Celtic news

Celtic suspend fans over trouble

December 9, 2013
By PA Sport

Celtic have made moves to disband the Green Brigade section at Parkhead after labelling events during Friday night's match at Fir Park "indefensible''.

A reported 10,000 pounds worth of damage was caused to seats in the lower section of the South Stand housing away fans -- just above where a Green Brigade banner was displayed -- during the 5-0 win for Neil Lennon's men against Motherwell.

A flare was let off in the same area before the game while two green smoke bombs were thrown into the goalmouth, one of them landing yards from Hoops goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

Now the club have handed "precautionary suspensions'' to 128 supporters preventing them from attending home and away matches, while 250 season-ticket holders housed in section 111 -- the Green Brigade's corner of Celtic Park -- will be moved to other parts of the ground.

Scottish Professional Football League chief executive Neil Doncaster also branded the events at Fir Park as "shameful'' as he vowed to help the police track down those responsible for damaged seats.

A Celtic spokesman said: "Following events on Friday evening at Fir Park Stadium, Celtic Football Club today announced that it has issued precautionary suspensions against 128 individuals preventing them attending matches involving Celtic, pending further investigation. These suspensions will cover matches at Celtic Park and away matches.

"In addition, the club will be relocating around 250 season book holders in Section 111 to other areas within the stadium, or offering refunds covering the remainder of the season to those who do not wish to be relocated.

"Events such as those on Friday night do not represent the Celtic support or the club. These events were an embarrassment to our great football club and are absolutely indefensible.

"It is clear that there is an element which has no hesitation in bringing Celtic's name into disrepute. This is something the club will not tolerate and we therefore have no other option but to take this action. We will not allow the great name of Celtic to be damaged in this way any more - our supporters deserve more than this.

"While recent events are very regrettable, we would like to thank our many thousands of fans for the wonderful, positive backing which they continue to give to Celtic. We are sure these supporters will understand the position which the club is in and we are also sure they will unite with the club as we move forward.

"Celtic Football Club is in excellent shape on and off the field. The club is in a very safe and strong position and we have a young, exciting team working hard to deliver quality football and success for our supporters, as they did on Friday evening with a magnificent performance. This is what we want to be talking about and this is what we want to celebrate.

"Celtic has a proud 125-year history and fundamental to that history have been our fans. Our supporters enjoy a wonderful reputation earned across many years, many families and many generations. This is something we must protect vigorously."

The Green Brigade released a statement on Sunday insisting their members were not responsible for the damage but also admitting it should have self-policed the section at Fir Park better.

Celtic have already given the ultras group one reprieve this year after reversing a decision to shut down Section 111 following complaints about safety breaches back in August.

UEFA, meanwhile, has opened disciplinary proceedings against the club after the Green Brigade unfurled a banner depicting IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and Scottish warrior William Wallace during last month's Champions League clash with AC Milan.

Police Scotland is now looking into the "significant damage" caused to the seats at Fir Park but confirmed no arrests were made inside the ground.

Now SPFL chief Doncaster has confirmed the league body will take action against Celtic, with disciplinary proceedings expected to open by the end of the week.

Under SPFL rule H40, if found guilty, Celtic will be ordered to pay for the damage.

Doncaster said: "We have already been in touch with both clubs and the police following the disturbances during Friday night's fixture at Fir Park. We absolutely condemn this type of behaviour - it has no place in the game.

"We are confident that the police and both clubs will play a full part in helping to identify those involved in what were shameful scenes. We expect the SPFL Match Delegate report to be with us within the next 24-48 hours.

"The SPFL will work closely with our colleagues at both clubs and with the police as part of a thorough investigation into Friday night's events."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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