belfast during the so called ‘troubles’ can I just say well said mate truely well said

  19. I may be ignorant about this and without getting involved in another songs debate can someone explain to me why if people appear in court and are found to have no case to answer by the law of the land we still pursue them as a club.



    We could argue all day, again, about the rights and wrongs of this but it seems to me if Sherrifs continue to dismiss these cases who at Celtic has the right to ignore these events. I know Celtic have the right to control what goes on in their stadium but if the law will not take action why do we. We should be challenging the actions of the police as a club and defending our supporters.



    The Green Brigade are unfortunately a different animal, for me they have gone from being a vibrant, colourful element of our support to a group that takes themselves far too seriously, they have legitimate views but have pushed too far in my opinion. Time to move on.

  20. leftclick Together we will get justice for the Dam 5 on

    Ernie Lynch


    Thank you for the Grateful Dead vid link earlier st time I’ve seen that.


    we should have nothing to do with any former Irgun members,



    we ??????? is that the royal we .


    talking like a true blue brit




  22. glendalystonsils on



    12:57 on


    28 November, 2013


    Come January, Fridjonsson and Bangura to add to Pukki, Stokes, Samaras and Balde.



    Quantity over quality.



    Cap’n…..we’re gonna need a bigger bench!




  23. Sipsini



    Spending money wisely.



    Who could disagree with that?



    Not even Celtic.



    Perhaps they will have a rethink or perhaps they think they already are, but they should be reviewing.



    Had Hooper agreed to stay at a wage he dictated, how much would that wage have been?



    The club wanted him and it would have saved the money spent on Pukki or Balde. So how much should Hopps have been paid to stay?



    Maybe Winning Captains could get an interview with Hoops about his time at Celtic, why he left and what would have enticed him to stay.



    That information would help raise the wisdom level.

  24. Yeah…lets ban all the “bad” Celtic fans, then there will only be “good” Celtic fans.


    Get rid of all those “bad” fans, who don’t support our wonderful board, who are doing their utmost to get us fantastic players…but of course, we need to remember, that our hands are tied. and we can only do so much….And we cant compete with all those mega stars, because our players are too busy giving press interviews, telling everybody how good they are.


    But never mind eh…..Theres always sevco to look forward to, so ban all those offensive “bad”, not right thinking Celtic fans….They are a disgrace. ban them




  25. CultsBhoy loves being 1st forever & ever on

    Songs / Banner debate will be welcomed by Celtic Board. A great smokescreen to hide behind. Better do that than face up to the reality of our abject failure in Champion ‘a League. Easier than trying to justify the current ‘strategy’ of buying strikers at a level that has proven to be futile in Europe.


    There is no need for polarisation here we don’t need 3x £5m strikers or 10 @ £1.5m. There is scope for a hybrid model surely? This would allow flexibility in attracting better players when they can be persuaded to come to Glasgow which is clearly a major challenge.



    One things for sure on the field at the top level the current strategy is not working. It may be delivering financial balance in the short term but in the longer term it is delivering empty seats….


    So I’m sure the Board would love a songs debate…


    So CQN – ers don’t fall in to that trap.. Let’s discuss the ‘strategy’ the empty seats the risks to attracting better players by our team being booted out of Europe so early.



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