Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell and fan group The Green Brigade have tonight both issued statements on recent incidents involving supporters.
A pyrotechnic ‘banger’ was launched from the Celtic end onto the pitch at St Mirren on Wednesday night, startling goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky, attracting condemnation not just from manager Neil Lennon but also fellow supporters.
During Sunday’s derby against Rangers there was also a small celebratory pitch invasion after Odsonne Edouard’s opening goal.
Hoops Chief Exec Lawwell was unequivocal with his condemnation of the incident in Paisley.
As quoted by the official Celtic website, he said:
Last night’s incident was completely unacceptable and not something we ever want to see repeated. The safety of everyone in football – players, fans, staff, and officials – should always be our priority and, collectively, we need to do all we can to ensure this remains the case.
There have a been a number of incidents across many clubs this season, with a range of items, including pyrotechnics, being thrown on to pitches. We need to do all we can to remove this from our game.
The Green Brigade meanwhile are concerned about the impact that the ‘unnecessary and counter-productive’ throwing of fireworks on to the pitch will have when authorities are seeking to introduce measures that detract from the rights of football supporters.
They released a full and thorough statement on Twitter earlier tonight that in part states:
While there must be a sense of perspective regarding the media recent furore, fans must also realise the potential damage they are inflicting on themselves and other fans by feeding this frenzy.
As an ultras group we support the safe, sensible use of pyrotechnics, however the launching of pyrotechnics on to the park or in the direction of people is both unnecessary and counter-productive to any aspirations of normalising its use.
Small-scale pitch invasions – while largely harmless – are simply giving our detractors further ammunition at this time.
We take particular exception to anyone who uses our name, banner or numbers as cover to indulge in behaviour which will ultimately cause our group and the Celtic support harm.
We have made made various attempts to engage with fans around us and will continue to do so in order to make them aware of the potential ramifications of their behaviour.
Clearly most are in agreement that some responsibility needs to be taken here and common sense needs to be applied when in the stands both at Celtic Park and on the road.
Supporting the team constructively is what most right-minded people are trying to achieve and the statement from The Green Brigade is evidence of that.
Whether it’s advice that is heeded remains to be seen but hopefully we see an end to any object being thrown at, or in the direction of, players on the pitch.
What do you make of either of these statements? Have your say in the comments below…