YES, yes. Apologies. It’s another article about pyro. At least nominally. But such is the depth of feeling and breadth of opinion on the subject, that it sparks debate just as effectively as those wee canisters do a plume of the brightly coloured smoke of your choice.

Readers of our free Motherwell newsletter, of which there are many, will already be somewhat familiar with my own opinions on the matter following the Fir Park club’s own fans having a pyro party up in Perth last week, but it is worth re-iterating it for a slightly wider audience.

At the risk of suffering some splinters to my posterior, I’m a bit ambivalent about the whole thing. On the one hand, I can see the spectacle that they bring to Scottish football, and that the displays certainly add something to the atmosphere.

READ MORE: Pyro yobs driving fans out Scottish game with threats and intimidation

On the other hand, I am also all too aware that it is easy to say that from the gilded vantage point of the press box, with a bird’s eye view far away from the smoke. There are those with health conditions forced to sit among it who may find the fumes problematic, and those who may simply find it as big a metaphorical pain in the a**e as the one I’ll soon be getting from all this fence-sitting.

It has also, on occasion, crossed the line from being a colourful and rather festive adornment to the football itself into impacting the game and inconveniencing supporters, such as when dozens of flares lit by Rangers fans set off the smoke alarms at Dens Park and forced the players from the field.

Not to mention the fact that in June, legislation was passed to make it a criminal offence to possess pyrotechnics at football grounds, though no clubs have yet been sanctioned by the SPFL for their use. And despite widespread warnings from all manner and range of authorities, mercifully, no serious injuries have been reported since - if you’ll pardon the unfortunate pun - the relatively recent explosion in its usage.

What seems clear to me though, particularly as the father of a 12-year-old who is mesmerised by the stuff, is that the police and the game’s governing bodies can’t simply cry ‘it’s illegal!’, stick their fingers in their ears and hope that this all just magically dissipates. If that was an effective strategy, sectarianism in Scottish football would be but a fading memory.

With relations between some fan groups and clubs on shaky ground to say the least at the moment, most notably at Celtic, the last thing that these clubs will want to do is open up new battle lines on top of the fronts they are already fighting on. But they have, in my view, already made a huge misstep.

Later this month, there will be a meeting of The Football Safety Officers Association on the issue, with league bosses, Police Scotland and representatives of the Scottish government all in attendance. A gathering billed as involving ‘all stakeholders’, in that salt of the earth, relatable, corporate patois that management types like to use.

Well, it doesn’t take much peering through the fog to see quite clearly there is a rather large group of ‘stakeholders’ whose invite must have been lost in the post. Did no one think it prudent to at least consult the fans, be that those who use pyro themselves or those who are affected by it?

As it is, the meeting now risks being seen from the outside as the authorities all getting together to see what can be done about these pesky ruffians, rather than an attempt to actually engage with the issue and the people for whom it has become a weekly part of their football experience, for better or worse.

Leaving aside the actual issue at hand, it all rather fuels the theory that authorities of all shades – whether in wider society or within football itself – see football fans as little more than a cash cow to be milked and then tolerated to the point where they become an unavoidable inconvenience, perpetuating feelings many match going punters already have of being victims of classism.

READ MORE: Safe pyro gains support in Germany amid anger over police 'repression'

The ironic thing is that on the specific issue of pyro, the majority of fans actually seem to side with the powers that be.

The Scottish Football Supporters’ Association (SFSA) have actually taken the time to speak to some of their 70,000 members about their feelings on pyro in a survey conducted last year, and they found that of those polled, 43 percent said they liked to see it and 57 percent said they were against it.

Andy Smith, the chairman of the SFSA, was happy to provide his own personal, stridently anti-pyro, views to my colleague Matthew Lindsay, who has led the reporting on the issue for the best part of a year now.

I don’t know Andy, but I’m almost certain he would have welcomed an opportunity to put his own view across on such a forum. And I’m equally as sure that leading members of the various ‘Ultras’ groups would have been delighted to engage on the matter too, and would have been pleased simply to be represented in these discussions.

Instead of a process whereby talking to one another could lead to parties coming closer together and perhaps even finding a solution to the current stand-off, I will wager that what we will be left with are more messages condemning fan behaviour, and a section of fans more ardently determined than ever to bring pyro into matches. Heavy hands, smoky stands, you might say.

The authorities won’t find an answer to this issue by discarding the opinions of supporters, and in fact, they will only cloud an already murky debate even further.