Backlash – ‘The Green Brigade does not own our passion’

LAST NIGHT we had a debate about the Green Brigade, in light of the recent ban imposed by the Celtic Board to the Ultras Group following the most recent UEFA fine for an illicit banner and illicit chants.

The Green Brigade responded to the Celtic decision by issuing a statement of their own and there seemed to be a real problem in that neither side looked likely to budge. Celtic have a cup final next Sunday and like everyone else we’d like to be at full strength on and off the pitch so that means dialogue, compromise and hopefully an agreement reached this week.

Anyway, back to last night and Jim Hester started the ball rolling with his opinion piece – The Green Brigade are part of the Club but not bigger than Celtic.

That was followed by some interesting reactions as we detailed in this article – Reaction – ‘Mend your ways or go,’ Green Brigade told. This a ‘deluded view,’ Mise le meas.

Right, when you’ve had a look through those two you’re good to pick up the debate, and it’s going to get heated!

Jim Hester wanted to respond to PJ in the reaction article so that’s a good place to start.

I’ve never read such an arrogant and patronising piece of condescension in my life.PJ, another keyboard warrior hiding behind his anonymity.

As to being aware of the history of Celtic, well I’ve supported the Club for nigh on 50 years and I’ve seen the good and the bad. I’ve seen the drunks in the Jungle p…ing in empty beer cans. I’ve witnessed the Club on it’s knees with a salivating Scottish Media baying for the Club’s demise. I’ve seen the renaissance of the Club during the Fergus years. I’ve heard all the Republican songs being belted out by people who were completely unaware of the reality of the history and the pain that was experienced during the war for Irish Independence.

Songs that they learned from their Second or Third generation Scottish, Celtic Das and Uncles. Songs that have polarised the Celtic support. We boast that we are a Club for All. However not everyone is of Irish Catholic lineage and of those who are, most have moved on from glorifying in song the hardships and real pain that were endured.

A century has passed and unification is on the cards. The majority of people on both sides of the so called “Divide” have worked hard to achieve a lasting peace and conciliation. It’s an insult to these people for the minority of fans who continue to indulge in the pro-Republican singing. Let the “staunch” loyalists on the other side of the city continue to live in the past.

Our support, like the people of Ulster must move on.

As for his comments about the media bias he is preaching to the converted. There is nothing new in what he says. We all know the reality. We have experienced it all our lives. It’s not some recently discovered conspiracy. We all acknowledge the residual anti-Irish/Catholic bigotry that exists in Fair Caledonia and not just in the West of Scotland or particular to the masses that frequent the “Bigotdome”.

If truth be told it’s not just a minority. However most of us have moved on and contrary to Pj’s deprecating remarks, we educated ourselves and stopped dwelling in the past. It’s about time some of the Green Brigade did the same.

Bring their colour, their enthusiasm, their charity, let them raise their voices loud in support of the team but keep their politics to themselves. Celtic Park is not their own personal hustings.

H.H.

FC not PLC.

Jim Hester

NEXT UP is Mark Kennedy who isn’t a fan of the Green Brigade. Here’s what he had to say…

First things first: Celtic Park’s reputation as a seething cauldron of energetic fans, raising the roof in a cacophonic chorus against foes, foreign and domestic, stretches back as far as the Club’s roots in the late 19th Century. Celtic fans are passionate, loyal and vociferous, and they do not have to be members of the Green Brigade to stake their claim as the best and most fearsome in the world.

Long before this newbie crowd of self-entitled, pseudo-crusading neo-politicians began parading themselves, from a corner of the Rangers End, as Celtic’s Soul, and the one and only reason our beloved Paradise rocks and revels, week in, week out, ordinary, humble and loyal fans have let their voices soar to the rafters to cheer on the Bhoys at every match they attend. It has always been thus.

As I stood on the crumbling Jungle terraces in the 1980s, I participated with fervor in the songs and chants that saw of giants like Real Madrid, Rapid Vienna, Sporting Lisbon and many more. Thankfully, many of these chants have now been consigned to the dustbin of history and our Club has matured and progressed into its best ever era.

Then, as now, Celtic FC does not need a Green Brigade to bring passion to what the Club means to most of us. We didn’t need them then, and we don’t need them now. They are a bunch of self-aggrandizing agitators with a personal agenda way beyond following Glasgow Celtic.

They weren’t there in our darkest days, and they will be the first to abandon their rail seats when the going gets tough and the cake gets too small to divvy out a piece to all of them.

We do not need the polluted politics of the few in a stadium which is home to many.

We do not need the denigration of the memory of the war dead, audaciously and disgracefully voiced in the name of Glasgow Celtic on our hallowed terraces, by a mindless minority, as if they spoke for all present.

We do not need the a vile and unwarranted provocation of visiting fans, whoever they may be, with banners clearly intended to incite the violence they themselves then crave to criticise after the fact, as if they were free of any blame or responsibility.

We do not need puerile continental-style pyrotechnic displays, which have NEVER been part of the culture of either Scotland or Glasgow Celtic, and which they continually promote in the full knowledge that UEFA will punish, and rightly so, the Club the rest of us want to enjoy without radicalisation.

The Green Brigade does not own our passion.

The Green Brigade does not represent the fanbase of Glasgow Celtic, and has no right to speak for us.

We have managed for a Century, and more, to cheer the Bhoys on to great things without the need for ultras and radicals.

The further away the Green Brigade are from the Celtic family, the better.

Enyoy watching Rennes on the telly, lads. Oh, and grow up!

Mark Kennedy

NEXT UP we hear from Joe Agnew…

I am 65 years old, of Irish parentage and I am a staunch Celtic supporter but I hate the way Celtic are being brought down by the Green Brigade. I love their support of the club but leave the politics out of the football club… you are only bringing yourself down to the level of the unionists or fascists and costing our beloved club money and more importantly credibility in the football family. Please stop what you are doing and support your club, leave the politics to the other clowns!

And we also heard today from Lisbon 67 veteran Jerry Woods who had this to say…

The Standing Area at Celtic Park should be open to all supporters of the club and not confined to a individual group. Celtic FC and their elected board members are fully to blame for allowing this area of Celtic Park to be used as a internment camp.

I use the word internment, because history tells us that this is a impractical solution to try and solve the views and heart felt beliefs of others.

The club was founded on Christian values and principles and Celtic Park should not be used to promote political or religious differences.

The curse of mankind is Religion and Politics and for any individual group to be allowed to promote either, within the confines of Celtic park is wrong.

The behaviour of certain fans within this standing area shall not be allowed to continue and the present group of supporters using this allocated area should understand that “self control comes before crowd control”.

I therefore only ask one question. Is it right or wrong for any young child attending a game at Celtic park, within the vicinity of the standing area, be subjected to the political views and songs that are NOT relevant to the present day?

Jeremiah Woods

We are independent Celtic supporters site open to all Celtic supporters. If you would like to write an Opinion piece for The Celtic Star, please send your submission, on any Celtic related subject to editor@thecelticstar.co.uk and we’ll do the rest. We look forward to hearing from you! HH

About Author

The Celtic Star founder by and is editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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