Opinion: Celtic need to find a way to accommodate away fans, excluding the Rangers

The news that Motherwell and Hearts are set to make an official complaint against both Celtic and theRangers for their recent refusal to allow away fans in their grounds for domestic fixtures is welcome.

At Celtic Park on Thursday night there were maybe 30,000 empty seats but Celtic couldn’t figure out a way to accommodate the 500 or so Raith Rovers fans who wanted to attend the game to support their team in the League Cup Quarter Final. Their presence would have lifted the flat atmosphere as they cheered their team on and the Celtic support would have responded.

On Sunday when Dundee United scored their goal, there was a second of silence at Parkhead, the fans were still making plenty of noise after Liel Abada had opened the scoring but the lead didn’t last long and the equaliser took the wind out of the supporters’ sail. Had there been Dundee Utd fans in the ground they would of course have erupted to celebrate their goal and the immediate response from the Celtic fans in the stands would have been to roar the team on. That’s the way it should be.

Celtic fans signing YNWA in match against Dundee UtdPhoto Jane Barlow

I get that Celtic have to accommodate the supporters who have been moved from their seats in the lower sections of the Main stand but surely particularly in that match against Raith Rovers there were solutions that could have been found?

The other thing that is annoying about all of this is at it allows supporters at all other clubs to lump Celtic in with that lot across the city, not a good place to be. Their decisions in recent seasons to ban Celtic fans from the Free Broomloan because their fans couldn’t handle the Celtic celebrations, then to stop the allocation for that wee corner section because they say Celtic couldn’t guarantee them their tickets in January (complete nonsense) has ruined that game as a spectacle of interest to the wider footballing world. It’s this the rivalry that the world wants to see in the Glasgow Derby.

Another recent controversy caused by the rogue club down river was the banning of former Celtic players Chris Sutton and Neil Lennon from Ibrox apparently because the Ibrox club, founded in 2012 by Charles Green, couldn’t guarantee their safety. That’s a matter for UEFA, BT Sport and theRangers and it’s NOT directly a matter of concern for Celtic.

We are NOT like them.

Celtic should do all they can to find a solution to allowing away fans into the ground – with the exception of theRangers fans in 2 January given their decision in the first Glasgow Derby of the season – and we should NOT look to ban pundits from Celtic Park simply because they played for Rangers or indeed also theRangers.

We are NOT like them.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. Hearts excluded us from tynecastle from opening fixture so i can’t see why they have any complaints about us reciprocating.