The fall out from last weekend’s chaos in Glasgow continues. The Scottish government’s response thus far has been akin to a weak-willed schoolteacher lecturing a naughty pupil.
As anyone who has ever taught will tell you, waving the finger at a serial offender and saying “don’t do that again” is about as effective as the proverbial chocolate teapot. Meanwhile the police blamed the club and the club put it all down to “understandable jubilance” from their supporters. The clean-up across the city continues.
Emboldened now by the total lack of actual consequences for their behavior over the weekend, there can be no doubt that we should prepare for a similar and perhaps even more aggressive level of thuggery and defiance when Sevco come to Celtic Park on March 21st.
This raises the question, what should Celtic do about it?
What I say from here on out is my own personal view. I do not presume to speak for my fellow Celtic supporters or for the rest of the guys here at Celtic Down Under.
I think Celtic shouldn’t allow the game to be played. If that means forfeiting 3 points then so be it. With the league gone such things are meaningless now anyway. Last weekend’s events, which included acts of vandalism within the grounds of Celtic Park, show that the police are either unable or unwilling to do what is necessary to get this mob under control and maintain public order.
A number of Celtic fans I have spoken with over the last few days are also, I suppose understandably, angry at what was allowed to happen and feel they should rally on the day of the game to protect the stadium and its surroundings from this moronic hoard. All this is set against the backdrop of a pandemic that continues to kill people every day.
The “powder keg” of potential widespread violence has been well and truly lit. It is not conspiracy theory to say that a great many among the Celtic support now have close to zero confidence in the abilities of the football authorities, the police or the government to guarantee public safety on the day of the Glasgow Derby.
Under any other circumstances, an event with the potential to create such chaos would never be allowed to go ahead. Indeed, Celtic’s open-top bus parade was called off on a far flimsier pretense.
However, if there’s one thing we have learned this season, it is that what Rangers want, they usually get. They want their chance to gloat, to rub our noses in it. Because, as I said in my previous post, a large part of what seems to define many of them as Rangers supporters is their hatred of us rather than any affection they feel for their own team. There is no competitive need for this game to be played. If Rangers win, their fans will go on the rampage once again. If they lose, then probably the same will happen, but with even more aggression. A draw pleases no-one and has a similar potential for violence.
The game doesn’t need to be played, and I don’t think it should. However, I suspect it probably will. I would encourage all of you to stay home that day. Let them disgrace themselves once again, we don’t need to be drawn down to their level, nor do we need to take unnecessary risks with our health. Our day will come, when we can properly avenge what has happened this season, in the right way, on the pitch.