Calls for better planning ahead of football fan gatherings to avoid 'yearly headache'

Four police officers were injured and 19 people were arrested after 25,000 fans gathered in Glasgow over the weekend.

More planning should be put in place ahead of football fan gatherings to prevent a “yearly headache” for the people of Glasgow, locals have said.

Glasgow City Council slammed the “unacceptable damage” caused by fans gathering in the city centre following Celtic’s final Scottish Premiership game of the season on Saturday.

Around 25,000 people descended on the Trongate and Merchant City area of the city with four police officers injured and 19 arrests made for “various offences”.

Paul Sweeney, Scottish Labour MSP, said the clubs and fan groups involved should work in conjunction with police and the city council to avoid repeats of disruption seen in recent years.

He told STV News: “I think we need to see more planning put in conjunction with the football clubs, with the city council, the police and the fan clubs, you know, the fans organisations, to make sure it’s carried off much more successfully without the disruption that we’ve seen in recent years.”

Louise Wilson, business owner said: “There was a lot of people around about the street.

“There was flares and things starting to go off in the area and we just kind of got out the area as quick as we possibly could.

Around 25,000 people gathered in Merchant City, Glasgow on Saturday to celebrate Celtic winning the Scottish Premiership title.SNS Group

“I’m in full support of events in Glasgow that bring people to the area, bring trade to the area, money to the area, but it really needs to be a safe environment where people could take their families and their children to celebrate their team’s successes.

“And, you know, just be a part of the city rather than making people feel uncomfortable in their own city.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said that as crowds dispersed on Saturday evening widespread debris was left around Glasgow Cross.

On Sunday, they said: “After an exceptional clean-up effort by our teams overnight, the area is now clear – including the course for the Cancer Research UK Race for Life, which is taking place this morning (Sunday).

“There has been damage to infrastructure such as bus stops and traffic signals, but we do not yet know the full extent of what repairs will be necessary.

“This kind of damage, disruption and anti-social behaviour remains unacceptable. It should be possible to celebrate and show a basic level of consideration for others in the city at the same time.”

Glasgow City Council said that as crowds dispersed on Saturday evening widespread debris was left around Glasgow Cross.SNS Group

Superintendent John Menzies of Police Scotland said: “I would like to thank our partner agencies and the wider public for their support.

“Unfortunately, we experienced some disorder including the use of pyrotechnics and alcohol-related offences.

“We took robust action to prevent these escalating.

“Violence and assaults on members of the public or police officers is completely unacceptable and we continue to work to identify those responsible.”

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