Friday, July 26, 2013

Homophobic Celtic hooligan handed a year-long football ban

A Clydebank football hooligan who nutted a copper and unleashed a disgusting homophobic rant has been handed a one-year football banning order.

Celtic supporter Gary Prior was also slapped with a £400 fine after his outrageous actions at Starks Park - home of Raith Rovers in Kirkcaldy - in February this year.

The loud mouthed yob appeared in the dock at Kircaldy Sheriff Court last week after having being found guilty of public disorder at a football match, assaulting a police officer and committing a breach of the peace following his arrest.

The court heard how arrogant Prior was first spotted by eagle-eyed cops shouting support for what court papers described as a "prescribed terrorist organisation", outside the ground in the build-up to Raith Rovers' Scottish Cup clash against Celtic.

They were also told how during his arrest he headbutted an officer and continued to act in an aggressive manner during the journey to Kirkcaldy Police Station where he continued his tirade.
It was explained to the court Prior was shouting and threatening police, before making comments of a homophobic nature, as well as making threats of violence towards them.

The 21-year-old has been serving a ban from every stadium in Scotland since the offence took place on February 3 this year. Just two days after the ban kicked in, he told mates on his Facebook page how he was "heavy gutted" to be missing the Parkhead side's clash with Juventus in the Champions League last season.

Other posts on Facebook indicate he went to court in a confident mood and would be returning to Celtic Park soon, but his hopes were dashed when the sheriff showed him the red card by banning him for a further 12 months.

Prosecutors told the Post they were satisfied with the outcome of the case and will continue to keep the pressure on football hooligans.

Faith Millar, Football Liaison Prosecutor for the East of Scotland, said: "The [Crown Office] is absolutely determined to play its part in confronting the problems of violence motivated by prejudice or discrimination of any kind.

"Prosecutors will continue to work with the police to take whatever measures are necessary to protect genuine fans from criminal behaviour while attending football matches. We will prosecute anyone indulging in such behaviour with a zero-tolerance approach and reiterate the message that it has no place in modern Scotland."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bees chief sorry for Celtic hooligans 'bad behaviour'

BRENTFORD FC's chief executive has pledged to take action against hooligans who spoiled last weekend's friendly between Bees and Celtic.

Mark Devlin apologised to residents for the disruption before and after the game, and said he was saddened that the prospect of Brentford taking on Scotland’s league champions had turned sour.

The Chronicle reported how drunken Celtic fans repeatedly set off smoke bombs and invaded the pitch during the match on Saturday (20) which the Hoops won 2-1.

People living nearby also complained about noise, vandalism, and masses of litter left by the 6,000 travelling supporters who came to Griffin Park for the first time in 50 years.

Mr Devlin said: "Saturday’s match was a very good test for the First Team squad and one that will, I’m sure, stand them in good stead for the upcoming season. The Manager was very positive about the standard of opposition and a number of our players have said publically that the atmosphere was fantastic.

"Usually pre-season friendlies at Griffin Park are played in a relatively quiet stadium in front of a couple of thousand fans. This was nothing like that. The noise generated by the Celtic supporters was unlike any I have seen at a pre-season game. It was very disappointing, therefore, that the afternoon ended with a pitch invasion despite a very high police presence inside the ground.

“Fortunately, no damage was caused to the pitch or goalposts during the invasion. CCTV pictures were taken, and will be passed to the authorities and individuals who have invaded the pitch are being identified. Supporters were searched on entry and anyone found with flares or smoke bombs was denied entry.

"The use of flares and smoke bombs at football matches in England is dangerous and of growing concern to the football authorities. It was abundantly clear that some did get through and this will be discussed at the usual post-match briefing. We have been made aware of reports of several acts of anti-social behaviour caused by some Celtic fans arriving very early, having consumed a fair amount of alcohol.

“We would like to apologise to any local residents who may have suffered as a result of this behaviour. We were of the understanding that there would have been a police presence in the area of Griffin Park from early on Saturday morning, especially as some pubs were open earlier than normal. 

“As always, the Club will reflect on the match with our safety group, which includes representatives of Hounslow Council and the Metropolitan Police. This will take place soon.” 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Celtic fans with drugs, intent on trouble and repeated pro-IRA singing report Daily Mail

22 Jul 2013, Scottish Daily Mail

ON A clammy afternoon in London, Celtic’s pre- season friendly against Brentford turned into a heated mix of football to savour on the park and unsavoury fan behaviour off it.

A 2-1 win for Neil Lennon’s men at Griffin Park ended with a tense stand-off between rival fans as police and stewards did a great job of keeping the two sets of goading supporters apart.

That the incident did not develop into serious trouble was largely down to their sterling efforts, but while both clubs and the Metropolitan Police were keen to play down events afterwards — with the Met reporting just two Celtic fans arrested, one for possession of Class A drugs and the other for invading the pitch — this was not the kind of behaviour advisable of a club with a burning hunger to eventually widen its footballing horizons.

Bangers and flares were routinely sent off, while intruders ran on to the pitch at both Celtic goals, with another disrupting the game by entering the field of play to take a goal-kick for unsuspecting Parkhead keeper Lukasz Zaluska.

The afternoon was rounded off by a mass pitch invasion, with a malevolent minority intent on provoking trouble, which thankfully did not come to pass despite the Griffin Park groundsman’s vain attempt to dampen the desire for trouble by turning the sprinklers on the miscreants.

The most depressing aspect of the whole game, however, was the repeated pro-IRA singing and the goading of the home fans, although a portion of the London club’s fans fired back with chants of ‘ EDL’ (English Defence League), with one Brentford ‘supporter’ ejected by police for shaking a Union Flag in the direction of the visitors.

‘They were a bit over- exuberant,’ said Lennon, who was escorted off the park by security guards at fulltime in case troubled exploded. ‘Heat, a few beers — there was a carnival atmosphere, although I would like them to leave the flares out of it.’ When the smoke had cleared, literally, after a day of flares, it was almost lost in the chaotic scenes that this had been a decent performance by Lennon’s second string, augmented by top-team players Efe Ambrose and new signings Steven Mouyokolo and Amido Balde.

After flattering to deceive in Germany, £1.7 million striker Balde’s best Celtic performance yet yielded his first goal for the club, cancelling out Adam Forshaw’s opener for the League One side, and, full of confidence, he could have had another but hit the post when clean through on keeper Jack Bonham. Teenager Calum McGregor’s first- ever senior goal, meanwhile, was a piece of sublime finishing, while there were also decent cameo appearances from Bahrudin Atajic and young full-back Darnell Fisher.

And even if the majority have no chance of playing against Cliftonville in tomorrow’s dead-rubber Champions League second-round second-leg qualifier at Celtic Park, they will have benefited from the occasion, which was as far removed from a friendly atmosphere as possible. ‘We had to get off the park really quickly at the end, after the pitch invasion,’ said a wide eyed Fisher. ‘ You could tell on the way to the game it was going to be lively because there were fans out singing on the roads. ‘But I was just delighted to play. I’m from Reading and my family were at the game today, so that made it extra special. ‘My goal this season is to get as many minutes as possible for the first team. I take inspiration from people like James Forrest and Tony Watt, who have got into the first team at a young age. If you’re good enough at this club, then you’re old enough, and I want to be where they are now.

‘The manager has told me to keep working, keep my head down and keep pushing for the first team. I don’t know what his plans are for Cliftonville, but I’m here if he needs me. I feel ready and I’m confident in my own ability.’

Before joining Celtic, Fisher, 19, was playing for Reading-based youth football side Eldon Celtic, although they played in black and green stripes, not hoops. He still marvels at the way his big break came about and how he found himself rubbing shoulders with a Lisbon Lion.

‘I’ve been really lucky,’ he smiled. ‘A couple of years ago a mate called and asked me if I fancied a game for Eldon Celtic against the Jimmy Johnstone Academy at Eton College. I played, and the Academy invited me up to Scotland to play in a tournament, where we faced Rangers.

‘A guy at the Jimmy Johnstone Academy knew Bertie Auld and Bertie took an interest in me when I arrived. He showed me around Celtic Park and he helped me settle in.
‘Bertie’s a legend and people are in awe of him when they meet him, but he’s just a really down-to-earth guy.

Monday, July 22, 2013

2 Celtic fans arrested: Celtic fans backed by Lennon on Brentford trouble

CELTIC boss Neil Lennon has spoken out in support of the club’s fans in the wake of a pitch invasion at a pre-season friendly against Brentford on Saturday.

Flares were thrown onto the pitch during the game, which Celtic won 2-1. A number of fans had to be removed from the field by security, while some were seen trying to take down the goalposts

 Lennon, who was escorted from the field, spoke out in support of the fans. Talking to the Daily Telegraph, he described the supporters as “over-exuberant”.

“I would like them to maybe leave the flares out. But they were in good voice today and hopefully everyone’s gone home in a good mood.”

The Metropolitan Police said that two people were arrested at the game, for entering the pitch and alleged possession of Class A drugs respectively.

Celtic fans invade pitch and vandalise Brentford FC sprinkler system

Celtic fans turn on Drummer Lee Rigby with sick messages after English visit

Friday, July 19, 2013

Celtic fan found guilty of knife possession during UEFA Champions League tie

A Celtic fan has been cleared of punching a police horse and calling it a "big f****** dog" while on his way to a match.

Marcus Finn was attending the match against Barcelona at Parkhead last November 7 when the incident occurred.

The 39-year-old was arrested and accused of striking the animal in Janefield Street, Parkhead.

Finn was taken to a police office in the grounds of Celtic Park on the night of the Champions League tie. Officers found the football supporter had a knife in his possession.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court on Friday, Finn, from Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, pled guilty to possessing the offensive weapon, while his plea of not guilty to hitting the police horse was accepted by the Crown.

Sheriff Martin Jones QC accepted that the engineer manager forgot he had the knife in his pocket.

Finn was given a community payback order and must carry out 160 hours of unpaid work.

Celtic won the European group stage tie against the Catalan side 2-1.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Politician calls for UEFA investigation into "pro IRA chanting" at Cliftonville v Celtic Champions League qualifier

DUP MLA Edwin Poots hit out at what he described as pro-IRA chanting at the game.
"Pity that a great footballing spectacle was marred by stupid pro-IRA chanting tonight," he wrote on Twitter. "Will require a UEFA investigation now."

Celtic fans clash with riot police at UEFA Champions League qualifier

Sectarian chanting at Celtic UEFA Champions League clash

The arrival of hundreds of Celtic fans in Belfast for last night’s match against Cliftonville passed off largely without incident.

However, sectarian chants during the Champions League qualifier angered many football fans watching the game live on television.

Many loyalists used social networking sites last night to call on elected representatives from the nationalist community to condemn those responsible.

There had been fears the game in north Belfast could add to an already tense atmosphere after five nights of rioting in parts of the city.

Both sets of fans spent much of yesterday drinking together in the area around Cliftonville’s Solitude ground after the Scottish fans were warned not to sport their green and white hoops around the city centre.

Speaking prior to the game, Celtic manager Neil Lennon said he hoped nothing would happen to mar the occasion.

Commenting on previous nights of violence in the area, Lennon said: “It hasn’t had an impact on us and I am hoping the night will be remembered for all the right reasons.”

Celtic’s website had posted advice for travelling fans. Quoting advice from Cliftonville director David Begley, it said: “Belfast city centre is a very welcoming place... but it’s probably best to avoid wearing colours into the city centre.

“I would say to all fans to make your way up to Cliftonville Road from the city centre. By doing that you can avoid difficulties. It can be tricky as 100 yards in the wrong direction and you could be in the wrong place.”

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