Dundee's reasoning doesn't excuse Celtic fan incident

By David Walton

March 18, 2019

Dundee Managing Director John Nelms has explained why an Irish tricolour was randomly taken down by stewarts in the Celtic end yesterday.

Clips of the incident have been spread across social media over the last 24 hours. A Celtic fan had a Republic Of Ireland tricolour hanging down from a Dens Park platform.

Yet, out of nowhere, a stewart is seen yanking it down. This seems to enrage the supporter, who jumps down to chase the steward, You can view the footage below

The incident was put to Nelms today outside of a meeting at Hampden. The meeting was, of course, unrelated to the incident, but STV put the question to him regardless. This was his response:

“The flag itself was taken down because it was covering up a board that was paid for by patrons that support the club.

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“That’s the only reason it was taken down.”

Forgetting some common sense here

So it was apparently outwith the steward’s ability to simply request the flag was taken down? Instead it was yanked, or effectively stolen by the steward.

The explanation from Nelms is fine in explaining WHY it was taken down. But Dundee have plenty to answer for with regards to how it was taken down. It doesn’t give off the impression that stewards and security were particularly friendly to the away support.

The Celtic supporters were the ones laughing in the end (David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Interestingly, Celtic Supporters’ Liason Officer John-Paul Taylor opened up to fans on Twitter. Taylor wants Celtic fans to let him know about how fans are treated at away games. It’s unclear whether the tweet stemmed from the tricolour incident, or perhaps other complaints.

Celtic fans have been poorly treated by stewards and security at away grounds in the past. At Tynecastle, for example, sickening scenes saw stewards forcibly close a gate on Celtic fans trying to enter the ground. It could’ve easily caused more trouble than it seemed to.

Getting to the bottom of certain behaviour towards Celtic away supporters is long overdue. It’s good to see Taylor coming out and opening that door to supporters.