Is Ibrox stadium a safe working environment?
The question seems apposite today because of the Celtic manager’s reported post match comments after the Glasgow derby match.
According to Hugh Keevins in the Daily Record Lennon said:
“I would’ve sat in the stand but I was told by Rangers’ security people that wasn’t a good idea. That sums up this country.”
A Celtic spokesman later clarified the origin of the decision:
“Further to certain media reports today, for clarification, Neil was advised by Celtic’s own security and operations staff not to enter the stand or directors box area at Ibrox at yesterday’s match.”
A club insider told me today that the decision was almost certainly taken by the club’s head of security.
He is an ex-policeman with vast experience and his threat assessment has to be respected.
Moreover, he has a duty of care for all of the Celtic FC staff when they are at work.
What did he think was unsafe about that area of the main stand at Ibrox?
I am sure that it was not a concern about the occupants of the Director’s box itself, but rather perhaps the fact that it is surrounded by the baying punters.
Once more a racist “send them home” message to Glasgow’s Irish community was seen at Ibrox.
This time it defaced the national flag the sloganeers claim to love.
Of course Neil Lennon has more reason than most to abide by any security advice when he is at his work.
Would Sir Alex Ferguson, if he was sent to the stand in a bad tempered Manchester derby, be similarly advised by United’s security staff at the City of Manchester stadium?
The situation wouldn’t even arise.
Once more Planet Fitba demonstrates the extent of its abnormality within British soccer.
We have tragic evidence that the old Ibrox stadium was not safe for its customers.
The new stadium was a monument that the 66 did not die in vain.
Years before the Taylor report it was the safest stadium in Scotland.
The stairwells and the exits are now constructed to the highest standards.
Now all that needs to be redesigned is the belief system of some of the patrons.
Note to Rangers supporters.
Irish Catholics are people.
Neil Lennon is a person.
He has rights, just like you.