Making the klan strictly liable in Scotland

I am hearing that there was an interesting discussion at Hampden yesterday.

Some senior folk in football administration were informally discussing the post-match comments of Neil Francis Lennon.

The Irishman pointed out that the usual bile had been directed at him throughout the match by the klan.

Consequently, the Hibernian manager had felt justified in “giving some back”.

This was discussed, in an informal setting, at the home of the national game.

One view was that if the 5-5 game had been the first of the season then the Compliance Officer might have been compelled to act against Sevco.

The reasoning was that because it was discriminatory chanting directed against a specific individual then it would be difficult not to act.

However, as it was the last on the fixture card then it was easy to let it go.

That was the opinion that was proffered yesterday at Hampden.

I thought this an interesting observation and worth passing on.

Of course, until Strict Liability is brought in and fairly applied then the klan will act with impunity in Scotland.

I recall the season 2010-2011 which was the penultimate one of old Rangers.

During that European campaign, I was regularly in contact with the UEFA Media office to ascertain the identity of the match delegate.

I wanted to know their level of proficiency in the English language and whether or not they were aware of the history of the Rangers fans.

Finally, the Ibrox club was sanctioned and their next away match in the UCL Champions League would see a ban on travelling fans.

I think it is FARE to say that Rangers CEO Martin Bain did not take the news very well:

“We have had serious concerns about the integrity of the evidence compiled by the Fare organisation and that remains the case.

“We are also of the opinion that Fare has been influenced by people who make it their business to damage our club in any way they can.”

Obviously, I have no idea to whom Mr Bain was referring.

When the match was played in Sweden in a klan free environment Rangers couldn’t get over the line.

Despite being under the expert direction of Super Salary it was the Swedish team that progressed into the UCL Group Stages.

Without that revenue, Craig Whyte’s plans crumbled.

I knew it was only a matter of time before an insolvency event happened to Rangers that season.

Moreover, I said so.

My reporting from the time can be accessed on the blog archive here.

It is nice to think that the absence of The People in Malmo might have assisted in the demise of that toxic football club.

Sadly, what the klan espouses is still socially acceptable in nice fluffy multi-cultural Scotland.


Because of that, the Sevco match day experience is still a major vehicle for anti-Irish racism.

Of course, it should not matter when in the fixture card the discriminatory chanting occurs.

It doesn’t to UEFA and it shouldn’t to the SPFL.

49 thoughts on “Making the klan strictly liable in Scotland”

  1. Manchester Evening News has released unseen photos of ‘the peepul’s’ visit there in 2008. Presumably a 10 year memorial service is planned.

    Can we assume that it was the same club competing in the UEFA cup final back then? And that the fans destroying the city centre were supporters of a different club?

  2. There was a wonderful picture in, I think it was in the Herald, last year of a Celtic goal celebration. It featured a Catholic (Tierney), a Protestant (Broony), a Muslim (Dembele) and a Jew (Biton) in a group hug. Truly wonderful and truly CELTIC.

    1. That, Charger, is what I love about Glasgow Celtic F.C. that four groups of religious people can be cheered on by all and sundry with no hatred towards the captain for being of a different faith and no demand that the Jew and the Muslim engage in a war of attrition in the shower or the locker room before or after the match. As for K.T. – What’s not to love?

  3. Hugh’s comment, ‘if my son were black….’ possibly could be misinterpreted as a defence of racism.
    The issue is that anti-Irish racism is so ingrained in Scotland that we are better at making excuses for the perpetrators – they are racists – than we are at ‘calling them out’.

    We all have a part to play in what we tolerate. In fact, in what we won’t tolerate. Whether it’s the Famine Song, or the Billy Boys, these are anthems forged from racial hatred. That, as Phil reports, the footballing authorities can seek to ways out of doing something, anything, about it only shows that they don’t want to address it, preferring to dismiss it as high spirited ignorance.

    Of course, there will be those who equate the above two anthems (one of many) with traditional Irish and overtly republican songs. The essential difference is there for all to see, in the motive of those who originated those songs. In the republican tradition, sectarianism itself was anathema, Irishness to be celebrated in all its stubborn refusal to be subjugated. Hating other people was not the prime goal. In contrast, when Billy Fullerton took to Glasgow’s streets, it was not to hand out bouquets, or even to demonstrate how wonderful it was to be British, it was to intimidate, threaten, maim and kill. The Famine Song does not tell us of the great sacrifices of church-going Scots who supported the Irish at their time of greatest need, rather it glories in the suffering of a people and struts around in the same callous manner of most of the British establishment at the time of Ireland’s greatest need.

    There will be those who disagree, who possibly can find an old ditty that does not celebrate someone’s murder at the hands of some no-brained legned…. but in the meantime, we can all recognise the aims of those ditties, what they were meant to do, and recognise the difference between folk song and messages of hate.

    Meanwhile, let’s celebrate all things Celtic, and the black players at the heart of the current team. There is no room for racists, anti-semites, or sectarianism in Paradise. Let’s keep it that way.

  4. My grandparents were IRISH which I am proud and never hide it I was born in Scotland and proud to be Scottish waiting for my Irish passport can’t wait they tell me there’s a backlog unionist included in that typical they want there cake and eat it in my opinion there is too many high ranking Catholics in Scotland that don’t want to rock the boat we live in a country were we have to except we are second class citizens people won’t bite the hand that feeds them journalist lawyers ect I Still can’t come to terms why The civic centre in Motherwell never flew The Tricolour To comemerate The men and women Who gave there lives During The rising There were some Good council staff who tried there best but to the others shame on you when wee make a stand things will change when we stay still nothing changes

    1. Both of my parents have Catholic Irish ancestry. My father’s father was an Orangeman, who married a catholic, whose grandparents were Protestants.
      We were clipped around the ear for arguing about religion by dad.
      “We’re a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns” he would say. It was when I researched my genealogy that I understood why religion was not to be fought over. I was raised Catholic and married a Protestant. None of my Catholic Brothers married a Catholic. One sister married a Protestant and the others married Catholic men.
      Celtic, Hearts and Rangers are the teams supported by my siblings and our offspring. Only Rangers stole cups and tiles from the rest. I am married and I am an ordained priest. GOD wants none of this sectarianism.

  5. Hi phil.
    A bit of a dilemma for the good people of county donegal.
    What to watch tomorrow.
    The royal wedding or the cup final.
    Over here it is a no contest.
    Come on the hoops.
    Let’s make history.

  6. Isn’t strange how they sing about the fact that “no one likes us and they don’t care”, yet, when something happens against them (and rightly so)they throw huge hissy fits, issue WOTP press statements (almost as though they are from another planet) and somehow this is ruining Scottish football!

  7. Defoe the latest name to be thrown in the ring, age 36, no long term planning there and has had injury niggles whilst on the south coast.
    Doesn’t strike me as the type whose going to give up the last 2 years of his £65k per week contract to join the Stevie G revolution at Ibrox.
    No doubt Bournemouth would be easy to deal with by releasing him to get his £300k per month off the payroll.
    So effectively another Bosman. Who will be the first substantial fee signing of the new era?

    1. If this true that would be a coup. He’s a genuine goalscorer at the highest level. What would he do up here? The service wouldn’t be what he’s used to but in front of goal would be clinical. Boyata would be no match and Ajer would need to step up.. or a very good replacement found for DB

  8. Fact is, there’s discriminatory chanting by Rangers fans at every single domestic game that the club play.

    Personally, I’m not big on policing speech and thought. But what I do find very striking is the hypocrisy of it.

    Why have rules against discriminatory chanting at all, if you are going to sit by and do nothing, week after week, as they are brazenly flouted ( mistyped that as “fluted” there – Freudian slip ; )

    “The Billy Boys” already has recent Scottish legal precedent as a sectarian and offensive song. But it’s regularly belted out at Rangers games – not just by one or two individuals, nor even just by one or two hundred, but by a large proportion of their fans.

    Football authorities in this country need to grow a pair. Either come out and say Sod it, it’s only words in a song, you can sing whatever you like – or else take action every time it happens. Having a law that is routinely ignored, and only policed when the authorities have some ulterior motive, or wish to target a particular individual, is a classic tactic of authoritarian regimes the world over – from Caligula to the present day.

    Truth is, the SFA expects its referees to demonstrate consistency in their application of the rules, as a basic requirement of their employment. But that same organisation seems doggedly determined to demonstrate the extreme absence of consistency on its own behalf – in the application of its own rules.

  9. I think the TV companies should be held to account too. It is them, after all, that broadcast the sectarian and racist bile into our homes. Broadcasters and sponsors should be told exactly what they broadcasting and supporting. If they knew how things really are with Sevconians, would they want their products and services associated bigots, racists and fascists.

  10. Having been educated through Primary and Senior Secondary Catholic schools, long time past now, I think I came out the other end with a reasonable, balanced view and certainly with no hatred of other folks because they followed a different God or were of a different colour.
    The Irish are loved all over the world for the craic and love of life.
    Almost no matter where you go in the world there will be an Irish theme bar not far away.
    Here the Church Of Scotland demonised the Irish and their Catholicism. Only in recent years have apologies been made.
    However the hatred continues and the vehicle for that continuity is Rangers FC and the Orange Order.
    The former had to change their signing policy because UEFA was on their case and the latter requests their members not to associate with Catholics or enter a chapel!
    Glorifying a 17th century battle where many of them are ignorant of the fact that the Vatican financed the very gay William’s army.
    Ignorance is bliss.

    1. Aye. AND I would say over 99% of them believe that William defeated the Catholic hordes, crossed the Boyne and freed Derry. They don’t know that the Boyne is NOWHERE near Derry and big Billy spent the night after the victory carousing with his pals in Dublin.

  11. What do TRFC/RIFC have to say on the matter?

    Maybe they should be bombarded first, just so we know by their response, or lack of, where the club/company stand.

    After all, they have a perfect way of stopping this. They could take all away tickets so that the opposing team don’t suffer any financial loss but then not actually sell them to their fans. I know that sounds crazy, and won’t happen, but it is a strong statement and sends out a clear message from the club/company that they want to hear no more.

  12. Irish – Catholic
    You can’t separate the history of it . Andrew Kerins was who he was as were my great grandparents who were forced to leave beautiful Donegal for the less green pastures of Glasgow.
    But in this age you can personally separate religion and race any time you wish. There is no rule.
    For the unenlightened at Ibrox we may have to wait for the law to impose the mental separation on them . Or perhaps just let the Lords of Karma have another bash at them.
    Until that happens I’m still a fenian b……
    But no one has the power to bring me down to the point that I will hate them.
    I learnt that from the values of my ancestors
    And I suppose too it’s part of being Celtic .

    We must fight the good fight but never be tempted to return hatred by hatred. That will never work.

    This site and the immense effort to reveal the truth will set us all free .

    1. Mostly I get where you are at but Celtic is not and never has been a solely catholic club. Stein’s family were as orange as you like. I don’t want us defined as catholic and rangers prodfies as this binary labelling is much to our disbenefit. I say that as a mixed heritage scot of donegal and yorkshire catholic and protestant mix.

  13. Martin Bain! the guy who ‘ring fenced’ his Wages, when he realized his club was heading for the knackers yard! but later, canceled his order, in a vain attempt to help the old club through their difficult financial shambles! At least you tried Martin! lovely guy! you will forever be in the People’s gratitude! methinks!

    1. and Bain’s been doing a sterling job of arranging for Sunderland AFC to start again in the fourth tier of English football . . .

      except they haven’t been in and out (sic) of liquidation yet – still time thought Martin.

  14. Alcohol, has it’s part to play. A big part. Anti social behaviour in any walk of life(including football), is more often than not fuelled by it. Sorting out that issue would be a good starting point. There are many drunk fuds, behaving shamefully at every ground. Ours included. Bravado surrounding alcohol, is an embarrassment to our nation. Just add in the racism and bigotry, and you get one almighty cocktail.Too many happy to ignore this issue.

    1. I have to object strenuously that alcohol is “blamed” for the problems highlighted by eldipomato.

      It is a fact that despite this easy blame culture that with or without alcohol this behaviour persists. As does domestic violence, violence, homelessness, poverty among other social problems.

      It’s easy to advocate responsibility to booze.

      Deeper social problems are the cause and unless addressed we will forever be fighting fire.

      I am an experienced recovery worker with 15 years working in the field.

  15. It is high time that the SFA and politicians and police Scotland acted.
    Start fining the clubs using the UEFA standard with the added proviso that the fines will increase on each occasion.
    The playing rules are accepted and generally adheard to so why not the other rules regarding club/country fans?
    Use “fair play” records on crowd behaviour of sectarian singing, invasions, missiles thrown etc.
    The total of course is then considered by the authorities to granting European access.
    The fine money collected could then be divided up to enhance the well run and behaved clubs to invest in grass roots development within in their community.
    Recompense for the loss of sponsorship caused by companies avoiding the association of such bigotry.

    The clubs cannot avoid not being responsible for what is happening within their grounds.

    I hope that Neil Lennon does protest and challenge the authorities on their actions or rather lack of it with SEVCO fans
    After all a yellow/red card offence is one regardless of the match time or season
    The SFA approach of it is the end of the season is wrong
    An offence by the clubs fans in a stadium is an offence at anytime of the season( pre-season friendly etc.)
    Once the fines start the fans will police themselves and it will stop.

    1. I think that you make some excellent points and these are worth pursuing if administered without bias and favour.

  16. Ac coupe of people have mentioned one this post and others, that maybe the time has come for a more direct approach to tackle this stain that is like a cancer to the game. We need to look at a concerted campaign to shame them into taking action against the tributes and ultimately making the tributes themselves start to tackle a cancer of there own making.

    Contacting advertisers, ask them if the are happy to have there brand associated with this knuckle dragging behaviour. Contacting is too nice, they need bombarding. The same applies to the Scottish media, why are they not more vocal on the subject. Msp’s and mp’s too, what the hell are they doing.

    Of course the solution is very simple, the spl and spfl each send send an official each along with a representative of kick it out to every game. They will be equipped with covert recording devices and situated at different parts of the ground. After every game the recordings are reviewed and every time they are caught singing their songs of hate they are fined. Start at £100k per match and it doubles every time they break it. After five offences it’s a £1.6 million hit, and as they are skint I can guarantee they will start to take action. This of course isn’t difficult or even complex and could be done in time for next season, the problem we have is no bugger what’s to step forward and take the first step. That’s why it’s the fans that need to start the balling rolling by getting onto advertisers etc.

    The bonnet changed our behaviour at paradise and achieved what many said was impossible, if he can do then surely someone can do it to them.

  17. If Mr lennon was black would it make a difference. My son is Catholic so it’s ok to abuse him in this country. ? ?

  18. The Bane of their Martian existence should remember, “No-one likes us, WE DON’T CARE. We hate CELTIC, Fenian Bastards…” is a guilty plea in every court, in every land, even in Scotland, where the Judiciary signed a secrecy agreement to NEVER bring shame to the lodge, by finding this renegade band of satanic recidivists on a thousand levels, not guilty by reason of Brotherhood.
    Instead of vying for who does this job best, it would be much easier if we all united in opposition to crime and unfair play in ever aspect of our beloved game, and send them all to Hades, where they will inevitably go.

    Hail Hail.

  19. Phil, I dread strict liability being implemented in Scotland. We know one club above others will be unfairly punished

    1. Gerry Sweeney, then the fans of that club, need to put their house in good order. “Bring it,” I say, “DON’T SING IT.”

    2. Aye. It would be brilliant if it was implemented fairly and squarely across the board, but my gut, my shrinking but still considerable gut, tells me this would not happen. It would make honest mistakes pale into insignificance.

  20. The klan are the reason that we will always be the most bigoted small country in the world and not the best small country in the world.

  21. Phil, excellent reporting as always.

    I think Celtic fans have to take this to another level and start a systematic campaign to make all sponsors of the SFA aware of the sectarian nature of the Rangers support. Fans should be encouraged to email, call, text, Tweet, etc. the business partners of the Association.

    If they don’t act then go to their sponsors. Boycott Adidas, Vauxhall, etc. I am sure the share holders of General Motors would not want to be associated with a business/company who was not seen to address incidents of racism, bigotry or sectarianism.

    It can become a football version of the Me Too movement.

    1. No Problem Here: Racism in Scotland
      Edited by Neil Davidson, Edited by Minna Liinpaa, Edited by Maureen McBride, Edited by Satnam Virdee

  22. Are you aware of a report by Scottish University’s about anti-Irish discrimination in Scotland that was published recently?

        1. No Problem Here: Racism in Scotland
          Edited by Neil Davidson, Edited by Minna Liinpaa, Edited by Maureen McBride, Edited by Satnam Virdee

  23. Strict Liability is an anathema to the corrupt and craven who run Scottish football for the benefit of one club (sic) and one sub-culture.

    Like Keyse Soze, it is mentioned in reverential tones to frighten naughty children of the criminal classes.

    Do turkeys vote to be plucked, stuffed and basted?

  24. It would be remarkable in any other nation. Sadly, in Scotland it is as acceptable to many, as it is predictible to us all.
    Scotland’s shame have many who aid & abet them – I make no distinction to the level of blame & of shame, I attribute to each party.

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