PLAYING THE BLAME GAME
“Mammy,Mammy,it’s him again! He’s sticking his arms up the sleeves of the duvet!!!”
Aye,Billy Connolly made some brilliant observations on life,not the least of which is that there’s always a fall-guy. Some people are left holding the baby,while others-who have caused the carnage in the first place-float serenely on.
Almost three months after the event,we have finally found out how one of the various enquiries into the shambolic security at the Glasgow Derby is progressing. Although Celtic haven’t yet released any findings-I presume they are waiting for an SFA whitewash so they can declare themselves surprised,or maybe for someone to provide them with a silver bullet to pawn for the next round of bonuses-the findings of Police Scotland are unequivocal-
“It was them Tims that caused it all!”
Now that conclusion takes some suspension of belief-or as it’s known in Scotland,here’s the answer we want,now hold an enquiry to figure out how to get there. The Rangers fans,it seems,cannot be blamed for clambering over and through their own disabled supporters to get at Celtic players on the pitch because the Celtic players inflamed the poor souls by winning,sorry,having their usual saunter round the pitch to thank their own fans for their support.
I suppose those terrible instigators in our squad are entirely to blame for having coins,golf balls,even batteries,thrown at them in recent games too. Not to mention our captain being attacked. Must be,as no-one has been charged with anything. Just like no-one was charged when a linesman had his head split open by a coin thrown by one of them.
Of course,you don’t want to be wearing even the colours of an opposing team when that lot are around. Two stabbing of away fans led not to an enquiry by UEFA-think of Liverpool v Man City as an example,but to the reduction in tickets allocated to the away support!
Their next conclusion is if anything,even more staggering. No mention of how the almost-fatal crush at Janefield St came about. (My sisters were in it and it was frightening. I hope one of them can tell you all later in better detail than I could about just how bad it was,and just how appallingly the police behaved that day.) But here’s a clue-security and marshalling are decided,like most matters of crowd control,in the run-up to the game.
Meetings are held by the Match Day Commander and various senior officers,along with the senior people at Celtic Park involved in that particular aspect,such as the Head of Security and the Stadium Manager. They decided between them to close off a large part of the normal access to the ground to facilitate ease of access for a lousy 1.4% of the crowd,thus ensuring that many more Celtic fans than it is designed for were forced to squeeze through the funnel-type entrance at Janefield Street.
No mention was made of culpability here,only the suggestion of staggered cordons for access in future.
To the same area. By the same number of fans.
Only difference is that this time,we will be forced to wait our turn to be treated like shit in the entrance,so best turn up early,like it was a Black Friday sale or something. Bring a sleeping bag and a flask.
This whole situation is just farcical,which brings us back to the much-vexed matter of the AGM. One of the things mentioned is that Celtic have not yet decided whether to even accept their derisory 800 allocation of tickets for Ibrox next month,fearing for fan safety.
Well,I can’t bloody blame them!
While the turnstile area for Rangers fans at Celtic Park is easily segregated,there is no possibility of that happening at Ibrox-it just isn’t designed that way. And even if there are cordons of police protection on the way in,fans of many other clubs can give you horror stories of missiles raining down on them from all sides and above.
Remember the batteries? Rangers fans will be raiding their kids’ Christmas gifts for ammunition on the day,it is inviting carnage and worse.
These are highly-paid professionals who are enabling all of this by their craven decision to allow Rangers to deny Celtic fans access to The Broamloan Stand,an area easily segregated and thus easily policed.
And remember,it’s only last year that Dave King himself said that the Ibrox safety certificate depended on just that arrangement.
The whole situation should never have arisen in the first place. It should have been strangled at birth. But no,because it suited Rangers,it was allowed to happen,with only one thought for the consequences.
Whatever happens,it was them Tims that caused it all!
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