Celtic chiefs to meet emergency services after pre-match crush

Celtic has apologised after after a crush before the first Old Firm game of the season saw fans requiring treatment. Picture: PA Wire
Celtic has apologised after after a crush before the first Old Firm game of the season saw fans requiring treatment. Picture: PA Wire
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Police are to meet Celtic chiefs for talks after a crush before the first Old Firm game of the season saw fans requiring treatment.

Chief Superintendent Brian McInulty said he would meet them on Tuesday for a “thorough and comprehensive debrief of the policing and stewarding operation.”

Celtic has apologised for the incident in Janefield Street at Parkhead before Sunday’s match against Rangers as fans tried to get into the stadium before kick-off.

Police Scotland said one person was taken to hospital after falling from a wall, while four others were treated by first-aiders at the scene.

Mr McInulty said: “Following the events that took place before yesterday’s Celtic v Rangers SPFL match, tomorrow I will be meeting with representatives of Celtic FC and the other emergency services to undertake a thorough and comprehensive de-brief of the policing and stewarding operation.

READ MORE: Celtic sorry after fans hurt in crush before Old Firm game with Rangers

“Later this week we will also be happy to meet with representatives of Celtic FC supporters groups to discuss any concerns they may have.

“The safety of all those attending matches remains the absolute priority for Police Scotland. The situation yesterday was a fluid one and decisions were taken quickly to prevent any further persons from gaining access to Janefield Street and to alleviate the congestion in this area.

“The response to the overcrowding was in line with tried and tested plans involving stewards, police officers on foot and mounted officers.

“There has been speculation in the media regarding a gate having been closed on Janefield Street and that this contributed to the congestion.

“At this time we believe that the gate was open at all times in the lead up to the match, however as this has been raised as a concern I will ensure that this forms part of the review.”

Celtic FC said the match was the first time new segregation and access arrangements had been used.

A spokesman for the club said: “The safety of our fans will always be of paramount importance and this is a matter which we are treating with the utmost seriousness.

“The club, along with Police Scotland, will be investigating this matter fully to identify the causes and take the appropriate steps to ensure this does not happen again at Celtic Park.

“The club and Police Scotland will advise of the outcome of this investigation once it is complete.

“We are fully aware of the serious difficulties which arose yesterday for supporters, and we sincerely regret and apologise that so many fans were faced with this situation.”

READ MORE: Fans react to Celtic Park crush before Old Firm game

Victoria Martin has held a season ticket with the club for more than 20 years and said fans were being left to “fend for themselves”.

The 33-year-old stylist from Glasgow said: “I have been to games all over Europe, you really don’t expect to be caught up in this situation.

“Something really, really bad could have happened.

“There was no guidance - the police were of no help whatsoever.”