With arguable safety fears still being raised by Celtic, the club decided to close Section 111, occupied by ultras from the Green Brigade. Fans themselves consider this ‘pathetic’ and drastic in regard to the ‘trivial and harmless’ concerns.
Following warnings issued in July, Celtic FC decided to close Section 111 at Parkhead, occupied by ultras of the Green Brigade. “Given recent events, we have been left with no option but to take steps to ensure the safety of our supporters. We trust that supporters will recognise that the Club has been placed in an impossible position”, the club writes.
“It is therefore with extreme regret that for safety reasons, the Club has taken the decision to relocate supporters currently sitting within Area 111 of the Stadium, where there have been continued examples of unsafe behaviour. Supporters who do not wish to be relocated may choose to receive a pro rata refund and return their season ticket.
“In order to protect our Safety Certificate, it is essential that we comply with all of our duties in terms of safety for spectators at Celtic Park. Unsafe behaviour at Celtic Park is not acceptable and we have made our position on this clear.
“Under advice from the Safety Advisory Group, which includes representatives of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, Police Scotland and the Council, it is open to Glasgow City Council to enforce a reduction in stadium capacity or, ultimately, to close a stadium.
The club lists lateral movement, moshing, crowd surfing and not complying to stewards’ orders among the list of safety threats leading to the decision. That kind of justification is arguably convincing and those arguing its sense are, obviously, the Green Brigade. The group released a statement of their own, criticizing the overly strict policies and inflated safety fears.
“The Green Brigade are disappointed to announce that our section in 111 is to be closed by Celtic Football Club. Pathetically, this is due to ‘lateral movement’ which has been deemed ‘unsafe’ by the club’s directors. Our group and section has continually made concessions and strived to be co-operative with the club over various safety concerns so we are left dismayed that such drastic and immediate action has been taken over such a trivial and harmless movement.
The group is currently seeking legal advice and will consult with those in our section over the coming days. A detailed statement shall be released over the next few days and we’d advise all within our section to take no action until we have had the opportunity to discuss our options together. We would like to stress that this is not the end of the Green Brigade. Decisions and hurdles like these will only strengthen our group’s resolve. We would like to thank the Celtic support who have continually backed, funded and inspired our group from our formation to the present day and can assure you that none of this support will have been in vain.”