As Celtic travel to Govan on Saturday with no away fans allowed in the stadium, we take a look back to 1994 when David Murray banned Celtic fans from Ibrox.
In 1994, David Murray claimed that Celtic fans had left £8,000 worth of damage to Ibrox stadium and therefore would not be allowed in for the following derby there.
Pre-match, Celtic favourite John Collins said:
“I believe the ban on our fans is very harsh. The decision has been made by Rangers and as professional footballers we can’t let it affect us.”
Collins also added that it would be nice to “silence the Rangers support,” which was something he went on to achieve early on.
This was a new experience for Scottish football and a ridiculous one at that. Something that paved the way for a terrible mentality of reduced allocations that has grown worse ever since.
Celtic then chairman, Kevin Kelly, was left furious with Murray’s decision. He stated that, should the supporters not get in, then he and his board would boycott the game. Kelly said:
“David Murray has made his stance, so we are making our own protest. We categorically refuse to be treated as second-class citizens.”
As for the damages claimed by Murray, Kelly also said:
“There has been damage at Celtic Park after Old Firm games, but we have played it low key as we believe it is wrong to highlight vandalism at football games.”
The game would end in a 1-1 draw, with John Collins scoring Celtic’s goal with a free-kick on the 29th minute. The goal silenced the whole of Ibrox, just as he imagined.
Now, 29 years later, Celtic find themselves in the same situation, having to deal with a petty and shambolic Rangers board. Celtic have stated that they want a return to full allocation at all Glasgow derbies going forward, but this is something that Rangers show no interest in. Are they worried about the influence Celtic fans have at these games? Or are they unable to stomach the wild celebrations in the Broomloan Stand? Perhaps it was all down to needing the extra tranche of cash that those extra 7,000 season ticket-holders can provide the cash-strapped club with?
Whatever it is, it is poor for the Scottish game and, once again, Rangers are the root of the problem.