Police ready for Old Firm disorder

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THE senior police officer in charge of tomorrow’s Old Firm game stressed it would be “business as usual” for his force despite the “unique circumstances” surrounding the clash which could see Celtic win the Scottish Premier League title at the home of Rangers.

Chief Superintendent Andy Bates of Strathclyde Police said management and players of both clubs “absolutely understand” the need for appropriate conduct, amid fears of a repeat of the disorder which marred the last Old Firm title-decider in 1999, where referee Hugh Dallas was left bleeding from the forehead after being struck by a coin.

“We anticipate the potential for that kind of problem and scale of disorder, but that’s part of our operational planning and we have contingency plans in place to deal with that,” Ch Spt Bates said. “I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen.”