Celtic criticise 'rogue' supporters

PA Sport
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Celtic fans

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell hit out at the "rogue element" within the Hoops support who have almost certainly landed the club in trouble with UEFA again following Thursday night's Europa League game against Udinese in Italy.

The Parkhead club were this week fined £12,700 for "illicit chanting" in a previous Europa League fixture against Rennes in Glasgow. At the Stadio Friuli, before the 1-1 draw which saw Neil Lennon's side exit the tournament, a two-part banner which was derogatory in its sentiments towards UEFA was unfurled by the travelling fans.

Several flares were also set alight, leading to an angry Lawwell rounding on the "very small minority" of fans whom he claims have embarrassed Celtic. He said: "I believe the flares and banner are in the UEFA report. It is very frustrating. Those people are not Celtic supporters and we will do all we can to identify them and take the appropriate action."

Lawwell added: "The vast majority of Celtic supporters are positively supporting Celtic, we have a magnificent reputation around Europe and this unfortunately is an embarrassment that we can't tolerate.

"It is a very small minority and that is an advantage, there are so few of them that we can identify them to make sure that they don't appear back at Celtic Park or travel with us and that is what we are going to do, we cannot tolerate it."

Lawwell is not sure that the blame lies within the Green Brigade, the vociferous faction of the Hoops support who have their own section at Celtic Park.

He said: "The vast majority of those who are termed the Green Brigade positively support Celtic but there is a rogue element somewhere within the support that we have to identify and eliminate."

Lennon questioned the intelligence of the Celtic fans who produced the banner.

After arriving at Glasgow airport, he said: "The ironic thing is normally in the past when we come away from European games away from home we talk about how the team haven't done themselves justice and the fans always do. Now we are talking about the opposite.

"The team covered themselves in glory last night and yet there is a rogue element who keep tarnishing the name of the club. My only surprise is that they got the spelling (on the banner) right."

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