Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Celtic fans disturbances "like a throwback to the 1970s"

CELTIC chiefs yesterday apologised to Dundee FC for the drunken behaviour of some fans at the Boxing Day game at Dens Park.
Chief executive Peter Lawwell vowed to work with the Tayside club to identify any supporters involved in the disorder.
It followed angry comments from Dundee’s operations chief, who described the scenes as the worst he had seen “in 20 years” and a “throwback to the 70s”.
Parkhead bosses said yesterday they had been contacted by their own supporters to complain about the behaviour of fellow fans.
The worst trouble took place in the Bob Shankly Stand, which housed 3000 Celtic supporters.
Jim Thomson, Dundee operations manager, said: “I have never seen anything like the behaviour of the Celtic fans in the 20 years I have been running games at Dens Park.
“There was almost a full-scale riot. I have never seen so many people drunk.”
Thomson said home fans and stewards were abused and Celtic fans fought among themselves.
He added: “It was like a throwback to the 1970s. It was scary. I had Celtic fans coming up to me to tell me they were embarrassed by their own fans’ behaviour.”
Thomson blamed the late kick-off for the game, which was screened live on ESPN.
He said: “It should never have kicked off at 7.30pm on Boxing Day. It gave the supporters too much time to get drunk.”
Lawwell said: “We are very proud that Celtic supporters enjoy such a great reputation and it is therefore extremely disappointing that the behaviour of a small minority has tarnished the good name of the club and our fans in this way.
“Clearly, we apologise to Dundee. We will work with them and look into any incident raised, and if we can identify any individuals involved, we will take the strongest possible action.
“We have received a number of complaints from our own supporters about the conduct of this minority.”
Police said there was “a level of disturbance at the match, primarily within the Celtic section”. One Dundee supporter and four Celtic fans will be reported to prosecutors for alleged offences.

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