Celtic fined €50,000 over ‘illicit’ Bobby Sands banner

Celtic have been fined €50,000 after the controversial Green Brigade group unfurled a banner depicting IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands during last month’s clash with AC Milan.

Celtic fined €50,000 over ‘illicit’ Bobby Sands banner

Uefa’s control and disciplinary body found the club guilty of allowing an “illicit banner” to be displayed during the Champions League fixture on November 26.

It showed an image of Sands alongside another of Scottish nationalist icon William Wallace and a set of lyrics that included the line: ‘The terrorist or the dreamer?’

Celtic released a statement responding to the governing body’s punishment, saying: “Clearly it is extremely disappointing that the club must pay another sizeable penalty following the actions of a small minority, particularly given the previous assurances which were made to the club and the widespread understanding of the likely outcome of such actions.

“It goes without saying that such actions must stop now, before the club receives a competitive sanction or one which would affect our supporters attending European matches.

“We are Celtic supporters and we must now move on and look ahead to tomorrow’s match against Hibernian. We are sure our fans will come together, unite with the club and support the team with the commitment and passion we are famous for, ensuring that Celtic Park once again provides a positive footballing occasion for all.”

Celtic have already acted to disband the Green Brigade after handing “precautionary suspensions” to 128 supporters preventing them from attending home and away matches, while 250 season ticket-holders housed in section 111 — the ultras’ corner of Celtic Park — will be moved to other parts of the ground or given refunds on season tickets.

That move followed disturbances at Fir Park last Friday during the Hoops’ 5-0 win over Motherwell when around 200 seats were vandalised.

Lennon meanwhile has vowed to make changes to his side after their 6-1 Champions League humiliation at the hands of Barcelona.

The Parkhead side return to Scottish Premiership duty against Hibs at home today and the unhappy Hoops manager says he will drop some of the players who let him down in the Nou Camp.

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