Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou breaks club silence on fans’ mockery of the Queen’s death


Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has urged the club’s supporters to respect a planned minute’s applause for the Queen before Sunday’s game against St Mirren after their fans unveiled anti-monarchy banners prior to their Champions League game on Wednesday.

The club have been charged by UEFA after supporters at the match against Shakhtar Donetsk in Poland revealed banners including one which read ‘f*** the crown’. 

Celtic had remained silent on the issue until manager Postecoglou spoke on a phone-in on the Clyde1 radio station on Friday.

When asked if he had a message for supporters ahead of Sunday’s planned tribute, Postecoglou said: ‘I have the same message to our fans that we always have. As I said before the game (against Shakhtar), we will abide by the protocols. We wore black armbands on Wednesday night.

‘I think there’s a minute’s applause, we will abide by whatever obligations and responsibilities we have as a football club. We will do that in a respectful manner. We want our supporters to do the same.’

The anti-royal sentiments from Celtic have prompted St Mirren to ditch plans for a moment of silence before the game, with the club instead calling for ‘respect’ for a minute’s applause amid fears of mass booing. 

Celtic fans held up two banners before their 1-1 draw with Shakhtar, with the other reading ‘Sorry for your loss Michael Fagan’ – a reference to an intruder who found his way into the late Queen’s bedroom at Buckingham Palace 40 years ago.

Celtic fans mocked the Queen’s death with offensive banners at a Champions League tie

Manager Ange Postecoglou has called for fans to 'respect' a planned minute's applause for the Queen before their game at St Mirren on Sunday

Manager Ange Postecoglou has called for fans to ‘respect’ a planned minute’s applause for the Queen before their game at St Mirren on Sunday

UEFA subsequently announced they had charged Celtic but there has still been no official statement from the club.

Commentators including talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan have urged the Glasgow side to condemn their fans’ behaviour.

The Scottish giants have not held a press conference ahead of the weekend’s visit to St Mirren.

talkSPORT pundit Jordan discussed the offensive banners on Friday morning and said UEFA may ban Celtic from away games in the Champions League.

Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic players did wear black armbands in Her Majesty's memory

Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic players did wear black armbands in Her Majesty’s memory

Simon Jordan insisted that Celtic shouldn't remain silent on the matter surrounding the anti-royal banners

Simon Jordan insisted that Celtic shouldn’t remain silent on the matter surrounding the anti-royal banners

He also implored that the club shouldn’t remain silent on the matter and instead condemn their fans’ behaviour. 

He told talkSPORT: ‘It depends what the rules allow them (UEFA) to do. It’s a very sensitive subject and freedom of speech is the sentiment people like to hide behind to say abusive things at times.

‘They say if you want to praise something I should be allowed to criticise something.

‘That’s not criticism they put up, it’s abuse and it’s different. So it might range that there could be a ban on away fans for Celtic travelling to away grounds so well done you, well done for that it’ll be great for the club. Or it might just be a financial consequence.

‘Celtic as a football club need to come out and be condemnatory of that and I hope they do. It’s one thing clubs being responsible for their fans, it’s another thing being silent on the behaviour of their fans.’

Another banner which read 'Sorry for your loss Michael Fagan' was also unfurled

Another banner which read ‘Sorry for your loss Michael Fagan’ was also unfurled 

BT Sport were forced to apologise during Wednesday’s game after honing in on the offensive banner concerning the Queen’s death.

All UK teams playing home or away were permitted to hold a one-minute silence as a mark of respect for the Queen, who died at the age of 96 last week.

Following a pre-match meeting between Celtic, Shakhtar and UEFA, however, it was decided that there would be no silence before kick-off.

Players from both teams did wear black armbands in Her Majesty’s memory.

The ‘sorry for your loss Michael Fagan’ banner was in reference to the man who famously managed to scale the Buckingham Palace walls before creeping into Her Majesty’s bedroom while she slept in 1982.

Fagan, a then painter and decorator, who has schizophrenia, spent around 10 minutes talking to the monarch about his family.

The late monarch thought Fagan was just a drunk member of staff, who was eventually tackled by a duty footman.

St Mirren will hold a minute's applause for the Queen before their clash with Celtic on Sunday after fears that visiting fans could boo during the tributes to the late royal

St Mirren will hold a minute’s applause for the Queen before their clash with Celtic on Sunday after fears that visiting fans could boo during the tributes to the late royal

Celtic’s trip to St Mirren comes as Scottish football is back up and running this weekend after games were postponed last weekend following the Queen’s passing.

While English Premier League games this weekend will have a minute’s silence and have the National Anthem featured at all matches, the SPFL have stated that clubs ‘may wish’ to hold a period of silence ‘and/or play the National Anthem’ ahead of kick-off. 

Celtic’s Old Firm rivals Glasgow Rangers meanwhile will not be punished for playing the national anthem at Ibrox, despite UEFA turning down their request to do so. 

This weekend will see more tributes to the Queen with clubs expected to hold moments of silences following her death on September 8 at the age of 96

This weekend will see more tributes to the Queen with clubs expected to hold moments of silences following her death on September 8 at the age of 96

The Scottish club – along with Manchester City and Chelsea – had requested to play God Save the King ahead of their Champions League fixture this week following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

In a move revealed by Sportsmail which sparked heavy criticism, UEFA said no to all three pleas, stating that they had to ensure the build-up to each match was ‘consistent’.

Rangers defied UEFA and played the National Anthem following a minute’s silence ahead of their 3-0 defeat to Napoli on Wednesday night, with thousands – including players – joining in a rousing rendition.

UEFA have since confirmed that they will not be punishing the club and they are not subject to any disciplinary matters.