Opinion: Cup Final Ticket Allocation Is A No Win Situation

Celtic fans have given mixed responses to the news that approximately 30,000 tickets will be allocated to them for the Premier Sports Cup Final next month. Meanwhile, Hibernian supporters are unambiguously disappointed to receive 17,500 briefs for the game. In truth, the allocation of tickets is a no win situation for the authorities.

On one hand, football is all about the fans. Celtic Park has an average attendance of circa 55,000 this season, whilst Easter Road has an average of roughly 13,000. Celtic took over 40,000 fans to Hampden for the Cup Semi-Final; Hibs took under 10,000. The decided allocation thus means that every Hibernian season ticket holder and Semi-Final attendee can be at the Final, whilst three quarters of the Celtic contingent at Hampden (against St Johnstone) will also get the same opportunity. Therefore, most Celtic fans claim that it is fair that they receive a larger number of tickets, though many argue that Hibs should not be given as many as 17,500 seats. Indeed, some people who didn’t attend the Semi-Final will be in the Hibs end at the expense of Celtic supporters who did.

20th November 2021; Hampden Park, Glasgow City, Scotland; Scottish League Cup semi-final, Celtic versus St Johnstone; Celtic fans banner unveiled during the match

On the other hand, the only way to ensure an entirely equal match is to have the opportunity for a 50/50 split of supporters. That is the argument put forth by Hibernian, along with the belief that they would fill 50% of the stadium for the Final.

Hibs fans enjoy their Premier Sports Cup Semi Final victory

Both points are valid. Both sides feel aggrieved to varying degrees. It’s about trying to find a balance. But it’s a no win situation for those who decide on the ticket allocations.

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.

1 Comment

  1. It shouldn’t matter how many season tickets you have or how many turned up for the semi, it should always begin with a 50-50 split, staggering sales so that if one team fails to sell then they are given to the opportunity.
    Would you concede tickets for the final if the opposition had the opportunity to take more by playing on a smaller supported side in the semi?
    Why should a “neutral” final favour the popular side that has zero travel & been spoiled with multiple finals in recent years?