Frustrated Celtic chiefs have told fans that further measures will be introduced to stop the use of pyrotechnics at matches, following the club’s latest UEFA charge.
In a strongly worded statement released today, the club appealed for the behaviour to stop, citing safety fears, as well as the impact of the financial and reputational damage of repeat incidents.
Celtic were charged after fans set off fireworks at Celtic Park during Thursday’s 2-0 Europa League win over Cluj.
The charge followed last month’s £11,000 fine from the governing body for two charges over the use of flares and throwing objects in the 4-1 win over AIK.
UEFA’s control, ethics and disciplinary body will judge the case on 17 October, with last month’s charge being the 17th time Celtic have been fined since 2007.
A statement released on the Celtic website said: “Following the latest UEFA charge against the Club for the use of fireworks at Celtic Park, it is with real disappointment and frustration that the Club needs to appeal again for this behaviour to stop.
“UEFA’s stance on the issue of pyrotechnics is unequivocal and very well-known.
“The Club has been sanctioned on numerous occasions and yet, very disappointingly, this behaviour by a small minority persists.
“The serious safety concerns associated with such behaviour are obvious, as is the reputational damage which this behaviour and these charges have on the Club. In addition, the numerous financial penalties placed on Celtic continue to come out the pockets of supporters who invest in the Club.
“Celtic will be introducing further measures in order to deal with this behaviour. It has to stop.
“The club does not want it, our supporters do not want it and UEFA will continue to punish the Club whenever it occurs as it is a clear breach of their regulations. It really is as simple as that.”
Club bosses said that, given the number of charges faced for the offence, there could be “further, very serious repercussions” with the potential to have “hugely detrimental consequences” for the club and fans.
The statement added: “It is hugely unfair that the enjoyment of Celtic matches could potentially be affected by the negative behaviour of a tiny minority.
“Additionally, in the interests of all our supporters’ safety, it is imperative that all fans when attending matches at Celtic Park use their designated seat. This is important in ensuring a safe environment.
“Our supporters are fantastic and we greatly value the huge contribution you make to the Club. It is the positive support of our fans which makes the difference, week in, week out.
“Our win against CFR Cluj last Thursday represented another great European night on the pitch for the Club. Supported brilliantly by our fans, the team were magnificent in driving us to top of our Europa League group. This should be our focus.
“Neil Lennon, our players and our backroom team will be doing all they can to deliver a similar performance against Lazio.
“The Club and our supporters need to work together to make sure pyrotechnics and any other form of unsafe behaviour have no place at our matches.”