celtic officials and players have united to call upon supporters to stop tarnishing their own and the club’s reputation after a series of high-profile incidents of disorder this season.
celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell and attacking midfielder Ryan Christie have both spoken out after a firecracker was thrown onto the pitch as celtic saw off St Mirren at the Simple Digital Arena on Wednesday night.
St Mirren goalkeeper Vlacav Hladky required treatment after Christie hit the second goal on the night as the object thrown from the visiting support exploded in his vicinity.
A statement from celtic yesterday said that a full investigation is being carried out to identify those responsible for the incident, and that ‘the strongest possible action’ will be taken against the culprits.
Lawwell said: “[Wednesday] night’s incident was completely unacceptable and not something we ever want to see repeated. The safety of everyone in football - players, fans, staff, and officials - should always be our priority and, collectively, we need to do all we can to ensure this remains the case.
“There have a been a number of incidents across many clubs this season, with a range of items, including pyrotechnics, being thrown on to pitches. We need to do all we can to remove this from our game.
“From a celtic perspective, the club does not want it, our players do not want it, our manager does not want it and our supporters do not want it.
“There are serious safety concerns associated with such behaviour, and regardless of the obvious reputational damage which this kind of behaviour has on the club, there are numerous potential repercussions which could have hugely detrimental consequences for the club and our supporters.
“Our supporters are fantastic and we greatly value their contribution. It is the positive support of our fans this season which has helped us deliver one trophy this season and a 13-point lead in the Scottish Premiership. We achieved another excellent away win last night and our on-field success should be the real talking point.
“This kind of behaviour, indeed any form of unacceptable conduct, only serves to tarnish the reputation of the club and our own fans. We need to all work together to make sure this stops now.”
Christie visibly jumped after the firecracker went off as he celebrated his goal, and he feared that Hladky may have been seriously hurt and that the match may even have had to be abandoned.
“It was a bit of a shock,” Christie said. “I just don’t think there is any need for it, especially at the time of the game and the type of game it was as well.
“The fans are good enough without all these things, so it would be nice to get these things out of football.
"You get a wee bit of a shock and a wee panic for 10 seconds and then it's ok. The important thing is that it could have been a lot worse for their keeper, but thankfully he's ok.
"[The game being abandoned] was the first thing that went through my head. I thought that if he was seriously injured the game could have been postponed, and then it's a different ball game altogether.
"I don't know how you stop that. Sometimes the longer-term effect that these sorts of things can have isn’t thought about at the time. If the fans were to think more about the possible consequences, they wouldn't be so eager to do stuff like this.
"Our following at home and away is absolutely brilliant, so I don’t think it’s needed.
"The noise and the support we take everywhere is loud enough for us to hear it and have an effect."
Meanwhile, the SPFL and the celtic supporters’ group both released their own statements which condemned the incident at the Simple Digital Arena, although that is where the similarities between their content ended.
The league body branded the use of pyrotechnics as ‘criminal behaviour’ and urged fans to shop other supporters who may be using them.
The SPFL statement read: "Items such as fireworks & firecrackers are absolutely forbidden within SPFL grounds & we utterly condemn such totally irresponsible behaviour.
"We await the match delegate’s report, however we would urge any fans with information about this incident to contact police to help stamp out such criminal activity."
said that throwing objects towards the playing surface was ‘unnecessary’, but they defended the use of pyrotechnics in general and said that fans had been ‘cast as villains’ since the repeal of the controversial Offensive Behaviour at Football Act last year.
Their statement read: "In 2018, football supporters secured a historic victory as the reprehensible Offensive Behaviour at Football Act was finally repealed. This represented a significant blow to the establishment.
"They were not however likely to accept this result meekly and have since sought to build support for yet another assault on the rights of football supporters.
"Over the last few months, these figures have cynically sought to feed a sense of moral panic around football, casting fans as villains for their own gain.
"With this in mind it is imperative that the victory against the OBFA does not become hollow and it is clear that all fans share the responsibility to counter any attempts to replace it - which includes being responsible for you own actions and behaviour.
"While there must be a sense of perspective regarding the media recent furore, fans must also realise the potential damage they are inflicting on themselves and other fans by feeding this this frenzy.
"Small-scale pitch invasions - while largely harmless - are simply giving our detractors further ammunition at this time.
"We take particular exception to anyone who uses our name, banner or numbers as cover to indulge in behaviour which will ultimately cause our group and the celtic support harm.
"We have made made various attempts to engage with fans around us and will continue to do so in order to make them aware of the potential ramifications of their behaviour.
"As an ultras group we support the safe, sensible use of pyrotechnics on to the park or in the direction of people is both unnecessary and counterproductive to any aspirations of normalising its use."
Unreal how this cunt n that lovely set of fans of theirs are spinning the fuck out this