Broadcaster Piers Morgan has hit out at “heartless” Celtic fans for their anti-monarchy banner and chants during their 2-0 defeat to St Mirren on Sunday. Hoops supporters hijacked the minute’s applause for Queen Elizabeth II after she passed away, and previously were charged by UEFA for the banner they held up in the Champions League against Shakhtar Donetsk.
The minute of silence held at Premier League games this weekend was scrapped in favour of a minute of applause at St Mirren Park, as there were concerns regarding whether fans would respect the silence but chants of ‘If you hate the Royal Family, clap your hands’ rang around the stadium over the applause.
A banner with the same message was held up, which forced Sky Sports to apologise. “Apologies if you were offended by anything you might have heard,” commentator Ian Crocker said. “Most people showed respect, some did not.”
A minute of silence was well-observed between Arsenal and Brentford fans on the same day, as Morgan took to social media to slam Celtic fans. “Magnificent applause at Brentford/Arsenal on 70th minute for the Queen, and stirring spontaneous singing of National Anthem,” Morgan tweeted. “What a contrast to the heartless Celtic fans that chose to mock & taunt a 96yr-old woman who loved Scotland so much.”
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“I think there’s a minute’s applause [on Sunday], 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.”
However fans did not listen as they were in attendance to watch their side lose their first game in the Scottish Premiership for a year, as goals from Mark O’Hara and Jonah Ayunga gave the hosts their first win over Celtic since 2010.
A minute’s silence was also disrupted at Ibrox on Saturday by Dundee United fans, where boos and derogatory chants were made before Rangers played God Save The King, having had their request to play it turned down by UEFA for their Champions League tie with Napoli.