Ten Celtic fan groups issue Michael Nicholson warning

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Ten major Celtic supporters’ groups have stepped up their opposition to the rumoured appointment of Bernard Higgins to a senior security role at the club.

Protests have taken place at two recent matches but today’s message, in the form of a letter to acting CEO, Michael Nicholson, takes the issue to a new level.

Should Celtic wish to push ahead with the appointment of Higgins their new security chief won’t get any co-operation or communication with 10 groups of the people that he is expected to work alongside and liaise with.

At last week’s AGM Ian Bankier was very non-committal on the issue, he was offered the opportunity to state that the club wouldn’t appoint anyone that would antagonise the support- Bankier refused to take up that offer.

We, the undersigned, wish to state our objection to the rumoured appointment of Bernard Higgins as a member of Celtic FC’s security staff. In his role as Assistant Chief Constable with Police Scotland, and as the national strategic lead for football, Higgins has been responsible for the policing of football fans for almost a decade.

In the period since he was appointed to this position, the policing of football matches has changed dramatically, with the introduction of intrusive surveillance the widespread use of football banning orders and a determination to arrest fans on spurious charges.

This has caused irreparable damage to the lives of many Celtic fans as well as to the relationship between the supporters and Higgins himself. It must be made known that we will refuse to recognise or engage with Higgins if he is appointed, as his history makes him an unsuitable candidate to be tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the safety and security of Celtic supporters. We ask you to address this issue and to reconsider such an appointment.

The letter is signed off by- Affiliation of Registered CSCs, Association of Irish Celtic Supporters Clubs, BHOYS, Celtic Shared, Celtic Supporters Association, Fans Against Criminalisation, Green Brigade, North American Federation of CSCs, North Curve Celtic, The Celtic Trust

Today Celtic launched their Christmas campaign with a video, under Ange Postecoglou they have a manager that almost all fans seem to back and believe in.

There are definite signs of a feel-good factor but that looks like being killed stone dead if the club pushes ahead to appoint Higgins despite such clear opposition making itself known.

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  • Joe says:

    While it’s clear there is very strong opposition to the potential hiring of Higgins, groups like the Green Brigade continue to be an embarrassment to the club and should first be looking at their own very damaging actions before they threaten the club yet again! There is definitive cause for fans to oppose Higgins’ appointment. But their is zero justification to attempt mob rule!

    • John mcghee says:

      Green brigade do alot did you not see the tifo on Saturday that costs money mate if they weren’t there their would be no noise at paradise

    • TommyB says:

      Joe, I’m sure you are well meaning but totally misinformed. Groups like the GB and others are absolutely necessary in keeping the traditions of the club alive.

  • Andy says:

    My advice to Celtic is very simple. First rule in any business, LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS. If you ignore them you won’t last long

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    Do you think this board gives any thought of fans concern regarding this appointment maybe it would be better for all parties to sit down
    and discuss both parties reasons for or against the appointment of Higgins that would be the sensible way but we talking about this celtic board who upto now don’t do talking to our fans unless the want your st money etc.

  • SSMPM says:

    I agree with the sentiment of the above however its not just the voice of the GB, who do at times make valid protests that our board won’t support, but I do. Admittedly they also make invalid protests at times that gets us in tepid to hot water no more.

    This letter is hardly mob rule and yes this board should listen to the customers and respond accordingly.

    If the board offered better representation of the supporters views and were less disrespectful and dismissive of them ie SFA, ref bias, Res 12, 5 way agreement, etc, etc, then mibbies they would earn respect. You get out what you put in and frankly that adds up to little with this board. HH

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