The recent dispute between Celtic and the Green Brigade has come at an awkward time, as Celtic prepare to face Rosenborg in a Champions League qualifier on Wednesday, and sadly the Green Brigade’s spectacle will not be there, or at the opening game of the season against Hearts, as Celtic, or rather Peter Lawwell, have banned them for two games.
The ban, according to Celtic’s statement yesterday, might be down to the flares used in the game against Hearts last season but that seems a smokescreen, as the ‘controversial’ banners unveiled against Linfield will be the real reason for the ban.
As someone who was at the game on Wednesday, as soon as I saw the banner I remarked to fellow TJDS correspondent onlylovehh that Peter Lawwell would be ‘livid’ at the banner. It didn’t offend me personally, but I had the felling that Lawwell would hate the use of ‘paramilitary’ imagery, especially as it seemed to be aligned to an image of the Celtic manager. A two match ban seems to be quite a steep punishment, but with Celtic set to be charged by UEFA again it did seem inevitable that a ban would happen.
The Green Brigade released their own statement earlier today, and after calling the ban ‘unnecessary and avoidable’ said that they ‘welcomed’ Peter Lawwell’s call for talks between the two sides, but that they have been ‘waiting on his ability for a long time’. Both sides seem to be at loggerheads even more so than in previous rows between Lawwell and the Green Brigade and it will take a lot for them, if ever, to be on the same page. Hopefully the issue is resolved soon enough and we can go back to concentrating on matters on the pitch.