The Green Brigade has had their season tickets suspended as the battle between the club and the ultras group takes a new twist.
Celtic yesterday evening confirmed that members of the supporters’ group had been banned from using tickets at both home and away fixtures involving the club. Those part of the group, which is housed in the north curve of Parkhead, received direct communications to inform them of the decision.
The club has stated this course of action has been taken ‘pending further review’ regarding the group’s adherence to ground relations and conduct in the future. A statement from Celtic insists that ‘unacceptable behaviours’ had resulted in serious safety concerns and other issues. It’s understood that the decision has nothing to do with the Green Brigade’s vocal support of Palestine amidst the current conflict in Israel.
A Celtic spokesperson said: “To avoid any misunderstanding, the progressive steps taken by the club over a period of time are as a result of an increasingly serious escalation in unacceptable behaviours and non-compliance with applicable regulations, at matches at Celtic Park and away grounds over a period of time, which are creating serious safety concerns and other issues.”
The suspension comes after the latest UEFA fines handed down to Celtic as a result of the ultras’ behaviour during this season’s Champions League.
Pyro was set off by the group in Rotterdam as Brendan Rodgers’ side lost to Feyenoord during their Group E opener on September 19. Not only did this lead to a £23,000 fine from European football’s governing body, but it sparked safety issues and complaints from other Celtic supporters. It’s also believed that the Green Brigade illegally entered Celtic Park to prepare a large unauthorised tifo display which was held aloft prior to the match against Lazio on October 4.
The club is also believed to have taken this action after they assessed safety access issues during a recent Premiership away game at Fir Park, which is said to have led to rushing turnstiles and forcing open fire exits to permit individuals without tickets.
Various instances of abuse of matchday access prior to games against Kilmarnock, Atletico Madrid and Hibernian has also been cited by the club. This involved breaching the restrictions previously communicated between Celtic officials and the group, and displaying intimidating and threatening behaviour towards staff.
An email from the club sent to members of the group reads: “We are writing to advise that due to repeated incidents of unacceptable conduct involving the ‘Green Brigade’ group, the Club has suspended the season tickets of all season ticket holders who have registered with the Ticket Office as being part of this group, pending further review and communication with the group and/or the supporters in question regarding compliance with the Ground Regulations, the Rail Seating Safety Code of Conduct, and Club communications, moving forward.
“Therefore, your ticket is not eligible for use tomorrow night for our match against St. Mirren and will remain suspended until further notice. Access to away tickets for supporters registered as being part of the group will also remain suspended. The safety of all supporters at Celtic Park is of paramount importance and amid these serious safety concerns, this immediate action whilst regrettable, is considered by the Club to be necessary.
“We have separately emailed the representative of the group with further detail, following on from a number of formal written communications dating back to September and ongoing dialogue since the summer. Should you wish to contact the Club on this or any other matter related to the Rail Seating Section, we would ask that you direct your correspondence in the first instance to firstname.lastname@example.org.”