A large band of Celtic supporters have today written an open letter to the acting Celtic Chief Executive Michael Nicholson.
Here it is in full:
Dear Michael Nicholson,
We, the undersigned, wish to state our objection to the rumoured appointment of Bernard Higgins as a member of Celtic FC’s security staff. In his role as Assistant Chief Constable with Police Scotland, and as the national strategic lead for football, Higgins has been responsible for the policing of football fans for almost a decade.
In the period since he was appointed to this position, the policing of football matches has changed dramatically, with the introduction of intrusive surveillance the widespread use of football banning orders and a determination to arrest fans on spurious charges.
This has caused irreparable damage to the lives of many Celtic fans as well as to the relationship between the supporters and Higgins himself. It must be made known that we will refuse to recognise or engage with Higgins if he is appointed, as his history makes him an unsuitable candidate to be tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the safety and security of Celtic supporters. We ask you to address this issue and to reconsider such an appointment.
It was signed off by major Celtic groups, supporters clubs and fan media.
We are firmly behind this cause too and are hoping Celtic will see sense in this case.
Celtic have refused to engage with groups about this potential appointment. At the AGM, Ian Bankier outright dismissed the question put to him by Jeanette Findlay.
Celtic fans have so far protested Higgins’ appointment with a banner at Celtic Park and throwing tennos balls onto the pitch against Dundee, disrupting the game and drawing attention to what’s going on.
Fans who aren’t yet behind this need to do their homework. The policing of Celtic and football fans over the past decade has been nothing short of a disgrace. Dawn raids on peoples houses, their lives being disrupted for court cases, jobs lost etc only for many of these arrests to be thrown out by a judge.
Celtic fans are treated like criminals. I’ve been to away games in the last ten years where I’ve been aggressively spoken at by police officers for no reason other than I’m going to watch my team play.
Celtic hiring this man is a massive slap in the face to all our supporters and we should support this all the way.