This part of our website is dedicated to the work done by fans to make Scottish football the colourful, passionate, tribal, orchestra of colour and song that it is. In a world where consumerism and international merchandising and media rights dominate Planet Football, Scotland retains a beautiful authenticity. A place where 100% effort and commitment still isn’t enough, where we’d shoot ourselves in the foot if it’d hit a major organ of our rivals and the line between banter and bigotry is harder to pick than Fabio Cardoso’s nose.
Ultras and hooligans are not interchangeable terms. Most ultra’s have no interest in trouble with rival teams. They instead bring colour, atmosphere and noise to give our stadiums the sort of backdrop that disco lights and PA systems can’t. Its authentic because it matters to them. They come from all political persuasions – not the often pre-conceived far right. Many ultras identify as anti-fascist (there is even a Alerta Network of ultra groups all identify as anti-fascist). More often they identify as the beating heart of all that the Club stands for. This often brings them into conflict with owners of Clubs who may have different ideas, while the ultras view them as temporary rather than eternal like their Club. When owners and ultras are on the same page though it makes for something very special. In an age of growing inclusiveness and acceptance, it often seems modern Scotland wishes to forget its working class roots and behaviours. Without doubt many things belong in the past. So many more deserve to be celebrated. Our football stadiums are our amphitheatres for this. An acceptance that people of a common belief and values can come together and celebrate so long as it is done with care to the rights and freedoms of others frequently seems alien to politicians and policemen alike. The ultras get it wrong in celebrating whats good without being discriminatory from time to time (there’s learning to be done on all sides). When they get it right however it is spectacular!