Celtic FC release a statement re: Videogate.
Celtic FC statement
RECENT reports concerning two of Celtic’s first-team players, John Hartson and Stephen Pearson and their attendance at a function in Ireland last year, were brought to the attention of the Club.
Celtic Football Club took the allegations made against its players extremely seriously. As a result, Celtic instigated an immediate, thorough and wide-ranging investigation.
The investigation has included Club representatives travelling to Ireland and taking a number of witness statements, interviewing those in attendance and also employing the use of expert independent forensic audio and video analysis.
The Club feels it is important that these findings are made public.
The Celtic players featured in the film were attending an event in Ireland which was not organised by Celtic Football Club.
Following a wide range of interviews, there is no evidence of either Celtic player shouting anything which promotes a political/paramilitary organisation.
The independent audio and video specialist engaged to analyse the footage has stated in his report to the Club that the words ‘Sinn Fein’ and ‘IRA’ feature during this clip. The specialist has determined, however, that these words are shouted by person(s) near to and around the camera/mobile phone - and not from the stage area where the Celtic players can be seen.
These results come from analysis carried out by one of the UK’s leading forensic experts in this area.
Celtic’s Chief Executive Peter Lawwell commented: "Serious allegations were made against Celtic players last week. We are pleased that the investigation, including independent analysis, supports the strong denials which were previously issued by our players.
"Clearly, the Club has learned lessons following recent events with regards to the position which Club representatives are placed in at non-Club events. We will be carefully reviewing the attendance of our players at such external events.
"As a Club open to all since its formation in 1888, Celtic has no place for the promotion of any political agenda or particular faith. With around 10 million fans worldwide, Celtic is a football club supported by people of all faiths and all political persuasions, from all corners of the globe.
"For many years now we are proud to have carried out excellent work in promoting social inclusion, tolerance and the benefits of cultural diversity – work which has rightly received high praise.
"We will continue to promote the values set out within the Club’s Social Charter. We will not allow this work to be undone by a small minority who seek to use the Club to promote their own agenda. Celtic will do all it can to ensure that the Club and its representatives are not placed in such invidious positions.
"All Celtic staff, including players, will once again be reminded of the need to uphold the highest standards of the Club and to ensure that their behaviour reflects this at all times.
"Celtic Football Club stands firmly against bigotry in all its forms and will continue to be a Club for all. People who indulge in sectarian behaviour, or in the promotion of paramilitary organisations, have no place within the Celtic family."
This is a complex situation. Firstly, I believe the chants of "Sinn Fein and the IRA" are not sectarian by the textbook definition of the word. Sinn Fein are a political party with a view that opposes British rule in Ireland. The IRA in it's original form is most definately not a sectarian organisation. To me, a sectarian remark is one in which a predjudiced view of anothers faith, creed or race is questioned without valid reasoning. Many Scots for example view William Wallace (and friends) as a national hero, yet those same Scots feel that is a disgrace to show any admiration of the IRA. Yet what these people have done is essentially exactly the same - they opposed British rule of their countries by campaigns of terror. Neither group had the resources to face a battle with the Britsh on a level playing field, yet both felt their fight worthy of pursuing, so they did what it took. I find it nigh on impossible to seperate one from the other.
As far as Celtic players/employees being caught up in such matters, however, that is a different story. I would not like my clubs players to become involved in anything like this. That said, it would seem that Celtic have proven that Hartson and Pearson were not involved, so I feel this matter is now over.
Originally Posted by chivoexpiatorio
There is a new Hartson video doing the rounds and this one is alot clearer.
Yep, it certainly is a lot clearer. It is possibly the poorest ever attempt at a frame-up possible. The "dubbing" of the sound on the video is like a Kung Fu 'B' movie. Pathetic.