HEARTS have released a strongly worded statement about Wednesday nights debacle which saw Celtic fans locked out of the game until after kick off.
The statement, released to the media and published by RecordSport lays the blame firmly at the door of Celtic fans with Hearts insisting it was ticketless Celtic supporters and unruly fans who stopped the flow through the turnstiles on the night.
Pictures looking close to a dangerous crush emerged on the night with Celtic fans who had turned up 45 minute before kick off only getting in just in time for kick off while fans who turned up later weren’t so fortunate.
Here is the full statement.
“As is commonplace for Category C matches, Hearts officials were in constant dialogue with their Celtic counterparts and Police Scotland when visiting fans entered the stadium prior to last night’s Ladbrokes Premiership fixture at Tynecastle Park.
“At no point were any concerns raised by any party with regards to ingress.
“When supporters do not allow sufficient time to enter the stadium, nor adhere to the host club’s safety measures, then delays can occur.
“What does not help these situations is stewards’ time being taken up with having to deal with away fans attempting to enter the stadium without a valid match ticket.
“Where overcrowding did occur, it was down to a large section of the Celtic support failing to comply with stewards’ instructions inside the stadium.
“The decision was taken on safety grounds not to attempt to enforce these supporters in Sections Lower J, K and L to move to their designated seats, and the club would like to thank Police Scotland for their support on this matter and throughout last night’s match.”
Utterly unacceptable by Hearts to pin the blame on the Celtic support and even blame fans for not getting to Edinburgh sooner on a Wednesday night after work in rush hour traffic.
Celtic must act to make sure Hearts sort out their own issues and not put the blame with the supporters attempting to enter the stadium.
The Scottish Champions gave the fans a 2-0 victory to enjoy in the end up but the security and this statement from Hearts is shameless.