Tag Archives: Hillsbourgh

Showpiece Shame

21 May

Like the Parade lap of a Grand Prix what should of been remembered was forgotten.
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A Club so long without a trophy won it.  A game that had been equally fought, well Refereed and narrowly won was cast aside. Gone was the Glory of the first Goal as was the Screamer from the Local Boy.  The Captain’s winning header washed away by the tears of the Young children hurried away from the Stadium moments after Full Time.

The fault lies solely and Completely in Leith.  The moment of Joy of victory soured by over three thousand of their own invading the pitch.  The late winner from Captain David Grey and more importantly his running into the Legions of Leith breaking the most important defensive boundary on a football pitch.  The invisible wall that keeps the Spectators in the Stands and the players safe on the pitch.  A crime he got Booked for by Referee and no doubt should be Questioned by Police Scotland.

It was a day of crossing the line for Hibernian.  After One Hundred and Fourteen Years Alan Stubbs Men finally reunited Easter Road with the Scottish Cup.  As the final whistle sounded the lines so clearly marked became blurred in the euphoria for the Hibees.  Let’s look calmly at the events.
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Thousands clad in the Colours of Hibernian streamed over a Wall, they then ran forty metres, vaulted advertising holdings and continued onto the playing surface.  Continued towards the half way line spitting and punching Rangers players.  Once they got to the Halfway line other Members of Ibrox Staff became Targets for Violence.

Let’s not pretend it was a joyous celebration or “Over Exuberance” this was Public Disorder. Let’s not forget in 1980 the last time Police Horses graced Hampden’s turf Football Stadia (Scotland) Act was hastening brought into law. In the year finally Football Fans were declared Innocent of wrongdoing and Contributing to Hillsbourgh. Edinburgh Hibernian gave the David Duckenfield’s of this world a reason to justify their belief that ALL football fans are Animals to be treated with contempt.

Contempt is exactly what Hibernians immediate reaction could be described as. For Alan Stubbs and Rod Petrie to claim to be unaware of the Alleged Assaults on Rangers Staff and seek to belittle the Criminal Actions of what looked the vast majority in Green and White as merely a couple of Gadgys having a laugh is beyond any form of explanation. The Rangers Statement (http://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/rangers-statement-2/) was given a clear 30 mins before anyone from Hibernian spoke indeed Stuart Regan had given a Official SFA statement before Petrie spoke. In fact Stuart Regan was attending a Crisis Meeting with Police while the Hibs Chairman was speaking. Ignorance is not an excuse. Who was informing the Hibernian Chairman and Manager? Helen Keller! Petrie’s position in the Board of The SFA is untenable after his stunning post match comments. ( http://stv.tv/sport/football/1354888-see-hibs-chairman-rod-petrie-respond-to-cup-final-crowd-disorder/ )

Any assault by Hibernian Fans on any Rangers Staff will no doubt have to be treated as Sectarian Aggravated Assault by Police Scotland some even Racist.

Let’s face it on Saturday Morning Hibernian as a Club did not know how to Win the Scottish Cup, by the time the Dregs of Society left Hampden it was crystal clear NO ONE of a Hibs persuasion knew HOW TO CELEBRATE winning the William Hill Scottish Cup. Hibernian Football Club lost all Dignity and Credibility Hampden.

The simple truth is the Party stopped at the white lines of the pitch. If it was a party why did Hibs Hoards cross the halfway line. The trophy gets presented immediately above the Halfway line. Why if it’s EXUBERANCE where fans running goading the quickly emptying West Stand and the Western Half of The North and South Stands where Rangers fans sat. If you’re party mode involves spitting, punching and Kicking out at others then whatever party is being held in Easter Road tonight I do not think many members of Humanity want an invite.
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Stuart Regan was as damning as he could be. He could not issue punishments as that needs reflection and time to gather facts. I am sure the decision to present the oldest Trophy in Football to David Grey was only upon Police orders made on the hoof (possibly even on horseback on the damaged pitch) to avoid a further out break of Exuberance leading to full scale Riot. Hibernian should of been handed the Cup and medals in the Away Dressing Room with no ceremony. A as yet unnamed SFA official handed a box containing the Runners up medals to Rangers Young player Ryan Hardie who delivered the box to a Rangers dressing room that resembled a Accident and Emergency Triage station as several Players were assessed for injuries received from as yet unknown Violent Thugs from Edinburgh. It had been judged not Safe, let me just repeat that. IT HAD BEEN JUDGED NOT SAFE for Rangers Players and Staff to collect their Runners Up medals therefore surely it was not Safe for Edinburgh Hibernian to collect their Accolades in front of violent thugs dressed in Green and White.

The recriminations have just started but Punishment must be given to Hibernian. It seems obvious a few hours after this Showpiece Shame that the diluted slap in the wrists given to Motherwell after last year’s Over Exuberance in the Second Leg of the Play Off Final was not enough for Fans to think running the length of a Football Pitch to goad Rangers Fans into engaging in violence. It is important to remember Titles and Cups can be withheld at Grace of SFA. No Cup was awarded in 1909 due to a riot on the pitch. It’s not inconceivable that the longest No win streak in Football history could easily go the same way as Lance Armstrong seven Tour De France victories. Imagine the Over Exuberance of Hibs then. Just as several should expect a Knock on the door for their actions following the Match, Rod Petrie, Leanne Dempster, Alan Stubbs and Co should expect a knock on the Door of Easter Road asking for the Trophy and Medals to be Returned.

The options for Punishment from the SFA are limited given they were hosting the Game having clearly taken advice from Police. This game was Category C(IR), the highest possible Alert Category C with Increased Risk tagged on for good measure. That’s how seriously Police Scotland treated this Game. The Punishment options available to the SFA are incredibly limited. FINES did not create a culture of restraint following the near Riot at Fir Park Motherwell last year, so a monetary punishment alone has been proven to provide underwhelming results.

Hibs could be banned from defending their Trophy indeed banned from Scottish Cup for a number of years the precedent for this was set By UEFA banning ALL English Clubs from European Competitions and Liverpool Football Club for an addition couple of years. This would not negatively affect a Club that hadn’t won the Cup for over a century, indeed it would turn out to be a positive cutting out fixture congestion in a busy Championship Season. It is a with regret that I am minded to think the only punishment available to SFA that has any teeth is in fact Hampden withholding the Trophy with fines and even a tournament Ban. The only way to stub out the returning Spector of Football violence within Stadia is to hit the Club hard. The weakness of previous Punishments came back to haunt the Hampden hierarchy there could be no ambiguities Hibernians Crimes happened right in front of them on their own pitch at an event they staged. Even Arsene Wenger would of seen it!

Rangers fans and Staff are already feeling targeted, two Seasons in a row Rangers Fans have been subject to rival fans running the length of a football pitch to attempt to attack them. Don’t get this wrong Rangers fans and Staff do not demand to be universally loved and warmly welcomed to every ground in Scotland by every Club and its fans. Rangers fans do demand to expect to attend a Football game without having Morons charging at them demanding a “Square go”! Add in the basic Working Conditions of Rangers Players and Staff who would consider not being assaulted at work as the kind of request that should go unsaid by everyone of working age. Society has clear Zero tolerance rules in every workplace currently apart from Scottish football.

There have already been calls to the Club to Ban ALL AWAY fans from Ibrox next year. It’s not a bad call when you see Parents hearding their children out of a Stadium because of the return of the bad olde days then you know the book needs thrown at Hibs. The Family freindly image hard won in years since Football Casuals created the deadly cages of Hillsbourgh Hibernian Football Club have dragged Scottish Football back into the the Dark Ages.

The excuse of they are not Hibs fans fails when you check the receipts all the tickets sold to Thugs was sold via Hibernian Football Club. The question stands why did Hibernian with a average home attendance of TEN Thousand receive a ticket allocation of TWENTY ONE THOUSAND. Hibernian received and SOLD 210% of their normal home ticket sales. Inherent in condition of sale is taking the name of all who occupy a seat. So Hibernian should know who they sold the tickets too and if they want to distance themselves as a Club from the Thugs then it is a paper thing excuse.
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Congratulations Hibernian for ending a long history of Police Horses Free Hampden.

House Call

18 Nov

Police Scotland would call it Proactive Policing.  I call it making a big deal out of nothing.

When it comes to football someone within the bowels of Police Scotland has hit on a winning formula. 

First thing to do is stoke up a bit of panic.  The beautifully contridiction of terms “Police Inteligence” suggests “trouble ahead!” Pre-empting, predicticting and  panicking the PUBLIC. 

Second, reassure and refrain.  Make sure that the public can be calm safe in the knowledge that the thin blue line is Enforcing the law and keeping the bad bogie men away from anywhere they could cause any problems.

Third is a double route. If as usually happens no trouble occurs and you get a barage of complaints about heavy handed policing. Well you refer the public to step one. The unprovable, unpublished evidence of intelligence reports. Then congratulate yourselves for using the new powers and laws you confused Politicians into providing you with.

If there is any trouble then blame anything that does not wear blue, alcohol, football or absolutely everyone (apart from The police intelligence guys who spectacularly missed the point or the Police Management on the day). And demand more powers and funding from politicians.

I say this because with the prospect of the first Old Firm game 5 weekends into 2015 and the Auld Enemy freindly, the oxymorons at Police Scotland Football Inteligence Unit have been working overtime. Not since South Yorkshire Police Force following Hillsbourgh has a Police force been more imaginative and creative in it’s smoke and mirrors show. Sir Stephen House’s Police Scotland has became a poor version of the Met Office. Predicting Storms on nothing more than evidence of the cows sitting down in the fields that morning. The idiocy of suggesting that the league cup semi final gets played on a week night to avoid trouble sums up the imagination of Police Scotland. You could play a old firm game of tiddlywinks on a Rockall and fifteen thousand fans would buy tickets. If Police Scotland think that it’s kick off time that effects football crowds then it’s once again missed the point. Remember as recently as the Scotland Republic Of Ireland game on a Friday night there was issues. Police Scotland excuses “people turned up late”. As long as there has been any mass supported event people have turned up as close to kick off/curtain up. This is not the fabled police intelligence we are lead to trust more a example of Police forgetfulness.

Sir Stephen House has used football to push through laws often so badly written that they are not much better than useless. Strangely though these laws are not solely used to police soccer. A suripticious side effect is the vague laws pushed through to solve the latest Police Problem at Football are used against Joe Q Public walking down the street at 3am on a tuesday morning in July. When football is not even included in the events.

Is it too tiresome to expect Police Scotland to simply quietly do their job without heralding or over egging events in advance, becoming Krystalnicht Storm Troupers at the event and not publicaly congratulating themselves on a job well done (the applauding the Airline Pilot for landing syndrome) or moaning, blaming (before any court judgement), demanding more funding and powers.

And of course forgetting that they are there and paid to do a job. No one forces them and we the public thank them for being there but stop the cycle of spinning. The armed forces don’t make a big deal out of their work.

In years passed too many of today’s Senior Policemen watched Cagney and Lacey. Growing up watching The Bill they thought Police work was Glamourous dramatic and most crimes were solved within a Hour apart from the really tricky ones that justified a two part special! The second you attempt to justify armed officers wondering round a sleepy town like Inverness in the face of public opinion then you really have to find a mirror.

You know Statistically you are more likely NOT to be a victim of a crime than you are to actually be one. That’s a scarey fact isn’t it and you know that statistic has remained reletively constant from the days before Sir Robert Peel!

Sir Stephen and his cronies should simply shut up remember they are not Law Lords sitting in Court making Judgements passing Sentences. While they are at it maybe remembering that they are not Rosemary and Thyme, Inspector Morse or Jack Bauer, It’s time Police Scotland did what they are employed and paid at great cost to do. Police and uphold the law.