Celtic have issued a final and strongly worded warning to the Green Brigade, following an announcement by UEFA that they have opened up disciplinary action against the Parkhead side after fireworks were set off at Tuesday night’s Champions League second leg clash with Cliftonville.
It is not the first time the group’s actions have seen Celtic land in hot water, but Tuesday’s incidents seems to have forced the club into a position where they will take strong action against the supporters group if they step out of line once more, as they claim their behaviour and actions are putting the club’s General Safety certificate at risk.
In a statement on the club’s official website, Celtic admitted that fireworks were used, which caused referee Thorsten Kinhofer to ask the club’s safety officers to intervene and publish an announcement over the tannoy, they also revealed that 131 seats were damaged during the match.
It read: “….three fireworks were exploded within Section 111, causing the Match Referee to require a stadium announcement to be made instructing such behaviour to stop. As a result of this unprecedented step by a match official, Celtic FC will now be the subject of a disciplinary action for contravention of the UEFA Safety and Security Regulations.
“Following the events of last Tuesday’s match, the Club’s position was to close Section 111, but following discussions between the Club’s Supporters’ Liaison Officer and representatives of the ‘Green Brigade’ that decision has been reviewed and the section will remain open. However, the situation will be monitored at both the Celtic FC v Borussia Monchengladbach match on Saturday 27th July, and the Celtic FC v IF Elfsborg match on Wednesday, July 31.”
The club warned the fans of their future conduct, by adding: “The Club is keen to work with spectators in Section 111 to resolve safety concerns. However, it should be understood that failure to stop this unsafe behaviour will require the closure of this area in Celtic Park.
“The Club recognises the many examples of good support for the team emanating from this part of the ground and in particular the efforts of the ‘Green Brigade’ in organising positive displays which are commended. However, the unsafe aspects of spectator behaviour in Section 111 require to be addressed with immediate effect.”
The question is will the Green Brigade listen to the club and desist with the use of pyrotechnics to prevent the club from further charges or will they flout the rules and force the club’s hand by closing the section down? Only time will tell.