The ongoing debate over Glasgow Derby away ticket allocations came to a head earlier this afternoon with the news that both remaining league meetings between Celtic and Rangers will take place without away supporters in the stadiums.
Despite certain media outlets claiming this to be a joint decision made by both Celtic and Rangers, and branding the move as fans being ‘banned’ or ‘locked out’ from the games, A Celtic State of Mind is aware that this is not the case. There is no joint agreement in place and it is Celtic who are driving the action in an effort to increase away allocations and improve the match day experience.
Word is this was driven by Celtic, who proposed a return to normal allocations, which was refused.
This request was based on Celtic’s fan safety concerns & poor fan experience.
We then refused an allocation for Ibrox & decided Rangers were getting zero tickets for Celtic Park. https://t.co/iAk6gdEi3R
— A Celtic State Of Mind (ACSOM) (@ACSOMPOD) March 17, 2023
The Parkhead club has made its concerns known over fan safety & poor fan experience at recent games at Ibrox following Rangers’ decision to cut Celtic’s ticket allocation as far back as 2018. That initial reduction came on the back of Celtic handing out several hidings to Rangers at Ibrox.
In an attempt to improve the current ticketing and safety concerns, Celtic has proposed a return to the traditional away allocations for the final Glasgow Derbies of the season. Rangers, however, rejected the request and insist on maintaining the status-quo.
With Rangers blocking the possibility of discussing increasing away allocations, Celtic took the decision to not only reject the paltry 700 tickets offered for the final Glasgow Derby of the season, but also refuse to give Rangers an allocation for the next meeting of the sides at Celtic Park.
The move is not designed to keep away out permanently but rather to encourage meaningful discourse on the matter and find a workable scenario that allows a greater number of away fans to attend these games in safety.
While I am sure it was a great feeling to be part of the 700 strong that has celebrated recent victories at Ibrox, I know from personal experience how good the feeling is to be one of a couple of thousand fans enjoying a Celtic win at Ibrox.
Celtic remain keen to make sure as many Celtic fans as possible get the chance to see their side win at Ibrox in the future. The media, on the other hand, want to sensationalise an initiative aimed at improving the game and fan experience.