BBC’s discreet correction on Green Brigade’s Palestine flag display causing UEFA fine

BBC Scotland has discreetly amended a news story which, like many mainstream media outlets yesterday claimed that UEFA had hit Celtic with a fine for Palestine flag display at Celtic Park during the Champions League match against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday 25 October.

The Celtic Star and Video Celts both ran stories ahead of the official announcement from UEFA that Celtic would this time escape a fine relating to the Palestine flag display organised by the Green Brigade. Celtic asked supporters NOT to fly the flags, presumably fearing a heavy fine would be the outcome and adding to the volume of fines that have mounted up.

So when the news broke yesterday ahead of the Celtic PLC AGM, detailing three charges issued against Celtic totalling around £25k, BBC Scotland, Football Scotland and other mainstream media outlets were quick to state that the fines were relating to the Green Brigade’s Palestine flag display.

Football Scotland stated:

“The largest of the three fines will cost the club €17,500 and comes for a ‘provocative message of an offensive nature’ and is understood to be caused by the Palestine flag display.”

The Celtic Star, in covering the breaking story yesterday morning, stood by our original story from the day before which stated that UEFA would NOT fine Celtic for the supporters waving the flag of Palestine. We even had a few folk dig us up on our story being ‘a lot of Colin Nish’ and some other Celtic sites pointed out our ‘error’.

Had we been wrong, we’d have had no problem putting our hands up and apologising. Or maybe what we should have done is to have gone back into our article to conduct a wee re-write to say UEFA will fine Celtic Blah Blah Correct all along…

Because that’s exactly what BBC Scotland have done, deleting their reporting of Celtic being fined by UEFA for the Palestine flag display and rewording the content to make it more accurate, just like the one that was on The Celtic Star yesterday morning.

And at the bottom of the BBC article they have added this little sentence.

“CORRECTION 22 November 2023: This story originally incorrectly reported that Celtic were fined after fans displayed Palestine flags. Uefa has since confirmed this was not the reason for the fine,” BBC website.

Or maybe more accurately they had read something entirely different into the wording of the UEFA announcement that was wishful thinking on their part and on the other media outlets which made the same incorrect interpretation.

And ironically enough right below this CORRECTION they have a Celtic branded banner reading NEED TO KNOW with text then reading “Our coverage of Celtic is bigger and better than ever before – here’s everything you need to know to make sure you never miss a moment.” 

Many supporters will have read this inaccurate reports yesterday and will not be aware of the correction issued by the BBC (who goes back to read an article that they read the day before?). So that shapes the debates, influences opinions and ultimately in this instance keeps the internal conflict at Celtic going and perhaps growing. That in itself creates more stories, so their is actually a method to their badness.

Might be a better idea sticking to the Celtic fan media folks. The Celtic Star’s reporting on this story yesterday – with the same facts available to us  as the mainstream media – was accurate, fair and stands the test of time, even as long as around 24 hours later!

READ THE CELTIC STAR’S ARTICLE…Celtic 3-1 Atletico Madrid – That’s UEFA fines, €29k to Celtic and €3k to them

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and 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

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