Ange Postecoglou urges Celtic fans to respect minute’s applause for the Queen

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has expressed his wish for supporters to respect a minute’s applause in memory of the Queen before Sunday’s game against St Mirren.

The Paisley club confirmed they planned the tribute for their home game, which comes days after Celtic became the subject of UEFA disciplinary proceedings after supporters displayed an anti-Crown banner during Wednesday’s Champions League draw against Shakhtar Donetsk.

When asked if he had a message for supporters ahead of Sunday’s planned tribute, Postecoglou said: “I have the same message to our fans that we always have. As I said before the game (against Shakhtar), we will abide by the protocols. We wore black armbands on Wednesday night.

“I think there’s a minute’s applause, we will abide by whatever obligations and responsibilities we have as a football club. We will do that in a respectful manner. We want our supporters to do the same.”

Banners in the Celtic end
Banners in the Celtic end in Warsaw (Gavin McCafferty/PA)

One banner among Celtic supporters in Warsaw declared ‘F*** the Crown’ while another read ‘Sorry for your loss Michael Fagan’, a reference to the intruder who broke into the Queen’s Buckingham Palace bedroom in 1982. Supporters also expressed anti-monarchy sentiments in song. There had been no minute’s silence before the game but both sets of teams wore black armbands.

Speaking at his pre-match media conference on Friday morning, St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson said: “We will be showing our utmost respects. We just hope everybody is respectful.”

Postecoglou said at his media event: “I’m not going to speak on behalf of anyone else’s supporters. I will look after our own club and our own supporters.

“Like I said, we will do whatever is required, as we have so far I think in a fairly respectful way as a football club.”

Ange Postecoglou
Postecoglou acknowledges the travelling fans in Warsaw (Rafal Oleksiewicz/PA)

The former Australia head coach later addressed the UEFA investigation during an interview with Sky Sports News.

“If it’s proven that we did the wrong thing and there are ramifications, we’ve got to accept those ramifications,” he said.

“We have those responsibilities as a football club. We represent a large supporter base worldwide and we want to do things in the most respectful way that portrays our football club in the right light.

“Look, my own thing is that in everything you do, you should be allowed to express whatever opinion or feeling you have. My preference is that you do that in a respectful way and that’s what I think our football club has done.”

The Scottish Football Association postponed all matches last weekend in the wake of the Queen’s death and gave clubs the option of choosing whether and how to pay respects when games resume this weekend.

In a joint statement with the Scottish Professional Football League on Monday, the SFA said: “This week, as a mark of respect and in keeping with the period of national mourning, home clubs may wish to hold a period of silence and/or play the national anthem just ahead of kick-off, and players may wish to wear black armbands.”

Rangers host Dundee United on Saturday and plan a similar tribute to their pre-match ceremony against Napoli in the Champions League, when they defied UEFA’s instructions by playing God Save the King.

The club wrote on Twitter: “Saturday’s matchday programme pays tribute to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Supporters are encouraged to arrive early to the stadium as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be honoured with a minute’s silence and a rendition of the National Anthem.”

St Johnstone and Hibernian announced earlier in the week they would hold a minute’s applause before their home Premiership games on Saturday while Championship side Partick Thistle will do the same before hosting Cove Rangers.

Meanwhile, 10 of the SPFL games postponed as a mark of respect last weekend have been rearranged for next month. They include Motherwell’s Premiership trip to face Ross County (October 4) and Dundee United’s home game against Hibernian (October 11).