On Friday hooligans associating themselves with the Green Brigade destroyed over 100 seats at Fir Park. Since yesterday not only them, but all organised support is not welcome at Celtic Park or during Celtic’s away trips.
Friday’s away at Fir Park in Motherwell saw disturbing scenes by hooligans standing behind the Green Brigade flag. Part of the travelling contingent ripped well over 100 seats, causing some £10,000 damages. Additionally one flare and two smoke bombs were lit, one of the latter landing on the pitch.
The incidents caused an avalanche of negative comments and some of them go from criticism to hysteria, as seen by the Daily Record's sport section cover photo. Former Scottish FA chief demanded that fans stop using pyrotechnics before they kill someone, though we have no record of anyone ever being killed by a smoke bomb or flare (unlike more dangerous materials that have unfortunately caused fatalities).
On Sunday the Green Brigade issued a statement in which the group emphasized that none of the hooligans were members of the group. However the GB doesn’t attempt to run from responsibility.
“Whilst it was not members of our group behaving in this manner, we accept the fact that these actions took place behind our banner in what was an unofficial ‘Green Brigade section’ and furthermore that the fans within this area are associated to our group whether they are members or not.” – the statement reads.
Celtic FC’s reaction wasn’t difficult to predict. Yesterday afternoon the club issued their statement in which the club imposes 128 home and away bans for those present at Fir Park, whether they did anything wrong or not. The issue of guilt is to be addressed only after the bans were imposed.
More importantly, however, the club decided definitively disband the Section 111 at Celtic Park. This is where 250 fans create the organized support and around that section most vocal fans are gathered. Now each season ticket holder has a choice of either agreeing to a relocation (Celtic wants to spread members throughout the stadium) or refund and leaving Parkhead.
“It is clear that there is an element which has no hesitation in bringing Celtic’s name into disrepute. This is something the Club will not tolerate and we therefore have no other option but to take this action. We will not allow the great name of Celtic to be damaged in this way any more - our supporters deserve more than this.”, the club statement reads.