Date: 26th January 2009 at 4:09pm
Written by:

The headline blazes ‘Ultra-stupid to fly the flags of hooliganism’. But any ultra or Aberdeen fan (or most average Joe SPL fans) would be aware that this is wrong. This article by Ray Hepburn of the Sunday Mirror must be the most ill-informed, misguided page filler ever to make a British newspaper.

The online version is titled ‘Red Ultras banner at Aberdeen spoilt classic Celtic clash’. The article starts like so:

‘The blatant flying of a ‘Red Ultras` banner at Pittodrie during last weekend`s superb Aberdeen v Celtic match left a bad taste from an otherwise delicious Sunday lunch.

It may be true that the huge flag flown behind the goal is the work of some young fools who do not know the significance of the word, but they should not get the benefit of the doubt.’

Ironically, this is in fact the 10th year since the formation of the Red Ultras in 1999.

‘The history of Aberdeen`s casuals tells us they should be treated as potential criminals who are there to cause, at best, intimidation, and at worst, violence and damage.’

But the ultras are not the casuals. The ultras are there to generate some sort of atmosphere at the morgue-like SPL grounds of nowadays, not cause violence.

‘Don`t ask Middlesbrough`s supporters to forgive them, after Roman ‘ultras’ launched flares into a family pub where they gathered ahead of a UEFA Cup match with Roma three years ago.

Wielding knives, bicycle chains and hammers, they slashed their way into the crowded bar, among women and children, in what was a pre-meditated attack on anyone in there who happened to be from England. Three fans were taken to hospital with stab wounds. That no-one was more badly wounded was simply a matter of luck.’

Middlesbrough themselves actually have not one but two ultra groups at the Riverside, The Twe12th Man and the Red Faction. Like the Red Ultras, both groups were set up to improve the dire atmosphere at the Riverside.

Plus, since when did ultras wield bicycle chains and hammers? And how does Ray Hepburn know the people who stabbed the Boro fans were ‘Roman ultras’?

‘This week Real Madrid have been fined £2,800 after the match referee`s report of last Sunday`s 3-1 victory over Osasuna included fascist salutes and chants from their ‘Ultras Sur`.’

Most ultra groups have some political leaning – if Hepburn wanted to give a balanced argument he could have noted that many groups are left wing and take part in anti-racism/fascism marches etc. and recently Celtic’s Green Brigade organised an anti-discrimination football tournament. However, more ironical is the Red Ultras are apolitical.

‘So it seems the Spanish football authorities are up to speed with this phenomenon. It is high time the SPL brushed up on their intelligence, before flags become knives.’

Need I say anything.

‘That banner is a stain on Aberdeen FC.’

A stain apparently condoned by AFC – see ‘supporters news’ in this article.

I don’t have anything left to say, apart from Ray Hepburn would never get a job at Vital Football.

For more information on the Red Ultras, see


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