The Green Brigade have today made a statement alongside other prominent fan groups to protest what looks to be an impending tone deaf hire by Celtic football club.
It’s been rumoured the club are about to appoint Bernard Higgins to a top security role at the club. Higgins is synonymous with the now scrapped offensive behaviour act that wrongly tried to criminalise Celtic fans and football fans in general.
Writing a shared statement today, the Green Brigade put out this message.
‘We have recently been made aware that Bernard
Higgins of Police Scotland is likely to be appointed
to a senior security role at Celtic. Higgins played
a major part in the vicious implementation of the
much-hated Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act and passionately defended the legislation within the Scottish Parliament. As Assistant Chief Constable, Higgins’ remit involved strategic decisions on the policing of football across Scotland, and he used this power to orchestrate a campaign of intimidation against the Celtic support.
‘He took great pleasure in guiding his officers to
harass, threaten, brutalise and criminalise Celtic
fans. He displayed a pattern of disdain for all
football supporters, regularly taking to the media to
threaten fans before matches, whilst also defending
the use of supporter informants, dawn raids and
other extreme policing tactics.
He was so eager to target football supporters that his police force was directed to regularly report our club to EFA to be disciplined, and he personally proclaimed that fans would be arrested for the expression of political opinion, or if they called opposition fans “baldy’.
His appointment would be no laughing matter,
however. For the hundreds of Celtic fans who
either fell victim to the police cruelty that Higgins
oversaw, or the thousands who witnessed their friends or family endure the ordeals of arrest, trial
and tribulation, this would represent the ultimate
‘The police officer most responsible for the
reprehensible attack on our support, our culture and our values would be rewarded for these very acts by being given a prestigious position within the club that we all love.
‘Although we have raised these concerns with the
club privately,they are unwilling to engage on
the matter. We believe we have a responsibility
to inform all fans of the impending threat this
appointment poses. Bernard Higgins is not fit to
serve Celtic Football Club and we call on all fans to
make this clear to the Celtic board. On Saturday, we will remain silent for the first 30 minutes of the match. This will act as a symbolic reminder of what Higgins attempted to do to oursupport and make clear to the Celtic board the level of opposition to his appointment.
‘We understand that our stadium is renowned for
the atmosphere created within it, and we desperately want to provide that backing to the players, however we kindly ask those who disapprove of this potential appointment to join us in this protest. It is regrettable that once again the Celtic board should create a sideshow which detracts positivesupport for the team, particularly at a time when Ange Postecoglou and the team are starting to deliver encouraging performances and results.
‘We call on the board to do the sensible thing and not appoint Bernard Higgins to this role. Otherwise,
we will continue to campaign against both him and
those responsible for hiring him.’
This potential appointment should concern ALL Celtic fans and the way our club go about their business.
We’d encourage our readers to write to Celtic and email Celtic SLO John Paul Taylor over the issue.
The club have to be confident of the support and given some of our supporters have gone through hell under this man’s watch over the years – allowing him to take a wage from the club can only be seen as a ridiculously tone dead move.
If the club do go ahead with the appointment – I suspect there will be an even bigger chasm between the Celtic support and the people who run the club.
It’s time to take Celtic fans real concerns into account and do the right thing here.