Scotland’s two biggest football teams are being urged to take firmer action to tackle a growing road safety hazard in the Borders.
Fans of Scottish Premier League champions Celtic and rivals Rangers have been putting up stickers either professing support for one or directing abuse at the other on road signs and lampposts in their home city of Glasgow for years, but now that practice is becoming a problem here too, raising fears it could cause confusion among motorists and potentially lead to accidents.
Galashiels councillor Euan Jardine is among those concerned about that trend, and he is calling on the Old Firm teams to appeal to their fans here to stop covering signs, lampposts and fences in the town and elsewhere with often-offensive stickers.
Though most such stickers declare support for Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers, currently sitting sixth and third respectively in the league, others incite violence or raise political issues.
Mr Jardine, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for culture and sport, has written to the two teams urging them to help tackle the issue as it is becoming increasingly costly for the local authority to deal with.
He said: “These stickers are offensive and harm the image of Gala.
“I cannot imagine what visitors must think when they visit our lovely town for the first time and see these uninviting stickers plastered all over it.
“They are everywhere from lampposts to road signs. Some are so bad that they are obscuring signs, which is clearly an issue for road safety.
“I understand that the clubs don’t sell the stickers, but I don’t think they can ignore the issue. This damages the reputation of both clubs.
“I am all for people passionately supporting a team, but there are other ways to show your love of football.
“I also do not believe it is right for local councils to keep footing the bill to remove these stickers.
“A middle ground must be met between the teams and the local authority.
“We need to work together to give this problem a red card once and for all.”