Celtic have warned its supporters, primarily the Green Brigade, that Parkhead could be closed down if they continue to stand during games. The club has urged all its supporters to remain seated during games, claiming that the safety certificate for the stadium was at risk.
The club released a statement:
“In recent weeks the club has been aware of a number of incidents of supporters standing throughout matches at Celtic Park. This is a matter which rightly the club has taken very seriously, however, unfortunately this has continued at recent games. In order to address this matter, the club are working with the Stadium Safety Team and Strathclyde Police and are insisting that all supporters sit down during matches.”
They continued, “Sitting at matches is a stadium regulation. Clearly, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience at Celtic Park, it is vitally important that the stadium regulations and safety instructions are adhered to. The club, in partnership with the police, are treating this issue with the utmost seriousness and we ask all supporters attending Celtic Park to note this advice.”
“Clearly, the comfort and safety of spectators is our primary concern and it is essential that the issue of standing is addressed. Celtic Park is designed specifically as an all-seater stadium and the Safety Certificate for operating has been approved and issued on this basis. Persistent standing is a real safety risk and could ultimately result in the Safety Certificate, which is required to open the stadium, being revoked. It is vital that this matter is taken very seriously and that supporters, for their own safety and the safety of others, sit down during matches.”
A spokesperson for Strathclyde Police said, “The issue of standing during matches is one which must be taken very seriously. There have been a number of examples of this in recent weeks at Celtic Park and this cannot be allowed to continue. For their own safety and the safety of others, all supporters should sit down during matches.”
“The Stadium Safety Team are rightly taking a very close interest in this matter. Celtic FC, Strathclyde Police and the Safety Team do not wish in any way to prevent supporters from enjoying football matches, however, the safety of those attending must be paramount at all times.”
There have been numerous calls for the SPL to re-introduce standing a games, by looking upon the German example as evidence that it is safe and that it works.
The statement ended, “In addition, to ensure that particular stadium areas do not become overcrowded and congested it is essential that all supporters sit only in the seat for which their season ticket or match ticket is intended. This will give all supporters the opportunity to enjoy the match in a safe and comfortable environment, something we all want.”
Celtic and the ultra-wannabe group the Green Brigade have been at loggerheads over the past few seasons, despite this the Parkhead side allocated the group Section 111 of the stadium. But it is now apparent that the club look upon the Green Brigade as a thorn in their side, even more so after the anti-poppy protest during the half time 9-0 win over Aberdeen in November.