Why Celtic, not Rangers, will decide on a return to previous ticket allocations

There was a certain level of inevitability in the absence of Celtic supporters at Ibrox Stadium due to “safety and security” concerns at the weekend.

Just like the 1994 debacle when David Murray banned Celtic fans from the stadium, we are once again seeing Ibrox exclusive to Rangers supporters.

But isn’t exclusivity what they always wanted anyway? Their fans sing “We Are The People” and many view anyone with differing views on politics or religion as “a different breed” altogether. It is as far removed from their ‘Everyone Anyone’ diversity and inclusion campaign as their new CEO is detached from reality.

In past times, Celtic fans have filled the entirety of the Broomloan Road stand at Ibrox, before being displaced into a corner of the stadium with just 750 tickets, and then finally having no fans allowed in to support their side.

For several years the Rangers fanbase has been a danger to various areas of society. It is a manifestation of years of unchallenged behaviour that once prompted that fantastic sports journalists Ian Archer to exclaim:

“This has to be said about Rangers FC… As a Scottish football club, they are a permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace. This country would be a better place if Rangers did not exist.”

Archer was writing in The Glasgow Herald in October 1976 when he went on to explain: “They are a permanent embarrassment because they are the only club in the world which insists that every member of the team is of one religion. They are an occasional disgrace because some of their fans, fuelled by bigotry, behave like animals.”

47 years on, and, whilst the club did cease to exist after liquidation in 2012, the same issues remain with the fanbase who latched on to the phoenix club.


Having had our allocation cut by Rangers for Glasgow Derbies due to them looking to cash in on the seats to boost season ticket revenue following the appointment of Steven Gerrard, Celtic approached Rangers in March to propose a resolution.

This request was for a reinstatement of the previous allocation of circa 7,500 due to Celtic fan’s safety concerns and poor fan experience.

Rangers refused, so Celtic knocked back the 750 tickets for Ibrox and decided that Rangers would receive zero tickets for Celtic Park.


In Celtic’s 2-1 win over their rivals at Ibrox on 3 April 2022, as Joe Hart made his way to his goal for the second half, he noticed there was a pile of broken glass in his goalmouth.

The keeper alerted referee Willie Collum and his manager Ange Postecoglou, before stating that he would take his team-mates off the field unless the glass was removed. The glass container appeared on the field during the half-time break, but the culprit has never been identified. The consequences of a player sliding or falling on the shards are unthinkable.

Reacting to the broken glass on the field during the match, commentator Andy Walker said: “That is absolutely outrageous, to see broken bottles on the field of play which can affect the referee, the players, anyone that it’s aimed at. It’s outrageous.”

Rangers’ icon and co-commentator Ally McCoist added: “That [embarrassing] is exactly what it is. You keep thinking nothing will ever surprise you anymore but dear me. Honestly? Absolute gross stupidity.”

Ten minutes into the second half, as he stepped up to take a corner, Celtic winger Jota also became a target as more objects were thrown on to the field from the home support.


In a post-match press conference following the same match, Ange revealed that a member of his backroom staff needed medical assistance, having been hit with a bottle thrown from the Ibrox crowd.

Talking after the match to Sky Sports, Ange said: “It is disappointing. You don’t need it. I don’t know what people are trying to achieve by doing that. I thought it (the game) was a fantastic spectacle. Sitting here now as the winning coach, that kind of taints my view of it, but I thought anybody watching that would agree it was a good game of football and you could tell there was something meaningful at the end of it by the way both sets of players went at it. Like I said, their crowd was up for it, our 700 was up for it and couldn’t stop signing. That is what you want.”

Once again, a good game of football was ruined by the buffoonery of the Rangers support.

Celtic also released a statement after the match which read: “We can confirm that a member of our backroom staff was struck by a glass bottle. He required urgent medical treatment and stitches to a head wound. The matter is now in the hands of Police Scotland.”

Nearly a year later, Rangers fan Alan Crawford was jailed for 12 months for launching the bottle at Celtic physio Daniel Friel, scarring him for life.


In September 2021, as Celtic legends Chris Sutton and Neil Lennon were due to cover both Celtic and Rangers’ European clashes from a studio inside Ibrox, they were told they would not be allowed to enter the stadium as they were a security risk. The two former players were due to watch Celtic’s game against Real Betis, before turning their attention towards the live action as Rangers hosted Olympique Lyonnais.

In absolute disbelief at the situation, Sutton tweeted:

“I’m not allowed to work on the Celtic game tonight from a studio at Ibrox along with Neil Lennon as Stewart Robertson the Rangers CEO says we are a security risk. Good to see Rangers ground-breaking diversity and inclusion campaign ‘Everyone Anyone’ is working well…”


It is not just at Ibrox where Rangers’ lack of common decency resides. In an SWPL match between the two sides, a 99th-minute equaliser from Celtic centre-half Caitlin Hayes saw the match at Broadwood Stadium, home of Rangers Women, finish 1-1.

After the match, as players shook hands, Rangers assistant manager Craig McPherson ran up behind Celtic manager Fran Alonso and head-butted him before being pulled away by several staff and players.

Talking about the cowardly act after the game to Sky Sports’ host Eilidh Barbour, Alonso said: “I don’t know. You can see there, somebody pushed me from behind. I never talked to [McPherson] the whole game. It’s obviously disappointing to concede a goal in the last minute, I totally get it. But I don’t know.”

“I was called a ‘little rat’, I don’t know why.”


It’s not just the players and staff who are under threat at the hands of the Rangers support.

During Celtic’s 3-2 win at Celtic Park in April 2023, referee Kevin Clancy disallowed an Alfredo Morelos goal in the 20th minute for a foul on Alistair Johnson. A decision that left Rangers fans bitterly disappointed.

However, once again, Rangers fans took matters into their own hands by sending death threats to the home of Kevin Clancy and his wife. Abusive messages sent to Mr Clancy were also directed at his children.

Former top-flight referee Steve Conroy said the abuse directed at Mr Clancy was “absolutely appalling”. He told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “It is disgusting that anybody personally and anybody’s family can be targeted over the course of a game of football.”

“It is unfathomable.”

It is extremely disturbing to think there are people out there who would personally attack an individual and his family due to a decision in a football match, however, this incident perfectly illustrates the level of depravity that these fans would stoop to.


The danger that these fans impose goes well beyond the venue that the games of football are contested in. The wider public have also been inflicted by the sinister abandon of Rangers supporters.

Back in May 2021, Rangers fans gathered in George Square to celebrate their Scottish Premiership title win. Supporters breached lockdown rules to cause havoc in the streets of Glasgow, causing damage all over the city. Fans damaged traffic lights, security fencing, scaffolding and statues, including memorials to many historic figures.

The riots resulted in over 50 arrests, with five police officers being injured during the pandemonium. Clean-up and repair costs came in at £91,000.

Talking to the Daily Record, Councillor Malcolm Cunning, Labour group leader of the council, said: “It’s disappointing that irresponsible behaviour is having a financial cost to the council and, therefore, to taxpayers.”

Instead of facing these numerous safety concerns surrounding Rangers Football Club, incoming Ibrox CEO, James Bisgrove, decided instead to launch a charm offensive by claiming that, “over the history of Scottish football, Rangers have been the dominant team.”

It was a blatant act of folly, but not one that was challenged by the assembled media, who have a responsibility to take the club to task for their numerous and regular safety indiscretions.

They won’t, of course, because they will face being locked out or forced to pay £25,000 for the pleasure of being fed the ‘We Are The People’ narrative.

Celtic, meanwhile, will decide to accept tickets for Ibrox again only when our fans’ safety can be assured, and whilst that allocation is 750-800 it looks like the status quo will be maintained.


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