The Celtic Star this evening can confirm that Celtic have informed the Green Brigade that their access to away tickets has been suspended after what the club describes as “extremely serious unsafe and unacceptable behaviour at recent away matches”.
Having spoken to the club this afternoon we can confirm that the away allocation of tickets has been under review for a considerable period as the club has become increasingly concerned with the behaviour at games including at the recent game at Fir Park with Celtic aware that turnstiles were rushed and fire doors opened in order to allow additional ticketless supporters to enter the ground.
The club also point to the recent fine from UEFA relating to the pyro display in Rotterdam for the Champions League opener against Feyenoord and when we reported on that ahead of the Lazio game we reported that we had from our conversations with Celtic picked up a strong hint that there was action pending regarding the use of pyrotechnics, with the club aware of some near misses in terms of serious injury being caused.
Celtic take these matters very seriously indeed and point out this suspension applies to around 200 supporters out of 53,000 supporters while noting that the demand for away tickets greatly outstrips the supply, with for example just over 500 tickets being available for the game on Sunday at Tynecastle.
A senior Celtic source told The Celtic Star this afternoon:
“As the group in question has been informed in writing, this decision to suspend access to away tickets relates to very clear and extremely serious unsafe and unacceptable behaviour at recent away matches, including those against Feyenoord and Motherwell.
“As an example, at Feyenoord, widespread and unsafe use of pyrotechnics resulted in another fine for the Club from UEFA. Investigations are ongoing in relation to unsafe behaviour at Motherwell, including rushing turnstiles and forcing open fire exits to permit access to individuals without tickets.”
Earlier this week The Celtic Star exclusively revealed that the rumour that the Green Brigade had been banned from Celtic Park ahead of their proposed Palestine flag protest at the Champions League match against Atletico Madrid next Wednesday night was NOT true and today we checked for an update on that report and can confirm as per our previous story that Celtic have NOT banned the Green Brigade from the game in midweek, while being well aware of the planned protest, and there is no ban for the Green Brigade attending matches at Celtic Park where their season tickets remain active.Photo Mark Runnacles/Shutterstock
Brendan Rodgers spoke at his media conference today about the benefits of Scottish football introducing defined rules on away supporter allocations being put in place by the SPFL in January, in time for next season.
Celtic recognise that in order for this to happen, our away support needs to stay within the rules at grounds that are in place for a reason and opening fire exits and other unacceptable behaviour weakens the argument of clubs – like Celtic – who are pushing for a larger away allocation.
Motherwell are reportedly looking at REDUCING the Celtic allocation for our next visit rather than increasing it and as The Celtic Star has pointed out, the far section of their Main Stand, that used to be populated by Celtic supporters, is largely empty on match days. Presumably that is where additional Celtic fans could be located if new rules apply and the clubs get their collective heads around set rules for admitting more away fans.
We also checked what is happening to the away tickets that would normally have been allocated to The Green Brigade and can confirm that these are back with the Celtic ticket office for them to allocate as per their existing rules.