SCOTTISH football may lag some away behind the game in England, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and other European nations when it comes to the quality of the product on the park and the value of its broadcasting and sponsorship deals

But there is one area where the sport in this country is the undisputed world leader – issuing statements.

This predilection for publishing missives on any issue that arises led one wag on Twitter to create the SPFL Statement League last season. Hearts, due in no small part to the teething problems they encountered during the construction of their new main stand, took the inaugural title with 15. Celtic, with 14 to date, are on course to triumph this term. Is there no end to their domestic dominance?

The award for the stupidest statement of the 2018/19 campaign – and there are once again a fair few contenders for that honour – will surely go to the Celtic ultras group The Green Brigade come May.

Their response to “recent incidents” last week, specifically the firecracker which landed near St Mirren goalkeeper Vaclaf Hladky, pictured inset, at the Simple Digital Arena on Wednesday night and left the Czech shaken and requiring medical attention, saw them take pot shots at politicians, the police, the judicial system as well as the mainstream media for their “disproportionate” and “sensationalist” coverage of events.

Quite right. Reporting on sectarian singing, players, managers and match officials being struck and injured by missiles thrown from the stands and footballers brawling on the pitch live on television at the end of a high-profile fixture has all been rather unnecessary and completely over the top.

However, it was the Green Brigade’s apparent backing of the use of fireworks inside grounds which was their most imbecilic remark.

“As an ultras group we support the safe, sensible use of pyrotechnics,” their statement read. “The launching of pyrotechnics on to the park or in the direction of people is both unnecessary and counterproductive to any aspirations of normalising its (sic) use.”

What deluded drivel. Flares and smoke bombs are dangerous in the extreme and have no place in a stadium. In any circumstances. Their use can result in disfigurement, serious injury and even death.

John Hill, an elderly Wales fan, was killed after being struck by a flare at the end of a World Cup qualifier against Romania at the National Stadium in Cardiff in 1993. The two men responsible were identified and jailed for three years each for manslaughter.

Flares, designed for use by those in distress at sea, contain toxic chemicals and are deliberately difficult to extinguish. Smoke bombs burn at high temperatures and are not supposed to be set off in confined spaces. They can provoke panic in tightly-packed crowds, cause smoke inhalation and trigger asthma attacks.

The Celtic hierarchy took decisive action to stamp out the escalating problem after flares were set off under an elaborate banner display during a Ladbrokes Premiership game against Hearts two years ago. They closed the safe-standing section where the Green Brigade are billeted for two games against Rosenborg in the Champions League and Hearts in the Premiership partially as a result of that incident. But the message has clearly not got through.

Exactly the same thing occurred in exactly the same area of Celtic Park before their match against Rangers eight days ago.

Celtic fans are by no means the only offenders. The rise in use of pyrotechnics at Scottish games in the past few seasons has been alarming. Indeed, kick-off in the Edinburgh derby between Hearts and Hibernian at Tynecastle on Saturday was delayed both before kick-off and during the match due to smoke cannisters being set off and hurled onto the playing surface. Such disruptions are becoming commonplace.

The police arrested one man for throwing a smoke bomb during the game. But more clearly needs to be done, as it does with growing incidences of crowd unrest in general, before somebody, a fan, player, steward or official, is badly hurt. Suggesting the use of pyrotechnics can be “normalised” at grounds is plain crackers and does absolutely nothing to help halt what is a concerning trend. Quite the opposite in fact.

The Green Brigade statement bemoaned the assault on their human rights, hit out at the intimidation and criminalisation of fans and appealed for supporters to be treated like human beings. But how can they possibly expect to be respected when their own actions are so irresponsible?

Pyrotechnics are for use on bonfire night, not at football matches.