Hawke: Spectator safety must be paramount

Chief executive Warren Hawke has implored the Scottish FA to make spectator safety of paramount importance when making their decision on whether to give tomorrow’s Scottish Cup tie against Celtic the green light.

Adverse weather conditions have hit the country hard this week, with Inverclyde suffering unprecented levels of snowfall, Greenock experiencing depths of 34cm while Port Glasgow has seen 40cm fall.

And club director and former player Hawke is concerned that fans of both clubs will struggle to make it to Celtic Park without putting themselves in danger.

He told gmfc.net: “Firstly, I’d just like to say that Celtic have done a phenomenal job to get the pitch, stadium and surrounding areas ready, and I wouldn’t expect anything less.

“However, it must be much bigger than that, because everybody who’s travelling from Inverclyde – not just our fans – is attempting to get there from an area that has experienced some of the heaviest snowfall in the country.

“Geographically, people will also travel to Celtic Park from down in England, from the east of Scotland, from the north of Scotland and so on.

“We will have supporters risking life and limb to travel to a football match while the Met Office is issuing warnings to avoid non-essential travel. Ultimately, it isn’t about the area around Celtic Park.

“It’s about people getting out of their driveways and onto the main roads SAFELY and without accident and harm. Therefore, the decision on the game goes much further than ‘is the pitch playable and the stadium clear?’

“We have to look at every single aspect. Supporter safety has to be key and I don’t think anyone can guarantee that at this moment in time and I fear for a lot of Morton supporters trying to get to this game tomorrow.

“Surely the Scottish Football Association and Police Scotland will come together and make a sensible early decision in the best interests of the safety of everyone.”


Image: Jonathan Mitchell