Celtic Trust chief Jeanette Findlay has said there will be a "robust" response from fans if "illiberal" guidelines affecting supporters' buses are imposed north of the border.

Scottish football fans have reacted with anger at "draconian" proposals put forward by the UK Government to bring Scotland into line with England and Wales.

Under the plans, which are subject to consultation, buses transporting away fans would require prior permission from the police before stopping within 10 miles of a stadium, and any stop at licensed premises would have to be cleared with authorities with alcohol accompanied by a 'substantial meal'.

Dedicated Football Officers (DFOs) would be appointed and buses would not be permitted to stop at any unauthorised locations to pick up supporters without first informing the police.

Only events covered under the Sports Grounds and Sporting Events (Designation) (Scotland) Order 2014/5 would be affected and only football has been included in this.

READ MORE: Fans react with fury at 'draconian' UK Government plan on away buses 

Ms Findlay, who runs a supporters' bus herself, said: "We were very surprised to find out yesterday (Monday) about this consultation.

"We have no idea where the motivation or support for this has come.

"Having lived through a period of very poor legislation targeted directly at football fans, we assume that neither the Scottish Government nor the police service of Scotland wish to re-visit such contentious, illiberal and discriminatory guidelines.

The Herald:

"Having spoken to our colleagues in England, where this was introduced in 2016, we are aware that this has been a futile exercise that has achieved nothing more than the inconvenience of citizens travelling to football matches.

"Should this idea appear to be growing arms and legs the traffic commissioner can be certain that there will be a robust response from supporters in Scotland."

READ MORE: Well Society director calls on SFA to boot out supporter bus guidelines 

Ms Findlay, who is a professor of economics at the University of Glasgow, said added: "Guidelines which require coach companies to infringe the rights of citizens to go about their lawful business - who they can travel with, where they can pause their journey, how much they can eat or drink, when they can arrive etc - on pain of losing their operator's licence would simply not be tolerated for any other group in society and we will not tolerate it."

When the guidelines were introduced in England and Wales, it is understood that some regional police forces implemented them and some did not.

Bus companies which do not follow the guidelines can be referred to the Traffic Commissioner and may be stripped of their license.

The Football Supporters Association is said to have been advised that the measures could also apply to people hiring a minibus to take friends and family to a match.

Bus companies are required to inform the DFO of the number of fans expected to travel, the number of vehicles booked, as well as the name and the contact number for the person who made the booking no later than 48 hours before departure.

Greens MSP Gillian McKay said the proposed measures were " unwarranted, unworkable and out of touch" while the SNP's Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said they deserved to "get in the bin" saying football fans should be celebrated not punished.
Derek Watson, a director of Motherwell’s majority shareholder, The Well Society, called on the SFA and SPFL to help call a halt to the measures.

Ms Findlay was vocal opponent of Scotland's Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, which was repealed in 2018.

The legislation was passed by the SNP government in 2011 in a bid to crack down on sectarianism.

But all four opposition parties argued for it to be scrapped, saying it unfairly targets football fans and has failed to tackle the problem.

Opponents said the law treated football fans as "second class citizens", and was not needed as police and the courts already had sufficient powers to deal with offensive behaviour.