Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawell has seriously touted the possibility that our rivals might refuse the 800 tickets for the next Old Firm at Ibrox.
Whilst I do believe it’s a lot of hot air, it strikes a petty response to them being cut.
A statement posted on Celtic’s site read:
“The forthcoming Premiership match at Ibrox on December 29, in which the allocation of tickets for Celtic supporters has been cut to around 800, was raised, with shareholders expressing their concern for the safety of Celtic fans who would attend the game.
“The club confirmed that there are ongoing discussions with the relevant bodies, as well as supporters’ groups, before making a final decision on whether to recommend that no tickets should be taken for the fixture. The safety of Celtic supporters is always the number one priority for the board, something which was also stressed when crowding problems at the Celtic v Rangers game at Celtic Park back in September was raised.”
Are Celtic shifting the blame?
There are two major issues with this statement.
Firstly, the fact they’ve mentioned the issues surrounding overcrowding at the last game with Rangers is telling. That wasn’t Rangers’ fault.
The club are also well within their rights to cut the allocation. Anyone else simply has to swallow it. I’m not here to argue whether cutting it was right or wrong either.
It is Celtic’s responsibility to put adequate safety in place at their own ground on matchdays. Not Rangers’.
Secondly, this feels nasty. There’s an insinuation here that the rabid animals of Rangers will tear Celtic fans limb from limb if they have to walk anywhere near them. It’s paranoid and offensive.
Look at the videos of the Rangers team arriving at Parkhead if you really want to see vitriol.
It’s grim, petty, and to me, strikes of a club using nasty tricks to get what they want. They’re trying to publicly paint a picture of Rangers fans as the aggressors and Celtic fans as the victims.
I can assure you there will be voices trying to noise it up ON BOTH SIDES come derby day. There always is.
Most people however, will go to the match and leave the match well behaved. As always.
It’s also a ticket allocation. Some perspective please.
There is obviously going to be a heavy police presence. It’s nonsense to suggest otherwise.
My opinion on the whole thing? Refuse the tickets. See if we care. We’ll have Ibrox all to ourselves.
And we can promise you this. She’ll be absolutely rocking come the first whistle.
Let’s just hope she still will be by the last.