Rangers fans have been handed a semblance of hope regarding a return to Ibrox – but the club likely won’t have a full house on Flag Day.
The Ibrox legions faced a lockout from the famous ground for the entire season during the last campaign but there is growing hope we’ll see a full house this time around.
However, under new plans, only 2000 fans would be allowed to return to football stadiums come the day when Covid-19 rules are further relaxed.
As per this BBC Scotland report, the Scottish Government’s route-map out the pandemic will allow 2000 supporters into stadiums come July 19th.
There should then be full houses in Scotland by the 9th of August – the nation’s so-called Freedom Day – when “all major Covid restrictions” will be removed [Guardian].
This also comes after Rangers fans have sold out Ibrox’s season tickets ahead of the new campaign.
Clubs can apply for extra seats on a case-by-case basis – something most pertinent to Rangers and Celtic who have considerably larger stadiums than everyone else – but this does mean the SPFL season is primed to kick off with supporters.
Pre-season friendlies and League Cup matches prior to this date – including Rangers’ commemorative friendly with Arsenal on 17th July – will only have 1000 spectators under current plans.
The Ibrox club’s Flag Day – scheduled against Livingston on 31st July – will kick off in front of an audience of 2000 Rangers supporters unless extra space is agreed by the government.
This is not outwith the realms of possibility.
A total of 12.5k seats were allocated for matches at Hampden during Euro 2020, the national stadium holding around 60k seats.
Other governments are also moving quickly to fill up grounds.
Wembley for example is set to have 60k spectators for the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final whilst Hungary has had a full 60k stadium for the entire tournament.
One leading Ibrox star is very exciting about the new campaign and has sounded the “56 pending” battle drum ahead of next season.