Celtic fans take aim at Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross with x-rated banner

Celtic fans take aim at Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross with x-rated banner

CELTIC fans unveiled an x-rated banner aimed at Scottish Conservatives leader and assistant referee Douglas Ross during their Scottish Cup home tie against St Mirren on Saturday.

Ross, the MP for Moray and MSP for Highlands and Islands, was one of the assistants running the line during the last-16 tie at Celtic Park.

After a VAR check for offside confirmed Daizen Maeda's 16th-minute opener should stand, fans in the North Curve housing the club's Green Brigade supporters raised their sign.

It read: 'VAR decision: Douglas Ross is a c***.'

Commentator Rory Hamilton issued an on-air apology after cameras for broadcaster Viaplay captured the banner.

VAR gripes

Saturday's sign appeared to take aim at both the Scottish Conservatives leader and the technology that has been introduced to the Scottish game this season.

Messages opposing Ross' party have been displayed at Celtic before, including during a December 2022 display in support of striking workers and in 2019 after celebrity Hoops fan Rod Stewart congratulated the Tories on their General Election victory.

The St Mirren game was the first time Ross had run the line in a Celtic game since a League Cup tie against Ross County at Celtic Park in November 2020.

The banner also referenced the introduction of VAR in the Scottish game (Image: Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, despite the banner being raised after the goal was confirmed by VAR, Celtic fans have felt aggrieved by several decisions involving the technology and the frequency with which it is used in games involving the club.

Manager Ange Postecoglou has also previously spoken of his frustration at the time taken to reach decisions using VAR.

That appeared to be a problem again on Saturday with Viaplay commentators baffled as to why some seemingly straightforward decisions required lengthy VAR checks.

Banner bother

Saturday's banner was during a domestic game, however Celtic have been fined twice by UEFA this season for offensive banners in European games.

The club was hit with a €15,000 fine after a banner reading 'F*** the crown' was displayed during their Champions League away game against Shakhtar Donetsk in September.

Meanwhile, a €17,500 fine followed the display of a banner reading 'Against hunger and the crown' in their home Champions League tie with Leipzig in October.

Celtic won Saturday's Scottish Cup fifth round tie against St Mirren 5-1 with goals from Daizen Maeda, Hyeongyu Oh, Matt O'Riley and a brace from Reo Hatate, ensuring the club's place in the quarter-finals.