Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Celtic fans riot at Old Firm match

Celtic back in the dock as UEFA charge club over fans behaviour at Udinese

Celtic face their second UEFA disciplinary case in two months after being charged in relation to two offences during their Europa League game against Udinese in Italy.

UEFA confirmed they had opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic, charging the Glasgow club with 'the displaying of a banner of an offensive nature and the setting off of fireworks by supporters'.

The case will be heard by the UEFA's control and disciplinary body on January 26.

Some Celtic fans held aloft a two-part banner which insulted UEFA, days after the club were fined about £12,700 for 'illicit chanting' involving pro-IRA songs at a Europa League game against Rennes at Celtic Park.

Several flares were also let off and one was thrown on to the pitch-side track as Celtic exited the tournament with a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Friuli last Thursday night.

Celtic have already banned for life one fan who was arrested in Italy over the alleged assault of a club steward, and who they say was one of those responsible for the banner.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon and chief executive Peter Lawwell hit out out at the 'rogue' element within their support on the day after the game.

The club also vowed to sift through photographic evidence to find those fans responsible for the use of the flares, warning that they will take 'appropriate action'.

Lawwell said: 'It is very frustrating. Those people are not Celtic supporters.

'We will weed them out and these guys will not get back into Celtic Football Club.

'One or two silly little juvenile boys doing funny kids' pranks and stuff and it is bringing the whole of Scottish football down.'

Lennon added: 'My only surprise is that they got the spelling (on the banner) right.

'I am very disappointed, they have let me down, they have let the board, players and background staff down and 99.9% of the support down.'

New Uefa charge for Celtic as SPL toughens rules on fan behaviour

UEFA has formally charged Celtic for a fresh breach of its disciplinary regulations during last Thursday night’s Europa League tie against Udinese in Italy.
A section of the 800-strong Celtic support at the Friuli Stadium unveiled a banner with the message “F*** Uefa” and let off flares before the kick-off of their club’s final Group I fixture.
Celtic’s case will be heard by Uefa’s Control and Disciplinary Body in Nyon on 26 January, leaving the club facing their fifth disciplinary sanction from European football’s governing body in as many years.
Confirmation of Celtic’s latest Uefa charge came on the same day the Scottish Premier League announced changes to its rules relating to Unacceptable Conduct, which will now include chants and banners in support of, or in opposition to, any proscribed terrorist organisation.
Earlier this month, the SPL decided to take no action against Celtic after investigating a report of pro-IRA chanting during their home match against Hibs on 29 October, ruling that the club had taken all “reasonably practicable steps” to prevent them.
But Celtic were found guilty by Uefa of “illicit chanting” from their fans during the Europa League match at home to Rennes on 3 November and fined £12,700. The club accepted the punishment, with chief executive Peter Lawwell issuing a warning that the chants must stop.
It prompted the banner protest by a group of Celtic’s travelling support last Thursday night which, in addition to the lighting of flares, was reported to Uefa by its Danish match delegate, Steen Dahrup.
In a brief statement yesterday, Uefa confirmed that Celtic have been “charged with the displaying of a banner of an offensive nature and the setting off of fireworks by supporters at the Scottish club’s Uefa Europa League Group I match against Udinese Calcio in Italy last Thursday”.
The latest misdemeanour from among their support was condemned in the strongest possible terms by both Lawwell and Celtic manager Neil Lennon as they returned home last Friday. The club can anticipate a hefty fine from Uefa and are compiling a charge sheet which is becoming a major concern.
Since being fined a nominal sum of £420 for the throwing of water bottles during a Champions League match against AC Milan at the San Siro Stadium in March 2007, Celtic have subsequently received sanctions of £25,000 for improper conduct of supporters when a fan entered the field of play to confront Milan goalkeeper Dida at Parkhead seven months later, £42,430 for another pitch invasion during a home game against Manchester United in November 2008 and then the recent £12,700 sanction for illicit chanting.
Celtic’s quest to eradicate pro-IRA chants from their matches will be intensified in the wake of yesterday’s SPL general meeting at Hampden which saw the Unacceptable Conduct rule amendments, put forward following discussions with the Scottish Government-led Joint Action Group, put into force.
The definition of ‘Unacceptable Conduct’ within the SPL Rules has been extended to include “using words, conduct or displaying any writing or other thing which indicates support for, or affiliation to, or celebration of, or opposition to an organisation proscribed in terms of the Terrorism Act 2000”.
A number of amendments which set out the minimum standards expected of SPL clubs in relation to tackling Unacceptable Conduct will also be introduced. Where a charge is to be laid that a club has not met the requirements of the Unacceptable Conduct rules, the case will be heard by an Independent Commission chaired by an advocate or solicitor of at least ten years standing.
Any club found guilty of breaching the newly-constituted rules will face a range of potential punishments which include warnings, fines, annulment of results, points deductions, supporter bans and playing matches behind closed doors.
“Changes to our rules on Unacceptable Conduct raise the bar in terms of what is expected of clubs and shows our clubs are committed to playing their part in tackling Unacceptable Conduct,” said SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster.
The rule amendments mean all SPL clubs are now obliged to bring any instance of Unacceptable Conduct to the attention of the police match commander, take reasonably practical steps to identify spectators responsible for such conduct and then apply appropriate sanctions.
Clubs must include those requirements in all of their match ticket conditions and ground regulations, submit interim and annual reports to SPL secretary Iain Blair detailing actions taken to prevent Unacceptable Conduct and maintain records of requests for police assistance, interventions and responses to any incidents.

They’re morons but what’s YOUR excuse Peter?

THE first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one.

Alternatively, you could act like Peter Lawwell.

And keep denying, denying, denying in the vain hope the world will eventually go away and leave you alone.

Well, what else is there to say about a man who watches the away end in Udine unfurl a giant banner reading F*** UEFA and declares the halfwits responsible "aren't real Celtic fans".
Not real Celtic fans? Is he having a Steffi Graf?

These people paid about 400 quid a head to follow the team to Italy ten days before Christmas. If that doesn't make them real fans, what does?

Do they need to actually pay the team's hotel bill out of their own pocket? Buy a new left-back?

Because plainly Parkhead's chief executive isn't impressed by them merely travelling that far at that much expense at this time of year with that slim a chance of coming back happy.

Though, before the Green Brigade take this as some sort of compliment, one word of advice. Don't.

Because being there through thick and thin doesn't make them any less stupid, crass or bullying than the world already knows them to be.

That stunt the other night could cost their club big time, both in terms of another fine and permanent damage to their reputation around the world.

Mind you, at least they have an excuse. They're numbskulls.

On the other hand, Lawwell is an intelligent man. A financial whizz. A high-flying negotiator.
Yet he still refuses to own up to the fact that these morons are his club's problem and therefore his problem.

More to the point, he also seems blind to the fact that, in the eyes of those whose motto is F*** The World, not only are they real Celtic fans, they see themselves as the only true Celtic fans.
In their heads, they're upholding a noble cause. They're defending an oppressed community kept down by a bigoted establishment. They're freedom fighters.

Anyone who criticises them is criticising Celtic and, therefore, to be despised.

So when police officer Eddie Smith reports them to UEFA for singing pro-IRA bile, they turn up with a banner abusing him.

When UEFA crack down, they abuse them.

When everyone else in the country is respecting the dead of two wars, they turn up with a banner reading No Bloodstained Poppies On Our Shirts.

They produced stickers branding former chairman John Smith a war criminal because he was once Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Back in January, when I had a go at the behaviour of some of them at Ibrox, they turned up the following week with a banner reading F*** Bill Leckie. Everyone who isn't them is wrong. Everyone who isn't with them is against them. Everyone else is a bigot, not them.

Even Neil Lennon is getting it in the neck from them for having a pop over the Udine nonsense.

Though it's a fair bet the true paranoids among them will be tapping their noses and going: "Aye, he wants to agree with us, he's just scared that The Establishment will hammer him for it." It's all cobblers. But nothing more so than Lawwell's repeatedly-mumbled threat to "identify" offenders and "deal with them".

Here's a clue, Peter. They're the ones whose banners always have the same typeface and which are always in the same section of the ground at home games. The section you set aside for them.

Promising to "identify" them is like looking at the dugout and vowing to work out which one's Lennon from a description of him as the wee, angry ginger fella. The longer Lawwell remains in denial, the more powerful the banner-waving balloons will become in their own minds. The more powerful they believe themselves to be, the harder it will be to shift them.

And with every game where they get to hang about like a bad smell, the closer Celtic will come to their next embarrassment in the eyes of society.

So the situation's simple, Mr L.

You can deal with the problem. Or you can keep hiding from it and let it turn into a full-blown crisis. Your call.

Read more:

Scottish league to stop illicit chanting

Scotland's 12 Premier League clubs agreed on Monday to punish any club whose fans show support for guerrilla groups as they toughened up their rules on "unacceptable conduct" at league matches.
The move follows a series of incidents this year.

Celtic, the 42-times Scottish champions, were last week fined 15,000 euros ($19,600) by European soccer's governing body UEFA after their fans sang pro-Irish Republic Army (IRA) chants at a Europa League match against Rennes of France on Nov. 3.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Football banning order for racist Celtic fan

A football fan who made racist remarks and assaulted a police officer has been banned from all games in Scotland.

Celtic fan Gerard Brodrick, 23, was caught making racist remarks at the Aberdeen vs Celtic on February 1 at Pittodrie Stadium.

The Glasgow man was banned from all Scottish games for two years at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Friday after he admitted a racist breach of the peace.

He also admitted assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.
Chief superintendent Adrian Watson, Aberdeen division commander, said: "Grampian Police is committed to stamping out racism and all other forms of unacceptable behaviour.

"We work closely with Aberdeen Football Club , the fans and the football authorities to identify those responsible for acting in an unacceptable manner and have made significant inroads into making the match day experience at Pittodrie one of the safest in the country.

"It is unfortunate that the very few continue to act in this way and this should serve as a warning that Grampian Police will not tolerate this type behaviour of behaviour in any shape or form ."

Hooligan Celtic fans defiant over sectarian Pro IRA chanting

RENEGADE Celtic fans showed their contempt for football chiefs last night by setting off flares and waving a banner saying "F*** UEFA" at their Europa League clash.

They held up the sign ahead of the teams' arrival on the pitch — before Neil Lennon's side were dumped out of Europe in a 1-1 draw with Udinese in Italy.

A Celtic fan was arrested for attacking one of the club's own stewards. Parkhead chief Executive Peter Lawwell was in the crowd.

Grim-faced Lawwell was spotted on his mobile phone immediately after the banner stunt.

Hoops chiefs asked Italian cops to arrest the lout after the steward was attacked.

The yob spent the night in a Udine jail.

The scenes come just days after the club was hit with a £13,000 fine by the governing body over 'illicit chanting' at last month's home tie with Rennes.

The flares were let off — in breach of Italian law — by rogue Hoops fans in the away end of the Stadio Friuli in Udine moments before kick-off.

Celtic chiefs were desperate to avoid trouble and had issued warnings to fans spelling out what could happen if flares were lit. They said it could leave the club "exposed to disciplinary action."

It is understood that Celtic will pore over video footage of the banner being raised and the flares being set off.

Any fans identified will be banned from Parkhead for life.

It is likely the official UEFA match delegate Steen Dahrup, from Denmark, will include the behaviour in his report.

Celtic last night refused to comment.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rennes applaud CELTIC UEFA guilty verdict

The French club back the decision to fine the Glasgow side.

General secretary Patrick Fretel said: "It's a wise decision. The delegate has done his job and has condemned these illicit chants.

"We only learned about them much later on as you need to be able to master the language to truly understand the context of the remarks."

Monday, December 12, 2011

UEFA fines Celtic €15,000 for pro-IRA songs

NYON, Switzerland (AP) -UEFA has fined Scottish club Celtic ?15,000 ($19,877) after its supporters sang Irish political songs during a Nov.3 Europa League match against Rennes.
UEFA's control and disciplinary panel fined the Glasgow club after the body's match delegate was informed of what it called "illicit chanting'' by a Scottish police official.
Celtic was fined over pro-Irish Republican Army songs. Celtic traditionally draws support from Catholics and those in favor of Irish independence.
The club escaped punishment from the Scottish Premier League following an investigation into the singing of the same songs by a section of the club's fans in October.
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell used October's annual club meeting to ask fans to stop the songs.

Read more:

Celtic fined by UEFA over ‘illicit chanting’
Celtic have been hit with a 15,000 euros (£12,720) fine by UEFA after it was ruled that a section of their support had engaged in “illicit chanting”.

The Parkhead club were informed last month that they faced disciplinary action over the behaviour of some fans during their Europa League group stage match against Rennes on November 3.
Any appeal must be lodged within three days of the contested decision being received in writing. An appeal fee of 1,000 euros (£856) is payable.

UEFA’s control and disciplinary body met on Friday to consider the matter but did not announce their verdict until Monday due to the volume of cases they handled.

Celtic have not yet commented on the ruling but expressed their surprise at being investigated when the hearing was announced last month.
A club spokesman said on November 14: “Celtic supporters have a magnificent record of positive support for their team, something recognised by both UEFA and FIFA in recent years and we are extremely proud of this reputation.

“Therefore, the club will co-operate fully with any UEFA investigation.”

Appeal after sectarian chanting following Celtic match

Police are searching for 20 "rowdy" football fans who subjected fellow rail passengers to sectarian chanting between Dundee and Stirling.
The group boarded the train at about 19:00 on Sunday, after Celtic's 1-0 victory over Dundee United.
British Transport Police said the football supporters had also jumped on seats and banged windows while sitting in a rear carriage.
The train involved was the 15:27 service from Inverness to Glasgow.
PC Lorraine Lowe, who is in charge of the inquiry, said: "Passengers and rail staff have the right to travel without the fear of encountering anti-social behaviour of this kind.
"I am anxious to speak with anyone who travelled on this train and has information regarding the identity of those involved."

Police hunt 20 after sectarian chants terrorise rail passengers

A gang of 20 football fans who terrorised rail passengers with sectarian chanting is being sought by police.
Passengers on the Inverness to Glasgow train were subjected to rowdy behaviour, including sectarian chanting, on Sunday, December 4.
The group jumped on seats, banged on windows and were heard singing and chanting sectarian songs.
The supporters boarded the train at Dundee shortly after 7pm, after Celtic's victory over Dundee United.
British Transport Police constable Lorraine Lowe said: "Passengers and rail staff have the right to travel without the fear of encountering anti-social behaviour of this kind.
"I am anxious to speak with anyone who travelled on this train and has information regarding the identity of those involved.
"CCTV footage from the train will also be examined as part of the investigation.The train involved was the 3.27pm service which runs from Inverness to Glasgow Queen Street via Aberdeen."
Anyone with information is asked to call British Transport Police on0800 405040 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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