The Celtic board may not have been wholly happy to see a tweet from major British sports broadcasters BT Sport on Tuesday.
The organisation – who hold the current rights for all UEFA competition – namechecked Celtic when listing a number of great tifo displays at games in 2019.
They included a one minute video in their tweet which showcased a number of unique spectacles – including one from Parkhead earlier this season.
2019 has been the year of the tifo…
These are brilliant! pic.twitter.com/AC8YEm3OE3
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 12, 2019
The display in question was from the Cluj match on Europa League matchday two. The tifo depicted legendary boxer Muhammad Ali alongside his famous quote: “Ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.”
The tifo also included several flares – for which the club received a £10,400 fine from UEFA barely weeks later. (BBC)
BT Sport mention highlights Celtic problem
The club then chose to release a strongly worded statement which expressed a “real disappointment and frustration in needing to appeal for this to stop.” It may then be a little surprising to see the Europa League’s right holders seemingly glorifying the use of pyrotechnics in spite of UEFA’s stance.
It kind of underlines the problem that the club have in convincing fans to stop. Like it or not, pyro holds a special place in many supporters’ hearts. It can help to add a visual element to proceedings and even set the tone for top-drawer atmospheres.
Sadly, UEFA are not going to tolerate it in any form as we have found out with our fines so far this season. Perhaps European football’s governing body should realign that viewpoint with their one of their biggest commercial clients. BT Sport are clearly big fans of pyro going by the clip they used of Celtic.
UEFA could do with homing in on what makes the spectacle of football so great in a world when they’re looking increasingly out of touch with the real supporters.
For the Celtic faithful, there is an argument that the punishments are worth the crime. If flares add to the atmosphere, spur on the team, and get us recognition from the likes of BT Sport, surely the nominal fine is a price worth paying.