It has been reported that Celtic are considering the position of the Green Brigade within Celtic Park. After a number of high-profile incidents, including the Poppy Protest, and safety concerns being raised by the Glasgow City Council Safety Team, the days of the Green Brigade as a group within Celtic Park could be numbered.
Celtic released a statement via their official website today, “Celtic Football Club was closely involved in the formation of the Green Brigade section within the stadium. Whilst it is widely accepted that the Green Brigade has shown that their members can bring a good atmosphere to the stadium and have demonstrated their ability to positively support the team, the behaviour of fans within the stadium must comply with the General Safety Certificate granted by Glasgow City Council.
“As part of the annual renewal process for the granting of the General Safety Certificate for Celtic Park, a number of safety concerns have been raised by Glasgow City Council Safety Team for Sports Grounds regarding spectator behaviour in the section of the ground occupied by the ‘Green Brigade’. These relate to issues such as overcrowding, persistent standing and, in particular, the lateral movement of spectators.
“We are in regular dialogue with the Green Brigade, the group understand the issues and are presently dealing with the matter.
“Clearly, spectator safety is of paramount importance and Celtic Football Club is trying to address the concerns that have been raised in partnership with the spectators involved and Strathclyde Police. We very much hope that the current problems raised by the Safety Team can be resolved and allow the presence of the ‘Green Brigade’ at Celtic Park to continue next season.”
However elements within the Green Brigade believe that they are being selectively targeted by the board, because of the much publicised Poppy Protest, continued use of Smoke Canisters and the mass overcrowding in the section caused by hangers-on.
While the noise and the colour brought by the Green Brigade is a welcome presence for many fans, their continued reference to the IRA in some of the songs sung, not to mention their publicity stunts, has brought unwanted headlines upon the club.
But members of the group have voiced their concerns if the club should come down hard on the group and remove the section, with several mentioning not renewing their season tickets.
One member called Deano stated, “Back the group, sack the board! Nobody should renew/get a season ticket until were told the group will still have a section.”
Another, Stoneybhoy, called the board hypocrites, “they gave a big write-up on the official website about the great atmosphere created when thousands of fans all over the ground joined in a mass huddle during the 3-0 win over Rangers. Hypocrites…”
And Paisley Shamrock backed Stoneybhoy’s comments, “Celtic like the GB when it suits. ie, we love you, just can’t get enough etc. But when it comes down to other things, they don’t back them. They’re a f***ing joke TBH, an absolute laughing-stock. But in all honesty, they don’t care as long as the money’s coming in. If we win the league this year, this will generate more season ticket sales, and then they wouldn’t rely on “us” to buy season tickets. Sadly, the GB are victims of their own success. I backed them in the poppy Protest, and I’ll back them now.”
If the Green Brigade do not conform to the rules and regulations imposed on the club by the council safety team, or continue to ignore the advice from the club, then they will surely lose their ‘singing section’.