Opinion: Government’s Celtic Park decision is utterly baffling

Celtic fans will make their way back to Paradise on July 17th for the pre-season friendly against Preston North End. Fans have been locked out of the stadium since early March 2020 that the supporters have made the trip to Parkhead and those that are lucky enough to come out in the ballot will be excited at returning, even if it will be incredibly different.

The club announced today that the Scottish Government had signed off on 2000 lucky supporters making the trip, which is in line with the numbers that Motherwell and Hibernian have also been permitted but the decision is utterly baffling when you look at the numbers.

We knew that we weren’t going to get full capacity stadiums straight away but the August 9th date offered hope to many that we will return to normal. It remains to be seen whether that date will be achieved but as it stands Celtic will welcome just 3.10% of its capacity back, something that will barely operate as a test event given the minuscule nature of the support that date.

Celtic’s capacity is 60,411 but this will be impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions. This means that the 2000 lucky enough to come out in the ballot will make up just 3.10% of the capacity. Meanwhile, less than 12 miles away at Fir Park, they will welcome the same number – 14.5% of their capacity. Where is the logic? Celtic Park is bigger, Celtic Park has accessible transport, parking and infrastructure to support and facilitate a large number of supporters yet the Government seem reluctant to allow the club the opportunity to audition at a larger stage.

Euro 2020 semi-final between England and Denmark.
British Lions supporters at Murrayfield. Credit: Daily Record.

Wembley will be packed on Sunday, Wimbledon too. There will be over 140,000 people at the British Grand Prix soon. Understandably, these are events governed by Westminster and not Holyrood but that argument only goes as far as Murrayfield, it would seem. A few weeks ago, the British Lions played in front of 16,500 fans – despite also being in Level 2 like Glasgow.

Celtic fans want to return. The club want us to return and we understand that it has to be done safely given the prevalence of COVID-19 in the country. However, 2000 is a token gesture and nothing more. It is a positive step to returning but utterly galling that the club are receiving permission to have such a small amount when the Euros hosted 25% of their capacity a matter of weeks ago.

Cases are high and the club are still hopeful for larger numbers for the game against FC Midtjylland but if this is the opening offer by the Scottish Gov, it doesn’t look favourably for a quick return to normality in just one month.

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.


  1. You say the Government when you mean rhe Scottish government…Let’s be clear this is Saint Nicolas party and bot rhe UK government that has decided this….
    Trouble with dishonest reporting is often not what they say as what they ommit.

  2. That fits paragraph was horrific to read. I’m guessing you do t proof read your work….

  3. Anthony McGonigale on

    When it comes to independence Celtic fans should remember to vote no We have been done no favours by Sturgeon and the SNP as a whole. As for me I have been stupid enough to vote for them for over 25 years let’s make them pay.

  4. If the game was at ipox, the difference would be enormous!. The wee free ,sitting in Edinburgh has deliberately hi dered Celtic all through the pandemic, while letting the scum parade around Glasgow in their thousands!!! Sturgeon is a bigoted little runt!! ,that is putting it mildly!!! The Celtic board should be screeming from the rooftops, but it seems that we, as a club just take everything that is thrown at us and say he’s haw!! Come on Celtic, let’s speak up for ourselves, the Huns will be “walking’ today in their droves, and nothing will be done!. Yes it is one law for ipox, and another law for us. So come on green brigade. Let’s see a banner that “Catholic lives matter” and see how they react!!.

  5. This wasn’t up to the government. It’s up to the council to approve. Motherwell got the council approval for theirs.