Celtic have released a statement asking fans once again to desist from using pyro at matches.
In a lengthy statement, where Celtic’s anger and exasperation is evident, it warns of “very serious repercussions” for the club and fans should it continue.
Celtic have picked up repeated fines from UEFA over the use of flares, but evidently some supporters think it’s a price worth paying.
The club mention “hugely detrimental consequences” should warning continue to be ignored.
A statement on the official site says: “Given the number of repeated offences, we should also be very aware that there could be further, very serious repercussions which could have hugely detrimental consequences for the Club and our supporters. It is hugely unfair that the enjoyment of Celtic matches could potentially be affected by the negative behaviour of a tiny minority.”
Reading between the lines, it may be that Celtic has been told that sanctions other than fines will be used in future.
The club also say they are ready to crack down on fans using them. The continue: “Celtic will be introducing further measures in order to deal with this behaviour. It has to stop.”
Seven years ago, the Celtic Disabled Supporters’ Association issued an appeal for flares to be binned.
They CDSA said at the time: “We appeal to those people who bring flares to games, and those who know people that do, to stop and think of the consequences as you have no control over the direction that the smoke will go.
“Many of our members have respiratory illnesses or respiratory limitations because of their disabilities including at least one member who is on a portable ventilator.
“If any of these Celtic Supporters, including myself, were to inhale a small amount of the smoke there would be extremely serious health repercussions which would come on very quickly.
“We do not want to find a disabled Celtic supporter, or any other supporter, hospitalised because of someone´s idea of fun. And we certainly do not want to find that it takes a fatality before this practice stops. So we appeal to you, don´t let this happen to your fellow Celtic supporters.”
This appeal as regards the health and safety of fellow fans fell on deaf ears. Those interested in pyro may argue that it can be used safely and there are fireworks displays at major sporting events, including league title wins at Celtic Park.
Without pretending to have the latest technical knowledge, it may be that a controlled environment run by industry professionals is different from people lighting them up in a crowded space.
Aside from smoke inhalation problems, supporters have been injured by flares being thrown.
Recently, a fan in Brazil blew his hand off while a Rangers fan was injured after a flare was thrown at Livingston.
Whether the flares look cool or edgy or anything else is irrelevant. It’s costing the club money, and it could cause people their health. It only takes one person to have an adverse reaction or suffer an injury. The question seems to be when, rather than if, that happens.