OK, first things first. It was an absolute disgrace to see the shards of glass from bottle thrown onto the pitch littering Joe Hart’s penalty area as he came out for the second half of Celtic’s win over Rangers at Ibrox.

Mercifully, Hart noticed the sharp pieces of brown glass protruding through the grass and alerted ground staff, with the restart of the match delayed – much to the annoyance of the Rangers team and their manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst – as they made the surface safe for both sets of players.

Equally as disgraceful was the incident where a member of the Celtic backroom staff was struck by a bottle as he walked towards the tunnel at the end of the first half, with the poor guy sustaining a head injury that required stitches.

These incidents alone didn’t quite seem to qualify the match to be ranked alongside the ‘Old Firm shame games’ of the past, but they would have been a source of great concern and embarrassment to Rangers nonetheless. Even though, in practice, there was very little that could have been done to prevent it.

If you have a crowd of 50,000-odd punters, the majority of which are turning up between half an hour and a few minutes before kick-off, you aren't going to be able to readily detect someone who has stuck a half bottle of Buckfast down their drawers.

Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon the club and the police to track down the individuals responsible and punish them accordingly, with lifetime bans the only sanction acceptable from the club’s point of view. But the actions of these few louts shouldn’t then be used as a stick to beat and punish the wider supporter base of the club, or indeed, fans of Scottish football in general.

As a picture emerged of a line of Bucky and other assorted bottles lined up on the wall of one of the Ibrox stands after the game on Sunday, I could almost hear the distant sound of pearls being clutched from way up in the press gantry.

There was a sense of inevitability that these incidents, and this image, would be held up by those who sneer at the ordinary football fan as proof positive that your average supporter can’t be trusted to have a pint in a plastic tumbler while watching their team.

Should the ban on the sale of alcohol be lifted, they assure us, marauding hoards of the underclass would wreak havoc upon our terraces. Do me a favour. This was hardly a return to the scenes of the ‘70s.

As with a lot of ills that are pinned upon football, Scotland’s issues with the demon drink are at their source, societal. Look at any other major event with large crowds – festivals, concerts – and you will find arrests and disorder on a similar or grander scale to what went down at Ibrox on Sunday.

Does that mean that drink should be banned at all such events in Scotland? Nobody would argue that.

I’m being slightly facetious here, as one type of large-scale event can’t readily be compared to another. The police, for instance, might feel more emboldened to wade into a group of teenagers to confiscate their bevvy at Glasgow Green than wade into thousands of football supporters at Ibrox.

The net effect though is that football fans end up feeling like second-class citizens, and victimised because it is a different ‘type’ that attends these events than attends the fitba. See also; rugby. However justified that feeling is, it is only football where you have to effectively break the law if you want to have a drink during the main event.

Surely, if anything, we should be looking to avoid a scenario in which punters feel compelled to get as s**t-faced as they can by downing bevvy prior to the match, and then also sneak glass bottles of drink into the stadium?

This is not to excuse those who do such things, but the 99 percent of fans who attended the match on Sunday and behaved themselves should hardly be punished for the actions of the delinquent few. And it is beyond me why a bottle thrown on the pitch during an Old Firm game should in any way be held up as evidence that punters at say, Motherwell vs St Mirren, couldn’t enjoy a beer or two along with the game. Actually, perhaps it should be mandatory.

There will be plenty of people out there who will wonder why the issue of allowing alcohol back inside stadiums is even a live one at all. Surely, you might ask if you are of such a standpoint, people can go a couple of hours without a drink?

Of course they can. But we are also forever being told that a major problem for Scottish clubs in getting people through the door is that football is now competing with a host of other leisure activities for people’s disposable income.

The experience can be improved in many ways, and one of those would be to allow fans to have a civil pint or two – if such a thing is possible from a plastic cup - while enjoying the match. There is an argument that this would then surely discourage the rather less dignified illicit swigging of Mad Dog from under jackets.

A mature discussion and debate on the issue with all relevant stakeholders – the clubs, the authorities and crucially, supporters – would be welcome, rather than the knee-jerk blanket blame that gets thrown around whenever the odd regrettable incident occurs.

People like to drink at the football. Just as they like to drink at the rugby or at a concert.

The question all of those groups mentioned should be asking is how we facilitate it in the safest way possible, while harnessing the potential financial benefit to our clubs.

Or, we can just keep doing the same thing we’ve been doing for 42 years, push alcohol to the fringes, pretend it doesn’t exist, and then react with faux horror when the consequences come back to bite us.