THE controversial Green Brigade group of Celtic fans have issued a statement expressing their “disappointment” after seats were damaged and smoke bombs thrown onto the pitch during Celtic’s 5-0 win against Motherwell at Fir Park on Friday.
The self-styled ‘ultras’ group, who faced criticism from Celtic manager Neil Lennon over a recent banner featuring IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, admitted that the damage had happened ‘on their watch’ but denied that members of the group were involved.
The group said in a statement: “Firstly we do not condone the breaking of seats nor do we welcome pyrotechnics being thrown on the park. We as a group are as disappointed as any about such indefensible behaviour and regret that it happened on our watch.
“Whilst it was not members of our group behaving in this manner, we accept the fact that these actions took place behind our banner in what was an unofficial ‘Green Brigade section’ and furthermore that the fans within this area are associated to our group whether they are members or not.”
The statement concludes: “Ultimately, we should have had greater control of the bodies present within our block and our failure to do so has resulted in events which are unacceptable and we will strive to ensure that such scenes are not repeated.”
The Scottish Professional Football League will decide on any punishment when it receives its match delegate’s report into events at Fir Park.
Under an SPFL agreement, the Parkhead club will pay for the damage, but the league can issue further sanctions.