Rangers and Celtic are finally discussing the ticketing issue for away fans in Old Firms, with an end to the impasse being mooted.
Ibrox Noise never agreed with ex-Rangers chairman Dave King’s decision to cut the 7,000 allocation for Celtic fans at Ibrox to 800, simply because the atmosphere with less than a thousand travelling fans at either stadium isn’t good enough. Celtic, naturally, followed suit and allocated the same.
It is, however, better than nothing, albeit not by much.
The bottom line is a lot of this falls on Celtic, as much as we disagreed with King’s call.
Their fans, before Steven Gerrard’s arrival at Ibrox, got an entire stand at Ibrox, a full end of the stadium.
Unfortunately, Rangers fans at Parkhead were shepherded into the corner with not the best view – and Rangers fans have long complained about the positioning, while Celtic fans enjoyed an entire stand at Ibrox.
For the 7000 to be restored at Ibrox, Rangers would have to be assured of a better position at their place. Of course, that’s not going to happen, and the 7k allocation days are a thing of the past.
But a better one than sub-1K is surely fair. 3500 could surely be managed, giving both sides a healthy travelling support and being a fair compromise.
Word is these initial talks have not worked, and the position remains the same from both clubs.
That is, that Celtic reject 800 Ibrox tickets due to ‘safety concerns’ unless certain conditions are met, which means they will refuse Rangers any as well.
It’s a mess, and it should have been handled better than it has. Both clubs are responsible here, both are acting like children, and the SFA and SPFL should have done a tonne more to resolve this.
If this stupid situation isn’t fixed soon, the Old Firm pretty much loses its impact, its spectacle for good and it’ll become just another match, rather than the global attraction it normally is.