Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Livingston describe actions of Celtic fans as ‘utterly unacceptable’ following banner dispute

Livingston Football Club have described the actions of Celtic fans as “utterly unacceptable” following the unveiling of two “unapproved” banners before the league game on Sunday.

The Scottish Premiership club have claimed that the Celtic supporters group ‘The Green Brigade’ ignored pre-match agreements by unfurling banners pitchside.

Banners from Celtic fans explained

Livingston allocated three of the four stands at the Tony Macaroni to the travelling Celtic supporters before the Scottish Premiership match. Shortly before the game, though, some Celtic fans got out of their seats to reveal a banner on the side of the pitch.

The banner read, ‘Born into slavery, they were Freedom’s Sons’, which was a tribute to the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. At half-time, another banner said, “Hold on to our title Bhoys. Don’t Give up The Dream’.

Livingston reveal pre-match discussions with Celtic fans

Livingston released a statement on Wednesday detailing the nature of the pre-match discussions between the club and ‘The Green Brigade’. Before the game, Livingston claimed that the Celtic supporters group requested permission for Tifo displays in all three stands where the Hoops' fans were located. This included the display of a banner across the front of the East Stand.

Requests from ‘The Green Brigade’ were denied with Livingston only granting Celtic fans permission to unveil a Tifo and a banner in the South Stand.

In a strongly worded club statement, Livingston said: “Prior to this fixture, a visiting supporters group called “The Green Brigade”, via the Celtic SLO, requested a Tifo display in all three stands allocated to the Celtic support and to have a banner displayed along the front of the East Stand. The banner was to read “You Play for Us and We’ll Sing for You”.

“This request was refused and instead, permission was granted for a Tifo and banner display in the South Stand only.

“This matter was discussed at the pre-match meeting, held in the week leading up to the match, where representatives from the club, Celtic FC, Amberstone (our steward company) and a delegate from the SPFL were all present.

“The agreement for a Tifo and banner display in the South Stand was understood by all in attendance. On match-day around an hour prior to kick off, a further request for a Tifo display in all three stands was requested by the same visiting supporters group and was again refused.

“Against the instruction of the club and police, the banner was allowed into the ground, unchecked, through an emergency gate that was opened due to safety concerns.

“The banner was then displayed along the front of the East Stand again, against the agreed procedure.

“It was then deemed that this banner and the Tifo display would be allowed to continue on the grounds of public safety for those in the ground and to prevent further disorder that may have delayed the kick off or jeopardised the game going ahead.

“At the start of second half a further unapproved banner was then unfurled. The banner itself wasn't an issue as such, however, again, visiting supporters were permitted access trackside to display the banner which is wholly and utterly unacceptable.

“Full discussions are ongoing with external partners who were working at the stadium on Sunday to find out why a number of these incidents were allowed to happen and what steps will be taken to ensure there is no repeat in future fixtures. Going forward, it may well be that no banners or flags at all, of any nature, will be permitted in to the ground as an immediate way of preventing this but this will be discussed in full to ensure an outcome which prevents a repeat at future fixtures.”


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

Articles: 235