Rangers say they are “disappointed” over the Scottish Government’s decision to only allow 2000 fans into Ibrox Stadium for the club’s friendly with Arsenal this weekend.

The Gers are set to play the Gunners on Saturday 17th July at 2pm as part of the club’s 150th-anniversary celebrations.

Rangers v Celtic - Scottish FA Cup
Rangers will be welcoming fans back to Ibrox for the first time since March 2020 but the landmark moment has been overshadowed by strict protocols. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The authorities in Scotland are coming under increasing pressure to let fans back into stadiums as grounds open up across the world.

This has given rise to much conjecture as to the intentions of the government amid the global health pandemic and whether the decision-making is scientifically based.

The biggest criticism of this concerns the fact that as of the 19th of July football clubs can welcome back 2000 fans no matter the size of their ground.

This means that realistically Ibrox will be full to only 4% capacity whilst the likes of Dumbarton’s ground, the Dumbarton Football Stadium, could be filled to near 100%.

Rangers said they are “disappointed” over the decision and pointed to the Euro 2020 precedent at Hampden, where 12k supporters were invited into the ground.

The Gers also criticised the authorities for the amount of time it took for them to make a decision, with balloted supporters now having to make short-term travel plans.

“Following lengthy discussions with the Scottish Government and local authorities, Rangers have been granted permission to host 2000 supporters at Saturday’s friendly match with Arsenal,” reads a Rangers statement.

“Rangers are disappointed at the small number of supporters being granted access given the precedent which was set at the Euro 2020 matches at Hampden Park as well as at other sporting events in Scotland, and the time it has taken to have the number of supporters confirmed by the Scottish Government.”

Hibernian v Arsenal: Pre-Season Friendly
Rangers are preparing to welcome Arsenal manager and former player Mikel Arteta back to Ibrox this weekend. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

As for the game itself, season ticket holders who have access to all games at Ibrox will be given priority with the balance being balloted among season ticket holders who are MyGers members and have enrolled in the home friendly scheme.

Tickets for the Arsenal match are priced at £21 for adults, £16 for concessions and £10 for kids.

Rangers aren’t the only ones who’ve taken aim at the government’s approach to club football with Gers fans left “confused” by Nicola Sturgeon’s latest announcement.

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