Police Scotland and Rangers Football Club (Engagement)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 18th May 2021.

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Photo of James Dornan James Dornan Scottish National Party

I welcome Police Scotland’s having established a dedicated inquiry team to investigate the carnage at George Square, but we also need to take steps to prevent such abhorrent scenes from happening in the first place. As the cabinet secretary is well aware, I have for years been pushing for strict liability, whereby clubs would be held responsible for the actions of their fans. Although I accept that personal responsibility is at the core of the issue, over the years I have been met with denial from football authorities and clubs and have had death threats from Rangers fans.

Will the cabinet secretary ask Rangers Football Club to reflect on what more it could have done, and what it can do in the future, to dampen the climate of hate and intimidation? Will he consider legislating to introduce strict liability or—which would be even better—will he work with the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League with a view to implementing strict liability to ensure that scenes such as those on Saturday are never again seen from so-called football fans on the streets of Glasgow?