GLASGOW, November 17 (Sputnik), Mark Hirst – One of Scotland's most successful international managers, Craig Brown, has told Sputnik news agency it would be "pretty disappointing" if violence were to occur ahead of a Tuesday match between Scotland and England, the world's oldest international footballing fixture.
"I think in view of the success of both teams at the moment, particularly our team, it would be pretty disappointing to see trouble between the fans," Brown, who managed Scotland from 1993 to 2001, told Sputnik.
"This could spoil a momentous fixture, in a good stadium with a great atmosphere. To spoil it with any hint of disruption would be very, very disappointing. I don't think the sensible and fair-minded fans of either country would have anything but contempt for that," Brown added.
Police in Glasgow issued a statement Monday warning of "pre-planned disorder" in and around Glasgow, Scotland's biggest city that will host the sports event. Residents and fans alike were told to expect a significant police presence.
The Scotland vs England fixture was a regular annual match and the oldest international in the world, dating back to 1870, but the annual event was abandoned in the 1980s because of routine violence at the game and demands from club league managers. The two sides have not met since 1999 during the European Championships.
"Trouble between Scotland and England fans was a factor in the cancellation of the fixture before," Brown told Sputnik.
"The other fact that the clubs were complaining, the Managers in particular that so many of the players, the English players in particular, were in either the European Championship or the World Cup every second year and this was an additional fixture they could do without," he added.
Hamish Husband, a spokesman representing Scotland fans and known as the Association of Tartan Army Clubs, told Sputnik the last time the two sides met there was "mayhem" in Glasgow.
"If there is going to be trouble it's not fans that will be doing it. When Scotland played England in the 1999 play-off it was mayhem. Glasgow turned into a police state," Husband said.
"People just attended for a fight, not to attend the game. It's not fans and if it is it will be [English club sides] Millhall, Chelsea or whoever it is coming up to liaise with [British] Unionists and just out to have a go at the Tartan Army," Husband said.
Despite the historic violence associated with the match former Scotland boss, Craig Brown, told Sputnik he would like to see a return to the regular annual fixture.
"I would absolutely like to see the fixture return on an annual basis. The problem is that if you are a club manager you don't want another fixture like that, but the interest in football that it generates is unbelievable," Brown told Sputnik.
"Coaching classes immediately take an upturn. Sales of replica shirts take an immediate boost. You can advertise all you like, but if the Scottish team is doing well on the pitch you don't need to advertise. The same is true of rugby and if the team is doing well the merchandise sells easily without advertising it," Brown added.
"The national team is the flagship and it can make a huge impact not just on the adults but the kids in the country," Brown said.
But Husband told Sputnik News that he and the majority of Scotland fans would not back a return to the annual fixture and accused the football associations of both countries of using it as a cash cow.
"The England game is a method whereby the Football Associations in Scotland and England can generate revenue. That was actually stated to us in a meeting with the then head of the Scottish Football Association 13 years ago who said the fixture would return for money reasons alone," Husband told Sputnik.