Since the Linfield Champions League match last Wednesday we’ve had a statement from the club and a response from the Green Brigade.
The initial statement from the club stated there would be a two match ban, this week’s game against Rosenberg in the Champions League and Hearts in our first League game on August 5th, on the 900 fans who occupy the ‘Green Brigade’ section of the ground.
Before I go into the rest of the statement, I never knew that area was called the ‘Green Brigade’ area, I always thought the club referred to it as the North Curve. Ah, well, you live and learn.
The reasoning behind the club’s seemingly heavy handed punishment was due to safety concerns regarding the Pyrotechnics at the last Hearts game and blocking of stairways and illicit banners last Wednesday.
The Pyro issue was always going to have to be addressed.
Despite what some say on social media, they smoke, not to mention the flames, are dangerous. There are many people with breathing problems who can be affected, and to them this is no laughing matter. Celtic DO have a responsibility to all supporters, and that includes making the stadium a safe place to watch our team.
Without accepting these responsibilities, we simply won’t get a licence to operate. What then?
Banning the whole section was a bit too much, in my opinion, as I’m sure they have an idea who’s involved in the Green Brigade as they allow the Bhoys access to the stadium to do Tifo’s etc. And let’s be honest, it’s the Green Brigade they’re looking to ban.
Moving on the response from the Green Brigade, my reading of it was fairly simple. They accept no responsibility, blame the club and are basically saying, we are what we are, we’re Ultras, take it or leave it.
It’s become a stand off.
Both parties have a responsibility. No one is about the law here. By saying take it or leave it, the Green Brigade are not only putting two fingers up to the board, they’re putting two fingers up to the rest of the support, who just might not agree with their actions.
I hope there’s a reconsideration, however, if there’s not, there’s only going to be one winner..