There were some ugly scenes in Manchester last night when trouble erupted amongst Rangers fans and there was for a short time some serious public order offences and, for want of a better name, acts of hooliganism occurred.
Nobody can be proud of what happened, least of all Rangers fans who were, according to radio reports I have heard to day, overwhelmingly well behaved and deeply apologetic about the behaviour of a minority of their own fans. Sadly they have a lot to be ashamed about with reports of sickening attacks on paramedics, police and police dogs.
The question is though, whilst we sit smugly criticising the arrangement that Russians have made for next week's champions league final, it appears that authorities in this country have shown themselves up to be inept when organising a large football event, and we might want to be more careful in future.
Let's examine what happened in Manchester yesterday.
Manchester City Council encouraged ticket less fans to visit Manchester because Manchester City Council announced that announced that mixed, unsegregated "fan-zones" would be set up, with the biggest of those in Piccadilly Gardens. Then they allowed beer to be served from 10 in the morning so that by the time kick of had started some fans had been drinking for nearly ten hours. then having whipped up 20,000 fans in to a frenzy of excitement, the biggest of these fan-zones in Piccadilly Gardens failed just before kick off.
Now Manchester City Council cannot be totally blamed for this, but there ought to be questioned asked about the wisdom of turning Manchester in to a 10 hour party for 100,000 Rangers fans whilst seemingly there was no back-up plan in case things went wrong. As ever the police were left to sort out the mess (despite complaints about the police from the a Tory MSP who happened to be a Rangers fan) and take the beatings that go with it.
Strangely, Manchester City council's first response to the violence was to cancel plans for big screens in Manchester when Manchester United play against Chelsea next week. It's an odd sort of logic that says it is okay to put screens up for Scottish fans but then abandon the fans of a Manchester team. All in all it does not paint Manchester City Council in a good light.