Green Brigade Part 2 – James’s View

Stand By Your Fans.

I’ll come right out and say it. I’m a big supporter of the Green Brigade. I of course agree with some of what Lorenzo wrote but I see things from a different Green  Brigadeangle. So here goes.

111 is closed, the board gave supporters in that section a final warning a few weeks back. As far as the board are concerned breaches of health and safety carried on in the form of lateral movement, therefore they have effectively closed that section. So this is where we are at the moment.

Should the Green Brigade and others who occupied that section followed safety instructions ? Yes.

However I quite staggered at the way a section of our support have lined up to put the boot into their fellow fans. The Celtic Family ? Families don’t turn on their own. I’m also very wary of fans who tell people to leave their politics outside the ground. I don’t sing political songs at the game but I’m sure as hell not going to dictate to my fellow fans what they can or can’t sing. That’s their choice, they paid their money.

Before I go any further I want to state that I am not a Board basher. I’m over the moon with what we have achieved on and off the pitch. I also think the stadium improvements like WI-FI, family area and upgraded disabled facilities are a credit to the boards good financial planning. However I do have some concerns.

Now as I said I’m definitely pro Green Brigade but that’s probably because I’ve got to know some of them via the Fans Against Criminalisation movement. I know and understand what the GB and others in our support have been put through. I’ve heard about and witnessed Police harassment targeted against them and other Celtic fans who have nothing to do with the Group. I listened in total shock when a prominent Celtic fans representative told me they witnessed a senior official from Celtic Football Club stand in court, under oath trying to insure a Celtic fan was convicted. Your fellow fan was up in court for the Lennongrad banner, the Club official tried to link the banner to the Bradford disaster in order gain a guilty verdict. Fortunately enough your fellow fan was found not guilty. And my fellow supporters that’s not the half of it.

Over the past year we have heard from a former office holder from the ARCSC tell of Peter Lawwell’s comment of ‘give them enough rope’ directed at supporters in 111. If that was not the truth then I’m sure the guy who let us all know would have been sued. Also for all the board’s talk about dialogue they never invited the Green Brigade to the meetings where they were the topic of discussion. At this point you have to ask why the board of our club would act in such a manner towards its own support?

If we take the above examples I think it’s fair to say that health and safety while being a legitimate concern for the board is also a very convenient excuse for disbanding 111. I think it’s also clear to see why distrust has built up between some fans and the custodians of the club. I would like like to see more clarity and openness from the board.

The people running the club may have legitimate reasons for wanting an end to lateral movement and other such things. It could be that they need to bring an end to this to make it easier to obtain planning permission and a safety certificate for a safe standing area. They may also want an end to republican songs because they are trying to engineer a move to England. Let’s face it a lot of ordinary English people won’t want to hear those songs. All I would say is if any of this is the case then please let the support know. I’m sure we would all do our best to help.

I would also appreciate the board clarifying their position on law abiding Celtic fans being harassed by Police Scotland and FoCUS in general. Oh and while I’m at it why they are not so keen on pursuing the football authorities in this country for money we have last out on due to their maladministration of the game and the shady practices of a dead club.

Where there is a lack of dialogue and information a vacuum will form and that vacuum will fill with nonsense and mistrust.

Someone posted yesterday “The GB are every much Celtic fans as you and I, nothing more, nothing less, we are all equal”. I wholeheartedly agree with that, I would also expect the members of the Green Brigade also agree with that. So if we are all equal then we should not be putting the boot in to our fellow supporters. The best thing the rest of us can do is encourage the board and the Green Brigade to work together and resolve this issue. If the issue is resolved to both parties satisfaction it will tell us a couple of things. One: The reason for this latest action is genuinely health and safety. Two: The Green Brigade are prepared to live by the same rules as the rest of the support.

Thanks for reading my rant, I can’t write as eloquently as my big pal Lorenzo but then not many can.

Hail, Hail

One Love.

7 thoughts on “Green Brigade Part 2 – James’s View

  1. I’d love to know why safety standards are totally over exaggerated in the UK. Look at ultras is the rest of the world. They are non-stop bouncing around, lighting flares and generally going mental. Theres videos on youtube of Ultras Al-Alhi standing on 12ft tall podiums and Portland Timbers in America cutting tree trunks with chainsaws in the stands. I agree that section 111shouldn’t have been closed but the club shouldn’t be fought over it. The source of these safety concerns and the regulators should be adressed over their strict conduct.

    1. I think the conduct of supporters of other clubs in other Countries is a wee bit of a Red Herring.

      That is for the jurisdiction of the Country in question, different strokes for different folks. Cultural differences and levels of acceptance are indeed different.

      We have no Capital punishment for example, but in America they do.. even their own states vary.

      The bottom line is what’s permitted here, or not.

      I don’t think we can demand or really argue about it based on what is accepted in another Country because we might use similar names or appearance.

      Certain things are prohibited, so don’t do them and then complain about punishments, after all the rest of the support who do stay within guidelines would ultimately be punished too by sanctions, fines, bans etc, end of.

  2. “Two: The Green Brigade are prepared to live by the same rules as the rest of the support”

    Nailed it. Right there.

    No one is special, we are all equal as Celtic supporters. Same rules apply to all, if everybody abided by them we would not be having this discussion surrounding the GB.

    I hope the GB come to an agreement with the management, stick to the rules as outlined and continue to provide support for the team – minus that bloody annoying drummer!

    1. I’ve already made my position on this clear so I’m not about to backtrack now. That said, on the wider issue of police harassment etc I have, and will continue, to stand shoulder to shoulder with my fellow fans, hence the reason I attended the recent rally at George Square inspired 100% by what happened on the Gallowgate. I am prepared to be contradicted here, but I get the feeling the GB are not interested in compromise as its not what that are about. They seem to want to be able to sing what they want, set off flares etc as they see fit and behave as they please. Now I don’t doubt some of the suites have never liked them, Lawwell included, but they have done themselves no favours in my opinion. If I was 15 again I would buy a ticket for 111, but alas im not 15 and I don’t want the club punished for the actions of a few of my fellow supporters no matter how entertaining at times.

      1. jp did you know our club can be punished for all them rebels that go for a smoke at half time dont see anything getting done about that

  3. I commented on Lorenzo’s post but will try and keep this comment more brief. I made the point that I think the club could have done more and could do more regarding the harassment suffered by some of our fellow supporters.I fully support the aims of Fans Against Criminilisation and think the GB have been good for the club in general. Indeed I contacted my local MSP’s and offered to meet them to share my concerns over what I perceive to be a total misunderstanding of the difference between sectarianism, satire (aka the Sniper banner) and politics. One of my MSP’s took up the offer (for info – Stuart McMillan SNP MSP) and was surprisingly interested and sympathetic to my points. He shared a couple of personal anecdotes by way of explaining where he was coming from (these will remain confidential) and was aware of the concerns of the Irish Catholic community across Scotland.
    I don’t want to see the Celtic support falling out with each other and as I’ve said elsewhere I think the GB bring great colour and atmosphere to the stadium on match-days. However, I just get the distinct feeling that they could do with someone within their ranks being able to engage with the Club in a sensible manner rather than continually feeling oppressed and raging against the machine.This does no-one any favours, particularly them as it transpires. I would love to see this sorted out and see the GB return to liven the stadium up on match days. However, I fear that until they act with a bit more maturity in the face of being challenged on certain aspects of their ‘behaviour’ that this is a forlorn hope.

    1. Brilliant response if you don’t mind me saying so Jim. There is not much that I can see that could be disagreed with there, in fact nothing at all.

      Dialogue between club and group would begin with listening and accepting as well as talking and assessing.

      So far I have seen no signs of that, only signs of an over the odds sense of entitlement.

      Misguided I guess by a sense of self importance which quite frankly, is becoming tiresome, at least for me.

      I struggle to see any reason for a special case to be made with regard the GB over any other Celtic supporter. In fact I think it’s rather insulting to the regular average paying punter to even perhaps feel that may be the case, unfortunately I do.

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