Scottish Premiership football club Celtic is to permit the majority of its rail seating season ticket holders back into Celtic Park on August 5.
The club suspended the membership of hundreds of fans in its safe standing area after the outrage sparked by the paramilitary banner unveiled during Celtic’s match against Northern Irish team Linfield in a Uefa Champions League qualifier in July.
The membership rights of 900 fans based in the ‘Green Brigade’ rail seating area were taken away for two home games and three away matches.
“We fully understand that this has been a difficult period for those affected,” the club said in a statement.
“However, the decision was taken amidst serious safety concerns. The club is continuing to investigate events from the matches against Hearts and Linfield and a number of fans within this area remain suspended.
“Celtic will continue to liaise with these supporters as well as the relevant stadium safety authorities. Our objective is to work towards re-opening the section in full, something that can only be achieved by ensuring a safe environment that meets the requirements of the Safety Advisory Group.
“Celtic is responsible for the safety of every supporter entering Celtic Park. We can never and will never compromise on safety.”
Last week, the Celtic Trust criticised the club for the sanctions put in place, saying that the club was guilty of “excessive and poorly-targeted sanctions.”
In June, the Celtic Trust and the Green Brigade issued a joint statement slamming the club’s decision not to take a ticket allocation for the away game at Linfield. With the game taking place during the ‘marching season’ in Northern Ireland, Celtic feared there could be trouble among the club’s supporters and Linfield’s loyalist fans.
Image: Jon Darch