He's caught himself out by doing so. He admitted listening out for sectarian songs at the Feyernoord game but heard nothing. Basically stating he was looking out for itAgain, I have no basis to doubt your words, BB but a)he had no need to bring us into it and b)he's more of a C-U-N-T than an ICT for suggesting the SFA hammer us.
They have 17 previous convictions from UEFA, so now it’s “ not me guv, it was him over there”Hang on, 17 guilty offences in 12 years - considering how many games they’ve actually played in UEFA competition is that time and a £12.5k fine now is “harsh”?
Pack up, go home, %^*& this.
WtfTHE list of offences committed by Celtic supporters during European matches in the past decade or so is a lengthy and damning one now.www.heraldscotland.com
THE list of offences committed by Celtic supporters during European matches in the past decade or so is a lengthy and damning one now.
The €12,500 (£11,013) fine which the Parkhead club were hit with by UEFA on Friday for the conduct of their fans in the Europa League play-off match against AIK in Stockholm last month was just the latest in a long line of punishments which have been meted out.
They have been repeatedly disciplined for a variety of their followers’ misdemeanours; displaying illicit banners, pro-IRA chanting, fighting, blocking stairways, invading the pitch and attempting to attack a player and, as was the case in Sweden, setting off flares and throwing objects. It was the 17th time since 2007 they have been reprimanded.
It has been impossible to defend the imbecilic actions of an element who follow the Scottish champions at times and hard to argue with the repercussions.
Yet, this particular rap is harsh and raises serious questions about the fairness and effectiveness of strict liability, which holds clubs responsible for how their fans behave regardless of the measures which they have taken to prevent trouble beforehand and to identify the culprits afterwards.
There has been widespread scepticism expressed about Celtic’s claim that supporters of Hammerby, AIK’s fierce local rivals, infiltrated their travelling supporters and were responsible for the unrest which flared in the stands at the Friends Arena.
The fights which broke out between baton-wielding police and spectators at half-time took place just behind a Green Brigade banner. Were no bona fide fans at all involved in the scuffles? Had they all nipped away to get their pies and Bovrils when it all kicked off? It seems highly unlikely given their track record.
That said, the away team had returned 1,000 of their 2,500 ticket allocation to their hosts in the build-up to the second leg tie. Their opponents were looking to attract a record European attendance. There would appear, then, to have been no shortage of briefs freely available to anyone, no matter what their allegiance, who wanted one. It is entirely plausible to suggest that Hammerby hooligans intent on causing disorder got in.
Indeed, one Celtic fan of my acquaintance, who had taken his teenage son to see his first European away game in Solna, this week confirmed to me there were several locals in their section of the stadium. The photographs of the clashes, one of which is shown above, back him and his club up. Have any of the individuals pictured ever been spotted in the East End. Not by me.
Did the control, ethics and disciplinary body of UEFA take that into account when they were ruling on the case on Thursday? In this instance, it does seem as if the Glasgow club have been rather severely dealt with. Aleksander Ceferin, the governing body’s president, and his staff need to take a serious look at the entire process.
Those who are against the introduction of strict liability in Scottish football have long claimed that it is far too open to abuse. What is to stop a particularly determined yob, they say, going to a rival club’s game, smuggling in a pyrotechnic and then igniting it in a deliberate attempt to get them into bother with the authorities?
Those who want to see more done to stamp out crowd disturbances in general and sectarian singing specifically in this country have suggested a range of sanctions including fines, shutting down stands and even docking points.
But there is invariably an outcry, not to mention a mass outbreak of paranoia, whenever a player is cited retrospectively by the SFA compliance officer for a foul which a referee had failed to spot or punish appropriately at the time and then banned at the moment. What would happen if, for instance, Rangers were forced to play a game behind closed doors? The game here would go into meltdown.
What happened in Stockholm and the consequences of it shows that strict liability would be beset by difficulties, could possibly even be unworkable, in the unlikely event that it, or something like it, ever got the go-ahead here.
My own view is that far more needs to be done than is currently the case to address what is an escalating and concerning issue. It is difficult to point the finger elsewhere when thousands of fans belt out bigoted chants. It is worth toughening up the existing rules to see if there any significant improvement. There is strong evidence that it works.
Rangers have fallen foul of strict liability legislation twice this season – for “racist behaviour” in their Europa League qualifiers against St Joseph’s at home in July and Legia Warsaw away last month – and been forced to close off sections of Ibrox in their home meetings with Legia and Feyenoord.
There have been inevitable cries about the injustice of it all and protestations of innocence –The Union Bears, the ultras group who were among those banished from the Warsaw match, accused the club of treating them with contempt and making them scapegoats. It was sooooo unfair!
However, the Group G match against Feyenoord on Thursday evening, as far as I could hear from my vantage point in the press gantry at least, passed off without the air being polluted by any sectarian bile.
Would that have be the case in an Old Firm match if Rangers had been hammered by the SFA for belting out The Billy Boys? It would be quite an achievement. It isn’t an easy thing to fix.
Still, it is definitely worth the SFA’s member clubs and the SPFL doing more than shrugging their shoulders and trotting out tired platitudes about it being a societal problem which Scottish football can do nothing about.
Correct he is an Inverness fan it's where he is from.Read the article again: he doesn't spare them. The first 3 paragraphs get into their ribs.
I don't agree with his view that the UEFA punishment was excessive, and clearly he's taking the piss when he talks about identifying Sellik fans, but ML is not a tim. IIRC, he's an ICT man.
He’s the Herald reporter for all things Celtic, however Inverness fan or not, he’s certainly on message.Met him, know him, am familiar with his work.
Their apologists are bereft of any critical self-analysis. He’s incoherent, contradictory and kidding no one. Embarrassing agenda-led drivel for a professional writer or anyone with self-respect.In which case his sycophantic grovelling to them makes him much worse and not to be trusted.