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Time To Step Up In Battle Against Crowd Trouble

Date: 22nd April 2022

We’ve seen quite a lot of disturbances from crowds in Scottish football this season. 

Vile songbooks have been bellowed out from the stands, fighting has happened outside stadia, flares have been a regular appearance in large crowds, seats have been broken, objects have been thrown from the terraces and abuse has been hurled at opposition fans/players/teams and officials. 

The likes of The SFA, The SPFL and the clubs should be serious in coming together this summer and coming up with a plan to reduce this type of antisocial behaviour. Up until this point I think most of it gets swept under the carpet. 

If those that run our game aren’t up to the task in policing it properly, then an independent organisation should be set up to do so. 

I don’t doubt that most of this trouble comes from a minority but their behaviour ruins it for the majority. Do families really want to go into grounds and hear sectarian, racist, homophobic, sexist or abuse of any kind? I don’t think so! 

There should be a transparent system when it comes to punishments. 

Obviously the bulk of such punishments should fall at the feet of those fans that cause the trouble. They should be given stadium bans and dealt with by the police. But clubs should also offer more in terms of education and showing these people the errors of their ways. I know certain clubs have done this but it needs to be rolled out nationwide and be properly organised and followed up on. 

If there’s continuous trouble, a serious incident or the minority is growing at certain clubs then we should look at greater punishments that will then impact on the club as a whole. 

Fines, partial stadium closures, stadium closures and the like. I wouldn’t go as far as a points deduction as that really punishes the players and I don’t think that’s right. We could even think outside the box and close the stadium to just home fans and then give the tickets to the away support, charities and schools. 

I love Scottish football. I love it that our fans are passionate and that our rivalries are fierce but it really is time that we reevaluate the hatred that creeps into the stands and how we deal with it. Our game’s custodians need to get their heads out of the sand and the media need to call it out more regularly. 

Only when we try and focus on the problem head on can we really sort it out. 

That’s why we should have a reset this summer and make it clear to one and all ‘Scottish football won’t tolerate antisocial behaviour in our game!’. 


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