Police chiefs fear disorderly fans could ruin the new Scottish football season as the top-flight kick-off looms


COP chiefs fear yob fans will destroy the new Scottish football season – days before the big robbery kicks off.

David Hamilton, the head of the Scottish Police Federation (SPF), has expressed concern over the policing of the games following ‘recent fan behaviour’.


David Hamilton worried ahead of new Scottish football season
Shattered glass was thrown onto the Ibrox pitch in a clash with Old Firm in April


Shattered glass was thrown onto the Ibrox pitch in a clash with Old Firm in April

Several incidents marred last season’s Scottish Premiership with flare-ups of violence, bigotry and anti-social behavior.

And just last Saturday, four men were arrested after police were hit by street furniture outside Rangers’ friendly clash with Tottenham at Ibrox.

The incident happened near Glasgow Stadium on Paisley Road West – with an officer requiring medical attention following the violence.

Mr Hamilton’s comments come after SPFL chief Neil Doncaster pledged a zero-tolerance approach to fan disorder and urged supporters to buy off anyone who takes part in rude behaviour.

The Old Firm clash in April was marred when broken glass was thrown onto the pitch in the Celtic area and a club physio was hit by another bottle.

The SPF called on the clubs to “take more responsibility” vis-à-vis the supporters.

The organization also said clubs’ responsibilities had been “dodged” in and around football pitches.

Mr Hamilton said: “Some recent fan behavior suggests that the police will have a difficult season ahead.

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“Once again, we call on clubs to take more responsibility towards their supporters, because too often we have seen responsibilities slip away, both inside and outside the pitch.

“The new fireworks legislation will hopefully be in place later this year and will give police much-needed powers to protect people from irresponsible pyrotechnic use.”

In addition to glass bottles thrown onto pitches, other incidents last season included large-scale fighting near pitches and pyrotechnics, such as flares and smoke bombs, being used in and around stadiums.

In December, sickening footage emerged showing Ross County fans shouting bigoted slurs at Celtic players.

The sides clashed on December 15 and in an expansive clip, slurs such as “fenian c**ts” and “dirty fenian b*****ds” could be heard clearly, along with a taunt over the ” sex offenders”.

Anti-sectarian charity Nil By Mouth condemned the offensive chants and cops launched an investigation.

In January, a fight broke out near Firhill Stadium in Maryhill, Glasgow, before and after a Scottish Cup clash between Partick Thistle and Airdrie.

A fan was also locked up after he scaled a 20ft fence and threw a flare during a game between Dundee United and Celtic on May 11.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Responsibility for security on football grounds rests with the respective football clubs, however, Police Scotland are working alongside partners including the Scottish Football Association to ensure that Appropriate policing plans are in place for football matches across the country.”

The new Scottish Premiership season begins this weekend.

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Champions Celtic start their campaign at home to Aberdeen on Sunday, while rivals Rangers face off at Livingston on Saturday.

Nil By Mouth and the SFA have been contacted for comment.

The new Scottish Premiership season is about to start


The new Scottish Premiership season is about to startCredit: AFP-Getty

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