Celtic pledge to Green Brigade after fans feared they would be banned

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CELTIC FC has vowed to work alongside its most vocal supporters in an attempt to quell health and safety fears at Celtic Park due to fans standing and dancing during matches.

The club said it had been informed of "safety concerns" by Glasgow City Council over the conduct of a group known as the Green Brigade.

Despite fears expressed yesterday by fans that they could be banned from home matches next season, Celtic stressed it was in "regular dialogue" with the collective to address the problem.

The group was at the centre of a controversial flashpoint earlier this season, when a banner was unfurled at a home match against Aberdeen in November which condemned the wearing of poppies by Celtic players.

The trend for members of the Green Brigade to stand during matches has frustrated club officials, who are wary that such behaviour could jeopardise their general safety certificate for games.

In a statement, Celtic, which has previously urged supporters to remain seated, said it was "closely involved" in the formation of a Green Brigade section in Celtic Park's Lisbon Lions stand.

It added that, while it is "widely accepted" that the group can bring a "good atmosphere" to games and "positively support" players, its members' behaviour must comply with safety rules.

"A number of safety concerns have been raised by Glasgow City Council regarding spectator behaviour in the section of the ground occupied by the Green Brigade," it explained. "These relate to issues such as overcrowding, persistent standing and, in particular, the lateral movement of spectators."

Some members of the Green Brigade said yesterday they had not yet been sent season ticket renewal forms, and suggested they were bring "reviewed" by the club's management.

But in its statement, Celtic added: "We very much hope that the current problems raised can be resolved and allow the presence of the Green Brigade at Celtic Park to continue next season."

Paul Brennan, who runs the Celtic Quick News website, said he too was still waiting on his season ticket renewal forms, and said the Green Brigade were a welcome presence at Celtic Park.

"They bring a bit of colour and noise which is badly needed," he said.

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