Old Firm standoff is over as away tickets return to Ibrox and Parkhead

Old Firm standoff is over as away tickets return to Ibrox and Parkhead
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Rangers fans look on during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on September 1, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Rangers and Celtic have finally ended the clubs’ long-running feud over tickets, and have agreed on the UEFA model of a 5% away allocation from next season onwards.

While it won’t affect the remaining two matches of this season, the agreement finally secures an end to a ridiculously long issue, started all those years ago by Dave King when he decided to kill Celtic’s allocation in 2018 down to just 800 briefs, before they followed suit and we ended up on the slippery slope to zero.

With this news Celtic will host 3,000 Rangers fans at Parkhead next season, while Rangers will accommodate 2,500 Celtic fans in Govan for all the Old Firm matches, which is all Ibrox Noise ever suggested we do.

The lack of away fans in this fixture for the best part of 18 months+ has been a real wart in what is Scottish football’s showpiece match.

Few matches in world football on any level attract the attention the Old Firm does, and the stand-off was affecting the marketability of the Scottish game, and the quality of player the club could attract.

What’s the point of going to Rangers (or Celtic) for the Old Firm match when there’s only one set of fans there?

Thankfully this has been sorted at long, long last, and Rangers confirmed it in a statement:

“RANGERS FC notes the SPFL’s confirmation regarding future Old Firm allocations at both Ibrox and Parkhead.

This was reached following input from both clubs, the SPFL, local authorities, and the league’s broadcast partners.

While this will not affect the two remaining league derbies this season, from next season, both clubs will be required to provide five per-cent of their stadia to the away team for Old Firm games only — mirroring the UEFA European match model.

Rangers’ position has always been for away supporters to be present at these games, and with this move, a significant number of our fans will be able to support our team at Parkhead in seasons ahead.

At Ibrox, this will affect supporters in sections BF5 and BR5, as well as part of BF4 and BR4 in the Broomloan Stand, as it would for European matches.

Alternative seating arrangements for supporters in these sections for Old Firm derbies have been identified and those affected will be contacted directly by the club.”

It’s a bit of a contrast to media reports claiming Rangers had no interest in dialogue about this – they always did.

Rangers’ board always knew the value of the Old Firm fixture, previous board incumbents played to the galleries of certain fans by trying to downplay the importance of away supporters.

But the Bennett and Bisgrove board knew it was imperative to get this resolved, and it has finally been sorted.

Of course, it’s by no means all Rangers, Celtic’s nonsense of rejecting Rangers tickets for Ibrox was every inch part of the problem too, based on ‘safety’ grounds (you know, the same fans who smashed up Motherwell recently) but hey ho.

It’s now fixed and from next season the bigotry and cesspool of vile hate of this fixture will finally be back in Govan and Parkhead where it belongs.

Aren’t we glad!

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