Date: 6th April 2021 at 6:56pm
Written by:

It has been suggested that new guidance from the Scottish Joint Response Group has indicated that clubs can be punished for fans gathering outside stadiums, breaching guidelines.

This update came to light in the last few days, with a Hibs statement on their official website.

Ahead of their Scottish Cup clash with Queen of the South in Dumfries, they warned fans of the potential for repercussions and asked them to stay at home.

As reported by EdinburghLive, the communication read:

“The club would like to remind all supporters of the latest government guidance at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The basic message is to stay local. We would ask all our loyal valued supporters to please stay at home this weekend and listen to the commentary from Cliff Pike and Tam McManus on HIBS TV or watch the game live on the BBC.”

“Under the new guidance from the Joint Response Group, the club can be punished for breaches of the guidelines.”

“It is therefore important that we all follow the guidelines to assist the team in their push for a third place finish and a good Scottish cup run.”

Reality

Of course, in recent weeks there was the scenes in Glasgow with Rangers fans celebrating the title win.

The SNP government expended the matter for full political capital in the lead up to the Old Firm clash at Parkhead.

On this supposed update from the JRG, it raises more questions than answers:

How can clubs be held liable for actions of the public on highways and public areas around their stadiums?

What authority do clubs have outtside their direct control and within their property?

How can this be enforced?

It will be very interesting to see the full new guidance and if anything meaningful actually materialises.

Serious doubt remains.