THE horror of the Hillsborough Disaster was briefly revisited last month when David Duckenfield, the match commander on the fateful day that 95 Liverpool fans lost their lives at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final, was found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter after a retrial at Preston Crown Court.

Archive footage of the crush at the Leppings Lane terrace in television news reports of the verdict was, as always, chilling.

It made you thankful that the Taylor Report, commissioned following the worst tragedy in British football history, led to the introduction of all-seated stadiums in the top two tiers of English and Scottish football. No longer are supporters hemmed in at grounds by perimeter fencing like animals in a zoo.

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Yet, some alarming incidents at games in this country in the past couple of seasons have been a reminder that clubs must remain vigilant when it comes to spectator safety and still have to work to ensure the match day experience is an enjoyable, not a frightening and even dangerous, one for their paying customers.

The videos and pictures taken by Celtic fans outside Tynecastle before their Ladbrokes Premiership game with Hearts on Wednesday night were disturbing and reminiscent of the dark days of the 1970s and 1980s.

Celtic supporter liaison officer John Paul Taylor took to Twitter to air his concerns on Thursday after being inundated with complaints. “It wasn’t an easy night for fans trying to get access,” he posted. “Arrangements need to be reviewed. Needs a complete rethink. Not good enough, will be highlighting.”

Celtic Trust chairwoman Jeanette Findlay went further on the social networking website. “Another disaster waiting to happen at ‘Tynecattle’ tonight,” she wrote. “We pay £34 to be herded in and put in potential crush situations.”

The capital club responded to the tsunami of criticism by stating that supporters trying to enter the stadium without valid tickets and fans failing to listen to the advice of stewards once inside were to blame for the difficulties which arose.

The Roseburn Stand, though, has become notorious with followers of away teams since the new Main Stand was opened last November. There have been fears voiced about the narrowness of the entry area, the bottlenecks it invariably creates, the poor lighting during night games, heavy-handed policing and the small number of turnstiles which are open.

Hearts also bemoaned the fact that many Celtic fans didn’t “allow sufficient time to enter the stadium”. But somebody finishing their work in Glasgow at 5pm was always going to struggle to make it through rush hour traffic to Edinburgh well ahead of the 7.45pm kick-off time. Shouldn’t allowances for a sudden influx of latecomers have been made?

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Hearts would be well advised to follow the example of Celtic - who ordered an independent review of the crush which occurred before their game against Rangers at Parkhead last season and which led to one person being hospitalised and four others requiring first aid – and take action to ensure there is no repeat in future.

The report produced by safety management consultants Fairhurst found that a “unique set of circumstances” - including new segregation arrangements due to the reduced number of away supporters, the early kick-off time, limited public transport and a “constrained window” for fans to arrive - had all led to the issues in the North Stand underpass that day.

Fairhurst made no fewer than 29 recommendations which were taken on board and the Glasgow derby at Celtic Park last March passed off without major incident. Still, it was staggering that it should, some 29 years after Hillsborough, happen in the first place.

The 2019/20 campaign didn’t get off to a much better start. There was a crush as Rangers fans waited to enter Rugby Park before the Ibrox club’s opening Premiership game against Kilmarnock in August due to a fault in the ticketing system. An emergency gate was then forced open and supporters flooded into the ground. There was congestion in the Chadwick Stand with many aisles being blocked.

An unfortunate and unedifying public slanging match followed afterwards with Rangers and Kilmarnock both pointing the finger of blame. They should have worked together to identify what went wrong and ascertain what needed to be done to prevent it recurring instead of taking cheap pots shots at each other in the media.

The hard core element of most top flight clubs’ supports have been condemned and punished for a range of offences, including sectarian and racist abuse, throwing missiles, setting off flares and smoke cannisters and even entering the field of play to attack players, in recent seasons. Consternation about their “criminalisation” is laughable given their often criminal conduct. But it works both ways. How do clubs expect people to behave if they are treated like subhumans?

We will hopefully never again witness the shocking scenes which took place on April 15, 1989, as Liverpool played Nottingham Forest due to the sensible reforms to stadiums, security and stewarding which were subsequently introduced. But complacency could be costly, possibly even catastrophic.