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Tunnel closure echoes Leppings Lane

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On Sunday, I entered the Janefield St tunnel from the east at 11:38 (Google tracking to the minute), and reached my turnstile (T22), which is a few meters beyond the gates.  The gates were open at this time, approximately 15 minutes before kick-off.  The tunnel was busy but orderly and there was no crushing.

Reports suggest the gates were closed 10 minutes before kick-off.  Fans continued to walk towards their turnstile, not knowing the gates ahead were closed.  This caused crushing and distress, as fans were boxed in.

There was a slightly higher footfall in the tunnel than previous games against Newco, or others.  6,000 extra Celtic fans were situated at the east of the stadium than were there during previous games against Newco.  Some of them approached the stadium from the west.  The police stopped Celtic fans walking west-to-east along London Road, leaving the Janfield St tunnel as the only available route.

This scenario is reminiscent of what happened at the Hillsborough Disaster.  Fans entered the Leppings Lane terrace through a tunnel, unaware that ahead was a solid wall of people.  Fans walking through the tunnel had no way of knowing they were trapping people in front of them.  There was no escape to the side and police refused to open gates at the pitch side of the terrace.  96 people died.

No significant crushing injuries happened on Sunday probably because the police realised the consequence of closing the gates and opened them again within minutes, and the crowd remained calm.  Those trapped in the tunnel were lucky.

Tunnels are not inherently dangerous but become so when badly controlled.  It is permissible to block people from entering them, but it is negligent to create a blockage in a tunnel that becomes a crush-point, stopping people passing through, or leaving.

I was at a serious incident on Janefield St in 1985, when four mounted police created panic by charging through the back of a crowd leaving a Celtic-Rangers game.  That evening I witnessed a bottle fly out of the Rangers end and hit an officer on the head, causing him to collapse.  Then, after the game, I saw a Celtic fan throw an object at a mounted police officer, striking him on the face.

I am sure the subsequent charge through the crowd was some sort of indiscriminate retribution for the latter incident, on a day the police suffered at least two casualties.  The subsequent investigation and findings completely contradicted what I saw.

Before Sunday’s game serious mistakes were made.  Clear acknowledgment must be made this time.

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  1. What is the Stars on

    Thankfully no serious injuries. Hopefully this won’t happen again…but we should never get complacent about the potential of bad/negligent crowd management

  2. No significant crushing injuries happened on Sunday probably because the police realised the consequence of closing the gates and opened them again within minutes, and the crowd remained calm. Those trapped in the tunnel were lucky.

     

     

    Paul I have not posted on this site for over five years but your comment here, albeit probably well intended has left me as furious as when Celtic released their initial statement.

     

     

    I am furious that media reports, together with statements from Police Scotland and Celtic Football Club are saying that police and stewards dealt with the situation quickly. Over 30 minutes of people being crushed, breathless, panicked, scaling walls and crying of children does not appear to me to be a swift intervention.

     

     

    Here is my account of what I witnessed…

     

     

    I turned into Janefield Street from Springfield Road at around 11:35. On approaching the North stand I could already see the large volume of supporters. My ticket was for section 103 with the instructions on the directing me to enter via turnstiles T6-T13. This meant making my way to the far end of the North stand.

     

     

    As my friend and I got to turnstiles T18 and T17 there was a mass volume of supporters very tightly packed. At this point I could see individuals climbing the cemetery wall. As we tried to make our way further down, unable to see what the hold-up/blockage was there was now a stream of people attempting to make there way in the opposite direction. This, along with large numbers of supporters joining in behind me added to a very uncomfortable and dangerous situation. I felt very much in danger as it was now getting extremely warm and I found it difficult to breathe. Many of the fans in this area were screaming that they couldn’t breathe. I saw several children being help aloft to avoid the crush, many of them in tears. The numbers just kept coming from the Springfield Road end to add to the overcrowding. As far as I could tell, there were no police or stewards stopping the the numbers at this end.

     

     

    My friend and I managed to get in to turnstile T17 were we unsuccessfully attempted to use our tickets. There was one young female steward on the other side who I asked to let us through and explained the situation outside. She said she couldn’t override the gate then informed us that she was told not to. Others were attempting to get in through the turnstile at the back of me which increased anxiety levels due to the very small enclosed space. In the adjoining turnstile a gentleman was furiously telling the steward to open the gate or the emergency fire door. Again, she said she cannot do this.

     

     

    After a few more minutes this same gentleman managed to get through the turnstile. After a moment or two I felt an easing off from the people who had been pushing in behind me. Thinking that the blockage at the far end had now been resolved/freed up I managed to get out of the turnstile area. It was then that I noticed that the gentleman who had made it through the turnstile had opened up the fire door to the right of T17. There were now two stewards demanding that he close the door, which he refused to do stating that there are people getting crushed outside and he was not going to stand by and let that happen. The people now entering through the fire doors insisted the stewards contact the police to have this situation resolved. To my knowledge this did not happen by the time I entered and made my way up the stairs.

     

     

    I got into the ground around 12:05, a full thirty minutes after approaching the North stand. The crowd was still congested as I got through the fire doors so I am unaware of how long it took to resolve the incident. My friend and I were shown to an emergency exit stairwell, then an elevator to take us down to the lower level to our seats.

     

     

    Although I did not see what created the blockage at the far end of the North stand, my understanding from speaking to people after the match was that it was suddenly closed off with mounted police barricading supporters in the enclosed space. There should have then been some instruction to officers in the other end to stop people adding to the congestion. This did not happen.

  3. BREAKING: Allan McGregor will face no action from the Scottish FA following his kick out at Kristoffer Ajer.

     

     

    Three former match officials consulted and no unanimous agreement to take it to fast track proceedings.

  4. May anyone caught up in this recover fully, Celtic Park is the The Celtic Family, family home………..

     

    those responsible for jeopardising safety will surely be held accountable for their actions and crucially learn lessons so that anything like it never happens anywhere, at any football ground again.

     

     

    The days of herding us like animals should be consigned to history.

  5. IGC you timings and much of your experience chimed with mine on the day, the police at the entrance to Janefield St had no idea what was going on and they insisted they did not close the gate!! It was obvious from as early as 11:30 that there was a crush and the gates were closed, the absolute minimum the gates were closed was 20mins.

     

     

    Eventually like many others I climbed the wall and made my way through the cemetery, I got to the Celtic end via the cemetry at around 11:45am the gates were still closed and the Celtic end side of Janefield street was virtually deserted.

  6. Sevco players seem to be immune to actions by the CO. Is there a new man in post or is McGlennan still there?

  7. All this Ryan Jack mumping , is to intimidate the mibs for future games , same with the Scouser , remember he said he would seek council from the cardigan , well it got it’s first airing on Sunday, same auld watty always bleeting . Now great result on sunday , should have been more , we pummelled them , but they did have a short spell late in the game , pumping high balls into our box , which boyata gobbled up . Although we won very comfortable , we will face a harder test at snake mountain , we will need strong willed bhoys , we will without question need assistance for broonie , who will be singled out . I cant see why we cant push on now , but we must prepare for that horrible fixture , we must also start looking for quality for the positions we need to improve , because I fear we haven’t heard the last from mousse, I fear he will unsteady our other French connection , but I hope I,m wrong, time will tell.

  8. Jeanette Findlay has hit the nail on the head n this issue; the police and stewards view all football fans as potential criminals who are liable to start trouble. This mindset must change before something more serious than Sunday’s incident happens.

     

    The 800 visiting fans were escorted up London Rd and 6000 extra Celtic fans were redirected through Janefield St. This is the type of thinking that caused Hillsborough. The authorities must listen to the Celtic Trust here.

     

    The police seem quite chuffed that there were no arrests in or around the stadium, in spite of obvious criminal behaviour by dozens of their fans. The brothers look after their own. Twas ever thus.

     

    Great to see big Yogi on form. He knows all about hunskelping. Thanks for the great memories, John.

     

    It’s magic being a Tim! HH

  9. Is Alan McGregor above the law and is that why he was brought back because Fods was to nice to put Timmy in his place.

     

     

    This has McAllisters paws all over it…

  10. succulentlambstinks on

    !!BADA BING!! on 4TH SEPTEMBER 2018 12:31 PM

     

    BREAKING: Allan McGregor will face no action from the Scottish FA following his kick out at Kristoffer

     

    Three former match officials consulted and no unanimous agreement to take it to fast track proceedings.

     

     

    Wonder why eh ? Guess 2 were masons.

     

    Celtic better speak out and challenge this.

     

    Vicious vermin tactics.

  11. Dear oh dear .a blatant kick off the ball and no action being taken . Thought we had high hopes for Maxwell putting Scottish football’s house in order . No me neither .

  12. Paul67

     

     

    Very serious and disturbing incident and the only thing missing was’ the wild horses ‘, another thing for which we’ve to thank Fergus McCann and his modern stadium approach.

     

     

    Still odd that this happens for the first time since 1995 when the stadium went up, and has been regularly filled with 60,000 Celtic fans some of them arriving right up until k.o.

     

     

    However, given that Celtic FC have already stated our disappointment over ticket restrictions for this fairly new fixture, all eyes of the Celtic board should be focussed on these ticket restrictions instigated and announced by the new club, as there is clearly a link, as to why or how this might have happened?

     

     

    It’s goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway the ludicrously restricted 800 Celtic fans should be nowhere near Ibrokes, when the next circus is rolled out.

     

     

    The tunnel formerly know as Janefield St CSC

  13. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    How can Celtic possibly ever hope to compete fairly when the governing body is so blatantly corrup and compromised?

     

    How can any other club in Scotland hope to compete in a fair manner?

     

     

    It is obvious that we are operating in a climate worse than the Honest Mistake years.

     

    Sevco players are immune to sanctions, even when red cards have been shown.

     

     

    A player openly calling for a ref to be demoted. Watch this space.

     

     

    In a different world, a wee referree’s strike would be called.

     

     

    Even if Celtic attempted to go over the head of the SFA, any complaint would land on the desk of Mr.H. Dallas, Bonkle, protege of Signor Collina.

     

     

    We should all think carefully on the environment Celtic are forced to operate in before we put the boot into our own club.

     

    We only help our enemies when we provide the SMSM headlines.

  14. mullet and co 2 on

    How many decisions is that now that Rangers have had in their favour involving retrospective action?

     

     

    The irony is that when a red card has been issued and subsequently rescinded Rangers use this as PR exercise to claim bias! The refs are against us cos the compliance officer said it wisnae a red.

     

     

    What has happened to the clear rules I thought were in place? Since the late 90s even the slightest of touch of a head but or kick out would result in a red. Think Beckham or more recently the Brazilian at Everton. All around the world in every country these acts of impetuous stupidity have been stamped out. The game is better for it. When was the last time you saw someone lay a Mick McCarthy right hander? Zero tolerance has made the game better.

     

     

    Now the secondary issue but more important one is why each of these retrospective decisions suits Rangers in every case and why there has been a change in application of the rules?

     

     

    Cheating on a National scale… penalty for Rangers.

  15. Imagine trying to get 3 masons to agree to sanction a Sevco player, no chance not ever will this happen and this is how refereeing is, from the linesman who was sacked over Dougie Dougie to the anti Pope email sent by Dallas for a giggle, Dallas now sits proudly at UEFA giving it large,what deterent was that, did UEFA ask for a reference from his previous employer? Not bad for a failed Double Glazing salesman is it not.

  16. BREAKING: Allan McGregor will face no action from the Scottish FA following his kick out at Kristoffer Ajer.

     

     

     

     

     

    Three former match officials consulted and no unanimous agreement to take it to fast track proceedings. https://twitter.com/ClydeSSB/status/1036939442244734978/photo/1

     

     

     

     

     

    When will clubs speak out and have a vote of no confidence in this corrupt organisation. @ScottishFA

     

     

     

    From tomtheleedstim
 
 Morelos – no further action. 
 
Naismith – no further action. 
 
McGregor – no further action.
 
All three seen unequivocally kicking an opponent.
 
I wonder who the former referees are who are on this panel?



  17. As long as football supporters in Scotland continue funding the SFA, they’ll continue their selective disciplinary process like the McGregor farce. Simple as that.

     

     

    Well said @BhoyMagic

  18. I feel it is time for Celtic to consider the safety of the 800

     

    And refuse tickets for the match at snake mountain. There is no way on earth those 800 will not be set upon . And like the attack on the canon , a blind eye will be turned . I havent been there for many years , place stinks with them , but i do know the surrounding areas , they will be waiting make no mistake about that.

  19. Silver City 1888 on

    SFA, this is why we have to keep after them on Resolution 12. It’s not just raking over coals. They are still working for one club.

  20. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    PAUL67

     

     

    I think,as WEEFRA has suggested,this requires the HSE to investigate.

     

     

    I have no faith in any internal Police Scotland,Celtic FC,or Scottish Gov inqu

  21. We know they are corrupt. We have not complained about it .. Didn’t complain that a new club with no assets that could not possible be a real club was allowed into the league. Didv’t complain tha they have a special arrangement 5-W that they cannot be punished for anything. Didn’t comppalin when they were allowed into Euroipe when they fail the financial criteria. Didn’t complain when police kettled outr fans for complaining about heavy handed poilicing. So no surprise about eith fatso being let off and fans treated like cattle

  22. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    Celtic need to speak out against this nonsense. It’s clear corruption. We had the opportunity to lance this boil when Oldco were liquidated and we failed to address this nonsense.

     

     

    Now it’s worse than ever before and will only get ramped up as 10IAR gets nearer. It’s not good enough to sit meekly by and watch this happen.

  23. So what happened to the ‘new broom’ at the SFA – more like ‘Triggers broom’ different constituent parts same result’

  24. in 1985 the police charged Celtic fans ..that’s why people threw stuff at them…They would want the gates shut to stop Celtic fans getting into game on time.

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