Section 111 at Celtic Park, has today been shut down, the club have confirmed. Each member of the Green Brigade now has a choice, to get a refund on their season ticket, or to be individually relocated to other areas of the stadium. This decision has split the Celtic support, some saying that the decision is an ’embarrassment’, others saying that the club’s hands were tied and had no other choice. One thing is clear though, the atmosphere at Celtic Park will not be the same, and it is now the responsibility of ever individual around the stadium to create one.
Celtic released a statement this afternoon confirming that the club had taken this course of action and had not taken the decision lightly, saying that the Green Brigade had had their final warning and that the risk to people’s safety was breached once again on Saturday in the 2-1 win against Ross County. Celtic have made it clear that they were not happy with the group and the relationship between the group and the club has always been strained but today proves to be the end of it, or so it seems. The Green Brigade is no more if they are to be relocated individually, although in the Green Brigade’s statement today in response to the Club’s action, in which they said they were ‘disappointed’ by the decision, they do say that the Green Brigade are strengthened as a result of today. They also call the decision pathetic and call the lateral movement it was blamed upon ‘trivial’ and ‘harmless’. They are seeking legal advice and this is certainly not the last we have heard about the situation.
Personally, I think the decision is laughable and unfair. I also think football is hitting new lows, which I have come to hate. The Green Brigade are, at times, a controversial group, who focus some chants on politics. They do, however, create a wonderful atmosphere and a wonderful sight, with their creative banners, etc. Something that Celtic will badly miss. They have been at every Celtic game doing this, and for the club to turn round and to shut them down is, as described in the Green Brigade statement, pathetic. If supporters are not allowed to jump around and sing, for the unpredictability of the way they are to land, then they may as well be glued to the chairs and jumping when a goal is scored, or a chance is created, should too be frowned upon.
The relationship between the Green Brigade, the club and the police needs to improve if they were to remain in action, so to speak. Neil Lennon praised the group in his speech at the end of last season, yet a couple months on, they have been practically shut down for jumping up in the air, or lateral movement to put it formally. The club must remember that football without the fans is nothing and the Green Brigade have been superb support for the club in recent years, yet they continue to get nothing back, and now have been forced away, now that is really unfair. Modern day football has just sunk to new depths today.