A Level Playing Field?

I must admit I am surprised that nothing has been done about the TRFC party guys. It is especially puzzling that other clubs who have had games cancelled and players suspended as a consequence of breaches haven’t pointed out the apparent lack of consistency.

In August of last year, following a non-socially-distanced night out after an Aberdeen v Rangers game, eight Aberdeen players were banned for three games by an SFA-convened independent panel.

Jonny Hayes, Mikey Devlin, Scott McKenna, Matty Kennedy, Sam Cosgrove, Dylan McGeouch, Craig Bryson and Bruce Anderson were accused of breaking public health guidelines when they visited an Aberdeen pub on August 1.

Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli, who had made a midweek three-day trip to Spain for some R&R faced the same charges

The panel held hearings before ruling that the players had broken the rules and delivered a three match suspension to each of the eight Aberdeen players, suspended in lieu of similar breaches until February 28, 2021.

In Bolingoli’s case, a five game ban was delivered with only two of those suspended until February.

Bolingoli was of course disciplined by Celtic before being sent out on loan, his Celtic career seemingly finished as a consequence, whilst the Aberdeen players were also disciplined by their club.

Both Aberdeen and Celtic were also subjected to damaging match cancellations as a consequence of both incidents.

On February 14, Police were called to an unlawful house party and handed out fixed penalty notices for breach of Covid regulations to Rangers players Bongani Zungu, Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey, Dapo Mebude, and Brian Kinnear. Rangers say they have disciplined the players, but the SFA have yet to say anything, fourteen days after the incident.

No match bans, no game cancellations.

The lack of comment in the media is not surprising since everyone in the MSM lives in terror of TRFC reprisal and behaves accordingly.

In fact, a quick Google search on the matter yields nothing after 17th February, suggesting that an Ibrox D-Notice has been issued and obediently complied with by the MSM. Of course one must always guard against cognitive bias in these matters. None of us are completely free of it, and are afflicted to some extent, but by any subjective measure that I can see, the MSM opprobrium directed (quite correctly) at Bolingoli and the Dons’ players, and the storm of publicity surrounding those earlier incidents is absent in the case of the TRFC five.

Even the Scottish Government’s response appears to have treated the TRFC breach with the equivalent of a raised eyebrow, in comparison to the angrily pointed finger at Aberdeen and Celtic (and subsequently with Celtic after the Dubai farce).

Consider today the yellow card. The next time it will be the red card because you will leave us with absolutely no choice

Nicola Sturgeon (after the Aberdeen/Boligoli incidents)

I say this as someone who has never agreed with those who alleged that Alex Salmond tried to help The Old Club with the tax bodies, believing the government’s actions at the time to have been nothing more than what would be expected of them – to express a wish that a resolution could be found – but not putting pressure on HMRC as was alleged.

However, as any schoolteacher will tell you, if you threaten discipline against a recalcitrant pupil, you bloody well MUST carry the threat out – or face the immediate and irretrievable loss of credibility. I’m sure Nicola Sturgeon is as well aware as anyone that a second yellow card is in fact a red.

So yes, the MSM silence is not surprising, and government indecision is not altogether a new thing, but the lack of reaction from other clubs – even the fans of other clubs – is very puzzling.

That is maybe the only thing that makes me doubt (slightly) that there is some serious and deliberate “inconsistency” afoot.

It is this type of beahaviour by the authorities and the media that led us to the brink of Armageddon in 2012.

If it can’t be changed, then those of us who have been constantly warning that a repeat is inevitable, will be saying “told you so” in the not too distant future.

If a level playing field is too much to ask for, then the implications for the sport, and society are many and serious.

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John Cole

About Big Pink

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

228 thoughts on “A Level Playing Field?

  1. paddy malarkey 4th March 2021 At 21:16
    Who sells fireworks in March?

  2. Cluster One 5th March 2021 At 17:07
    People with something to celebrate ? I’m thinking you must be aged like me and don’t fully understand the attraction of fireworks and other pyros and smoke bombs . It may be a youth thing .

  3. On the BBC national news at 6pm tonight

    Sophie Raworth refered to (The) Rangers on the brink of first title in 10 years (sic) after coming back from, not liquidation but, “financial” liquidation.



  4. Paddy Malarkey 5th March 2021 At 17:42
    Your link to the SFA disciplinary page .
    I don’t see any mention of the party-going Covid-19 rule-breaking chaps.
    Apart from anything else, it means that the email I sent at 17.33 this evening was not supererogatory!
    Here is what I sent :
    “Dear First Minister,
    I heard you say that you would be at Hampden Park to cheer Scotland on IF it became safe to lift the present covid-19 restrictions on pubic gatherings before the upcoming European Championship games.

    One would have thought that the Scottish football Association would by now have issued due punishment to the 5 party-going players of The Rangers Football Club who, three weeks after their serious breach of the restrictions, have still not had a complaint raised against them by the Compliance Officer.

    Are there special circumstances which require some kind of negotiation between the Compliance Officer and the new Club before the Compliance Officer is free to exercise his independent duty?

    If professional footballers, openly and publicly known to have breached the covid-19 rules, are not penalised under their Governance body’s rules ( especially given the fact that Governance body was granted special privileges by the Scottish Government in order that football could continue at all) why the heck should anyone else at all keep the rules ?

    If those 5-and their club- get special treatment, all the verbiage in the world from you and your medical advisers will be seen to be mere hot air, and not to be taken seriously.
    And the possibility that you will be able to attend a match at Hampden will be even more remote than it is today.

    Yours in some concern,
    me ..”

  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56298459
    From Mr Gerrard’s response –
    “After the game, I immediately apologised for my part in the incident at half-time.

    “We expect to have the ability for managers and officials to have discussion, but frustratingly, the referee was not forthcoming. This has also been noted by other managers in recent weeks.

    “After my apology post match, I expected the referee to call to apologise for his part in the incident but I didn’t hear from him.”
    A manager breaks the rules by confronting match officials on the field of play , breaks them again by swearing at said officials , and expects an apology ? What prism makes viewing that acceptable ?

  6. Albertz11 5th March 2021 At 20:02
    ‘..Compliance process ongoing John. 0.25 in.’
    Thank you for that, Albertz11: I had not seen that clip -is it within the last day or so ? Or longer ago?

    Whatever, the first place that I go to see what the SFA is doing is the official site of the SFA. It is on there that they should communicate to the football public at least at the same time as they communicate by other means.

    Interviews with particular sectors of the media, or messages on any of the modes of communication commonly referred to as ‘social media’ , are likely to be missed by those who cannot ,or who choose not to, use ‘social media’ or who do not access those particular sectors of the MSM.
    I had checked the ‘disciplinary’ update on the SFA site a very short while before I sent my email. There was no mention of the covid-5.
    If I had seen that Sky interview I would have been content to learn that it was under consideration.
    That kind of ‘communications policy ‘ weakness in the SFA really needs to be looked at, I think
    It may be that fears of being seen to interfere with the independence of the Compliance Officer lies at the bottom of it.
    I can understand such fears.

    But where the world and his wife are aware that there has been a breach of not only ‘rules’ of the SFA and the SPFL relating to the pandemic but of national public health rules, mechanisms should be such that the Compliance Officer is made aware by the SFA board/CEO that there is something to be looked at; and the rest of us should be told that they have done so!

    There will now be some official in the FM’s office having to check , sooner or later, with some other more senior official about the terms of the reply they now have to make my email, when they might both have other more pressing replies to make to much more important persons than I, and on much more important business than football!

  7. Steve Gerrard looking forward to replacing the 54 with a 55 at Ibrox. Will this 55 have an asterisk with an underlined reference to the EBT years. Also an old Liverpool buddy makes reference to Gerrard staying and filling Ibrox with trophy laden years. With 12 trophies in play for the last three years he has won one, how many years at that pace will it take to fill the trophy room at Ibrox. One area I have difficulty in understanding is how suspensions/bans are offered, you can have two games now and two more maybe down the road. Having played semi pro sport, with a governing body in place, if a suspension was warranted, it wasn’t offered it was given in no uncertain terms, and ran its full term. If you have a suspension policy in place it must be black and white.

  8. John Clark 5th March 22.37

    As far as i know it was today John.

  9. Albertz11 5th March 2021 At 22:55
    ‘..As far as i know it was today John.’
    Thanks for that: I’ve just this minute read Cluster One’s post of 22.44!
    And I think I am confirmed in my view that the SFA’s PR department really has to get a grip!
    What Maxwell had to say was of interest not just to Sky sport or whatever, but to every citizen of this country never mind football fans.
    God Almighty, if Maxwell had put that statement on the SFA official site he might have saved himself from my criticism.
    I don’t criticise for the sake of it, ffs.

  10. Bigboab1916

    What part of the infraction does Gerrard not understand?

    He verbally abuses an official (twice) who then does his job (twice).

    That’s what he got done for!!!

  11. A bit late to the Covid 5 debate so apologies if any of this has been covered before! I have issue with both the SFA and my own club with this.

    Firstly, I don’t see why there is not a three tier punishment system within the SFA covering breaches from minimal “silly boy” lapses of judgement up to serious breaches of protocol. With the punishments then ranging from a fine and 2 match ban, to a 6 match ban and bigger fine and finally a 12 match ban and large fine for either dangerous serious breaches, or multiple offences. This way the only question would ever be which category to put the offender in and could be done much quicker.

    Secondly, I am not happy with how my own club have acted here. It’s often forgotten how serious this could have been. Were the players not to have got caught, picked up Covid and took it to training the following day our entire season could have been derailed! We would have either had to take youths to Europe or forfeit it. We may have also lost some games in the SPFL and started a spiral. The impact this could have had doesn’t bear thinking about. As a result I would have rather seen us absolutely hammer them as a warning to others. Yet because we needed Paterson it seems they were let of lightly in comparison to Jones and Edmundson. This isn’t a good look for the club as it shows that a Greg Stewart will likely be sacked yet a Morelos or a Goldson will get a slap on the wrist. What happened to “no one is bigger than the club”? Well those 5 put our club at risk and had next to no punishment.

    The only area I may come back and retract the above is if, as some rumours have suggested, they were only meeting with people inside their own bubble. This is still a breach (I.e the lowest of my proposed SFA punishments appointed) but not as bad as I have suggested. Either way there has been no transparency from either the league or the club to state why said punishments were appointed.

  12. DBD
    Your tier system is interesting. Perhaps too sensible for the authorities to pick up on.
    What I don’t understand about the Rangers Five case is why is it necessary, given the league situation, to do nothing. With the players involved, it seems to me that their absence will do no significant damage on the field.
    And still the lack of reaction from other clubs who have suffered swifter judgments for (ostensibly) similar offences compounds the puzzle further.

  13. Paddy, I wonder how much of this had to do with SG’s comments yesterday about everyone having to understand how TRFC fans are feeling. Tbf, he does say they should respect the Covid rules, but the rest of it is mealy mouthed and certainly seems worded in such a way as to allow fans to take the message as it’s okay to party however you like.

    ‘We all have to continue to try and abide by the rules and respect social distancing. I know a lot of rumours are going about but my job is to focus on the game and try and get three points. People have to understand the situation our fans are in and what they’ve been through and the priority is that they stay safe. The fans are the priority here and we totally understand and we can certainly relate to how they’re feeling at the moment. We know there’s a real excitement and rightly so. We want them to really enjoy this time and really revel in the moment.”

    For me, comments like “The fans are the priority here” and “We want them to….really revel in the moment” are unnecessary and potentially dangerous. I hadn’t seen any organising of this type of party before his comments…or, tbf, since. Will the FM comment on this or avoid it like she has the Covid5?

  14. Bet67 6th March 11.34

    Pity he never done his job in the first place.
    Had he correctly awarded a penalty then Steven Gerrard would have had no reason to enter the field of play.
    Had he arranged to explain his decision at half-time, as he did with Derek McInnes the previous month, then there would have been no reason for Steven Gerrard to use foul language.

  15. Darkbeforedawn 6th March 13.28

    Agree with you 100% but as BP said way too sensible for the authorities.
    I can confirm that it was the partners of the players concerned who were also in attendance on this occasion which was certainly not the case with Edmundson & Jones.

  16. Albertz, you’re right to an extent. It was definitely a penalty given the contact which is clear when viewing replays, but looking at it with non-TRFC blinkers on, I can genuinely see why it might not be given in real time. Morelos is already leaping over the onrushing keeper when the contact is made and the angle of his body in that leap (chest and head well ahead of his feet) makes it look like a diving position, rather than a jumping position to avoid the keeper and reach the ball. In real time, I can see why it might be seen as a dive.

  17. Albertz, in your reply to DBD, you say you can confirm it was partners only. I’m not sure how? While it could well be true, unless you were there are you taking what you have read as fact?

  18. Nawlite 6th March 14.19

    This was arranged through various social media platforms during the week and before Steven Gerrards comments.
    No different to the Celtic fans outside Hampden in the recent SCF.

  19. Nawlite 6th March 15.05.

    Was told of the incident very early the following morning, players involved were correctly identified along with the location, which was the residence of one of the 5.I have no reason to doubt any other information given including the identity of the others present. Person who told has no allegiance to Rangers whatsoever.
    Can’t really say much more than this Nawlite.

  20. Thanks, Albertz. Hadn’t seen any comments re this morning’s event – no reason why I would, of course. Fair enough re the Covid5, thanks.

  21. Nawlite 6th March 15.03

    I once had a conversation with a current top referee who explained why they occasionally get it wrong. Not having the correct angle to view an incident, player/players crossing the line of vision at a vital moment, history of the player involved can subconsciously also play a part, which may be relevant in the Morelos incident.
    Steven Gerrard did say that he could have gone with one person making a mistake but not three.

  22. Albertz11 6th March 2021 At 14:50
    Had he correctly awarded a penalty then Steven Gerrard would have had no reason to enter the field of play.
    No matter the reason, he should have not entered the field of play. There is a little line drawn around the managers dug out for a reason

  23. In terms of the massive Covid breaches at Ibrox today with thousands of fans outside I am under no illusions that if Celtic had got the ten this season, then similar issues would have occurred without a doubt. However, there are various videos and photographs on social media of Rangers players and management doing nothing to discourage these breaches, and actually encouraging them. If the Government and Police don’t come down hard on this then we face possible carnage at Celtic Park in two weeks time. It’s time they grew a pair, because right now it seems one group of players and their management, and one group of fans can do what they like, It’s no surprise to me having grown up in Scotland that they are getting a free pass, but if there is serious social disorder in two weeks they can’t say they were not warned. Idiots exist everywhere, and if enough Rangers minded idiots gather at Celtic park in two weeks, then there is a good chance there will be enough Celtic minded idiots arriving to tell them where to go. Rangers should be held accountable for this, because it is a fact they encouraged it.

  24. Upthe hoops 6th March 22:27

    Wouldn’t it be ironic due the actions of Sevco/Ranger fans in their celebration of their first title caused UEFA, who appear to have no problems in making decisions regarding Covid, unlike the SFA take the Euro games from Scotland causing more financial hardship for the SFA. Celtic fans may not be immune to this if they decide to go head to head with Sevco fans at Parkhead. Both groups cannot see the forest for the trees. What will the FM do if there is a major spike in Covid cases in and around Glasgow due to today’s and, what appears to be a largely maskless gathering. Is not statement time again.

  25. Vernallen 6th March 2021 At 22:51

    I think a significant number of Rangers fans (not all of course), would be delighted if their actions meant UEFA taking away the Hampden games. They hate the SFA.

  26. Albertz11 6th March 2021 At 15:40
    I’ve been told by someone in the game that there’s no way Stevie G should have expected a conversation wit the ref within reach of pitch microphones . Vrey unprofessional , he said .

  27. Upthehoops 6th March 2021 At 22:27
    ‘..if Celtic had got the ten this season, then similar issues would have occurred without a doubt. ‘
    But what would be the Police Scotland reaction? Or the nature of the SMSM reporting? or TV coverage by the BBC?
    Or what would Nicola have to say?
    You got it in one!
    Something quite, quite different .

  28. No huge media condemnation this morning of what happened at Ibrox yesterday. I can only assume we will all be getting out for a pint and a meal this week as lockdown might as well be over, because yesterday was not the last of it. Let’s be quite clear here, the Rangers players and management team were actually encouraging the mass law breaking, and the media are fine with that. What we saw yesterday was far worse than Celtic players having a pint in Dubai in their own bubble, but that was almost deemed by the media to be a hanging offence. I write before Celtic play today, so the league may officially be over today. If it is then more public disorder and law breaking on a mass scale will follow. If Celtic win I dread the potential carnage outside Celtic Park in a fortnight.

  29. Criticism yesterday and today of the Rangers fans gathering outside Ibrox from Barry Ferguson, Chris Sutton, Steven Gerrard, Mark Sutherland (chief superintendent of Glasgow), Humza Yousaf (justice minister), Jason Leitch (national clinical director), SMSM, Scottish Government, Scottish Tory party, Scottish Police Federation and has been widely condemned on social media.

    I can understand the excitement but fans are idiots for behaving like this. The rules are really clear and next week could see a major disturbance as Celtic and Rangers fans, both notoriously well behaved groups, descent on Parkhead to embarrass themselves.

  30. Incredibleadamspark 7th March 2021 At 11:48

    I have not seen a level of viciousness from anyone like the way Celtic were attacked. As for Gerrard, he was encouraging it, as were his players. Also, there should have been arrests made for lawbreaking, Different rules for Rangers and their fans. I want to go for a pint and a meal this week. If Rangers fans and players can do as they please, we should all be able to.

    I am under no illusion that if Celtic had won the league the same thing would have happened, however in this case Rangers are condoning it by their actions. I sincerely hope they are paid a visit by Police this week and warned about their future conduct.

    As for the game at Celtic Park, I hope the Police are planning on setting up an exclusion zone around the stadium.

  31. It’s all too easy to view the Covid breaches yesterday through a Scottish lens. But remember clubs across the whole of Europe have seen fans do the same. I don’t recall Liverpool fans being as heavily criticised in the summer as either half of the old firm have in the media this year.

  32. Paddy Malarkey 6th March 23.31.

    I don’t believe he expected a conversation with the referee to be broadcast live to the nation Paddy, but more in line with the way Derek McInnes was accommodated by the same official the previous month.

  33. Dark before dawn 7th March 13.21

    Sorry, but the Liverpool fans were vilified in the English media for their behaviour and were also castigated by the Mayor of Liverpool. And a major difference for me – LFC were also quick to condemn and were very clear that fans should not gather. TRFC have condoned the law-breaking in no less public a fashion as Trump was the cheerleader to the mob in Washington.
    My English born wife is amazed that they feel able to do this. Being from the west of Scotland myself, I am not surprised but continue to be deeply saddened.

  34. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 12:59

    Can’t really see any difference in the response to the scenes at the Cup Final when a large number of Celtic fans turned up to celebrate outside. The only difference was in the colour of the scarfs and the behaviour was almost identical.

    It’s not even whataboutery merely confirmation, if anymore were needed, that both cheeks are alive and well and Scotland just has to put up with it.

  35. Incredibleadamspark 7th March 2021 At 14:24

    You are welcome to show me evidence of Celtic players and management taking part in it, Irresponsible fans do what irresponsible fans do. Rangers endorsed the behaviour yesterday.

  36. Upthehoops 7th March At 14:33

    Rangers players and management celebrated inside the stadium and waved to the supporters outside, who should not have been there in the first place. Steven Gerrard called for COVID restrictions to be respected but also said he could understand the fans reaction. That is a very long way from endorsing anything or taking part in breaking social distancing rules.

    I agree with you that irresponsible fans will do what irresponsible do and add that Celtic and Rangers have quite a large number of them within their support.

  37. Albertz11 7th March 2021 At 13:33
    Maybe he should have with live microphones around ? I didn’t see the Derek McInnes one to which you refer , ,but how many wrongs make a right ? Is that hopw we are to judge things now , whitaboot Derek McInnes ? Stevie G shouldn’t have entered the field of play to confront the officials , and he shouldn’t have verbally abused the referee regardless of whether the decision was deemed acceptable or not . My opinion is that there wasn’t enough contact to warrant a penalty and Alfredo was just being professional , so no booking .

  38. Incredibleadamspark 7th March 2021 At 14:48

    If I could post a picture on here there are fans leaning in the dressing room window. Players were engaging with them. Gerrard was leaning out the window. They were encouraging them by doing so. Every bit as bad as two guys having a pint by a poolside within their own bubble I’d say, but not drawing the same attacks from the media or the government. I guess the establishment will always go easier on their own though. I’m done, because as this article suggests, it’s not a level playing field, but then again it never has been in Scotland.

    Anyway, sticking to the football your team certainly deserved it, enjoy whatever you are doing to celebrate.

  39. Paddy Malarkey 7th March 15.11

    The same official spent time the previous month to explain a decision to Derek McInnnes.

    Why not afford Steven Gerrard the same courtesy?

    That word consistency again.

  40. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 16:04

    The article asks some pertinent questions but does not reach a definitive conclusion. It’s a good start for debating the issues and that is what we’ve been doing here. The 5 rangers players may yet face punishment with investigations apparently ongoing. I’ll await the reasons for the delay, and the judgement, with interest.

    I’m just not quite sure that this is an issue on a broader societal level within Scotland. Possibly just the football authorities being a bit rubbish.

  41. incredibleadamspark 7th March 2021 At 11:48
    I can understand the excitement but fans are idiots for behaving like this.

    They are not fans and niether idiots they are part of social media groups hell bent on destruction and carnage all clubs have them, that’s obvious. Any decent fan would put their parents family and close friends first and not attend a super spreader event, how do fans know where the meetings are taking place to attend. Today flares threw over the wall at Tannadice, Last week fireworks and crowd on the wall in attendance acknowledged bt team at end. Yesterday full attendance at Ibrox and today Bridgeton and Glasgow green with police in heavy number all down Gallowgate, all for the so called fans.
    When we speak of genuine fans we do not include them in with these fans, you buy rockets and set out to attend a super spreader then you are not a fan and you are clearly not giving a fcuk about anyone regards Covid.

  42. Some interesting items in the media today. We have the oft repeated line of being demoted in 2012, apparently writers love that angle. And, the undefeated season, is he referring to just the league or the compete season. Shame on St,Mirren raining on their parade. I would look for a lapse in standards on Thursday as the euphoria of finally winning something and a few days of celebration lead to some taking their eye off the prize. A short week of preparation maybe only Tuesday for a full workout and a travel day Wednesday could make for an interesting outcome.

  43. After watching what has gone today, how it has been facilitated by the Police, added to the very weak statement from the First Minister, it is as clear as day that certain groups enjoy special treatment in Scotland. Has anything really changed over the decades?

    I think tomorrow I will go and have a haircut in the morning. Then I will take my wife out to lunch. In the afternoon I will pop into the pub for a couple of pints. Perhaps I will just meet up with a lot of friends from different households without facemasks on as that is clearly allowed now, or perhaps I will just realise I can’t do any of that because it’s against the law right now. Tomorrow the Police will be fining people for breaking lockdown, but if anyone wants to get way with it, just put a Rangers scarf on and it will be fine.

  44. To be honest I can’t grudge Rangers fans the crowing that is going on. That’s expected, and acceptable. The stuff that makes the shoe on the other foot so satisfying too.
    But the breaches of regulations are a self entitlement step too far – as is the fact that the QE A&E is at the moment bursting with folk suffering from injuries sustained at the celebrations.
    I do understand how difficult it is to enforce these kinds of laws, but the sensible folk amongst football fandom can stay at home and still be over the moon when their team is successful.

  45. It is only fair that I point out the First Minister has now issued a far more strongly worded statement.

    Nicola Sturgeon
    I share folks’ anger at this. Everyone has made so many sacrifices in the past year & seeing a minority risk our progress is infuriating & disgraceful. It is deeply unfair to the entire country, and the police have a hard enough job already. Please ask fans to go home

  46. Big Pink 7th March 2021 At 19:41

    Crowing is part of being a fan. I have already said that if Celtic had won the league the same problems with crowds gathering would have happened. However, the Police response to yesterday and today’s gatherings were inadequate in my view, and basically facilitated the celebrations. As someone pointed out on Twitter the Police cancelled a planned celebration by Celtic fans in 2019 due to safety concerns, but are allowing all this to go on. How much is it costing into the bargain, and Rangers have done nothing to discourage it. Glad to see the First Minister has finally decided to stop stop tip-toeing around them.

  47. UTH 7th March 19.58.

    Should point out that several announcements were made today at Ibrox over the PA System asking fans to return home.

  48. UTH
    The brain dead walk among us all to a greater or lesser extent. What is troubling is that the recklessness has infected not just the halfwits within the fan group, but the players and management also- if the reports of the behaviour of players and management at Ibrox on Saturday are true. Common sense would have been to take a dignified step back and do their celebrating on camera at Celtic Park in a fortnight.

    As someone said earlier, the responsible approach taken by Liverpool last year was a good benchmark. Silence would have been less effective, but still sensible. Joining in though is poor.
    Unless of course there is agreement that celebrating a single trophy win takes precedence over a disease that has claimed the lives of over 7000 Scottish citizens.

  49. Big Pink 7th March 2021 At 20:15

    Did the players and management join in though? They celebrated, somewhat prematurely, inside Ibrox, waved and fist pumped as a large group of fans celebrated outside. I honestly don’t see a problem with that.

    The problem is those fans who travelled to Ibrox and other parts of Glasgow. They have been rightly condemned by politicians, police, media and on social media. Fines and arrests are happening. These people are completely reckless and are making a difficult situation even worse.

  50. IAS
    As I said, if reports were true. Perhaps they didn’t meet fans at the gates and accept scarves a la lap pf honour style?
    Any encouragement at all is problematic though and I very much do have a problem with that. Perhaps though the stories and pictures are inaccurate.

  51. Albertz11 7th March 2021 At 17:00
    On the pitch at half time ? Couldn’t wait until the ref came off the park ? If McInnes entered the fields of play and swore at the ref , he deserves sanction as well . Link ? I haven’t seen it ti
    to judge if it’s the same or similar .

  52. Incredibleadamspark, I would have to disagree. Surely, you can see that opening the stadium doors to allow that unlawful gathering to see that the players and officials appreciated them being there was wrong and would clearly be taken as encouragement for further unlawful gatherings. Similarly, opening the dressing room windows to join in with chants and positively acknowledge the fans for being there did likewise. Also, as I posted earlier, SG’s comments on Friday about really wanting the fans to “revel in the moment”; that the fans took priority and that people should understand if the fans misbehaved ALL helped trigger the Saturday events imo, whereupon the club’s behaviour then triggered the unlawful gatherings today. Poor from Rangers imo.

  53. Big Pink 7th March 2021 At 20:39

    I don’t see why the pictures or videos of the players would be inaccurate but what stories are you referring to? Maybe there is something I’ve missed or I’m unaware of.

  54. Big Pink 7th March 2021 At 20:15

    Celtic Park in two weeks is now the worry. There is already a social media campaign for Celtic fans to be there in numbers to greet the players arriving. Rangers fans have had a long standing intention to march in numbers from Bridgeton Cross to the stadium. The Police facilitated today’s march and have made a rod for their own back by being so soft. It’s worth saying the Celtic fans plans are based only on the fact ‘they can get away with it, so why can’t we!’ Some hard thinking for the Government and the Police is required to avoid trouble.

  55. Nawlite 7th March 2021 At 20:47

    No. That looks like police officers and members of the public being put in an impossible situation by a large group of Rangers fans. Basically they should be ashamed of themselves.

  56. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 20:49

    If Celtic fans chose to assemble en masse at Parkhead then that is their own choice and they are entirely to blame for that. I can’t get my head around why that might be someone else’s fault. Rangers fans are being rightly criticised for their actions so why would Celtic fans not be to blame for arranging that?

  57. IAP 7th March 20.35.

    Agree with the condemnation of supporters flouting the rules, however the Scottish Government led by the First Minister has had more than enough time to plan for this inevitability in conjunction with Rangers FC, Police Scotland, Glasgow City Council etc.
    Having said that she will probably have forgotten about it tomorrow.
    Serious point being did no-body see this coming. If so, then why not?.
    In reply to Paddy Malarkey on the 4th i alluded to a foretaste of what was to come, Paddy agreed, so if we can see it, then why didn’t anyone in a position of power?.

  58. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 20:49

    Any fan that chooses to travel to Parkhead on that day is personally responsible for their actions. It’s very easy to look elsewhere for blame but both sets of fans need to behave themselves. I really hope it passes without incident but I’m not optimistic. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

  59. Incredibleadamspark 7th March 2021 At 21:15

    Of course Celtic fans assembling are responsible for their own actions, and personally I think it would be idiotic. I am merely pointing out they have watched the Police treat Rangers fans with kid gloves and are using it as an excuse. It’s worth noting that in 2019 Police Scotland cancelled a Celtic treble treble party on safety grounds. Yet in the middle of a tier 4 lockdown and a global pandemic they basically just wave the Rangers fans through. I’m really glad there is nothing unsafe about it all.

  60. IAS 7th March 21.20

    If any supporter chooses to travel to Celtic Park then they must be held responsible for their actions and suffer any consequences of their decision to flout the lockdown rules.
    Both clubs should also unite to make their position on any gathering crystal clear.
    Like you i am not optimistic at all.

  61. There can be no excuse for the scenes at George Square tonight. I shrugged off yesterday and to an extent this afternoon as football fans doing what football fans do. But to extend it for 8 hours is pretty much rubbing it in the faces of everyone else who is abiding by the lockdown rules. Not a good look.

    I do hope there are better measures put in place for the Old Firm game in a fortnight as you can be sure fans from both sides will attend and it could get nasty ?

  62. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 21:30

    I’m not sure the two situations are comparable. Are you referring to the open top bus parade? If you are, that was an organised event and thousands of fans gathered on Saltmarket and Gallowgate and spilled onto the road. They were asked to move for safety reasons, refused to do so, meaning the bus could not pass and the parade was subsequently rerouted.

    The Rangers fans gathered outside Ibrox and other locations in a disorganised and unofficial way making it very difficult, if not down right impossible to police.

    The only thing these events had in common was the stupidity of the fans involved.

  63. Darkbeforedawn 7th March 2021 At 21:56

    Agreed. These fans need to have a word with themselves. Disgraceful scenes in Glasgow.

  64. It’s not the platform to debate wherever right or wrong, only to point out that all the recent anti lockdown marches have been met by a far more severe police response than today. It really shows the ineptitude of the police. They will show a heavy hand to a few hundred people but run a mile from tens of thousands.

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