A member of our club is currently serving a 2 year football banning order which is under appeal at the High Court in Edinburgh.
As is common practice, those under football banning orders are frequently visited by the police in the lead-up to football matches to ensure and remind them that they should stay away from the forthcoming match or face arrest. Our member had the pleasure last week of having two police officers visit his home on Wednesday and the same again on Thursday to warn against attending both the Aberdeen and Benfica fixtures.
Rightfully believing this level of attention to be wholly unnecessary, our member visited Helen Street Police Station to complain. It was what the police said next which is most important – should they be telling the truth that is. They claimed that they had received a phone call from Jamie Church (Celtic security) who had advised them that our member was planning on going to Lisbon for the Benfica match – he was not. This would have been a difficult task for him regardless considering Strathclyde Police were actually holding his passport until this impromptu meeting.
Further still, the police officer expanded by claiming that they are simply acting on the information being supplied to them by Celtic . The Officer stated that they really aren’t interested in chasing up Celtic fans and/or members of the Green Brigade however are doing so at the request of the club. The officer went on to claim that Celtic want to see an end to any Republican songs being aired at Celtic matches and with actually coming out and saying so potentially causing an upset with a large percentage of the support, they are instead working the Strathclyde Police in going after individuals one by one in an attempt to secure bans.
While we obviously hope for this information to be untrue or at worst twisted we believe it to be a worrying development and it is in the best interest of the Celtic support for it to be public knowledge. It is even more concerning when considering how this information fits in with what the Green Brigade have already told us regarding how their members are currently being targeted.
The Govan Emerald CSC and The Temple Tims CSC gives its unequivocal support to the Green Brigade in their current struggle against the police, and indeed any other Celtic supporters currently being harassed or victimised. We call on Celtic to distance themselves from the above claims and going forward to do far more to defend the people who are the very lifeblood of our great club.