Thousands of Rangers fans could be in attendance at May’s Scottish Cup final after National Clinical Director Jason Leitch confirmed that there are plans in place to allow 12,000 supporters into Hampden as a “gateway event” ahead of this summer’s Euros.
Fans have been locked out for over a year now as a result of Covid restrictions and supporters have been stuck at home as Steven Gerrard’s side romped to the club’s first title in a decade and impressed in the Europa League.
With the Gers now looking to lift the Scottish Cup and complete a domestic double, Leitch has confirmed that the current plans allow for up to 12,000 fans to attend May’s cup final as Hampden gears up to host the Euros later this summer.
“I’m absolutely delighted. It’s thanks to everybody’s behaviour remember and the vaccine rollout,” Leitch said, [Clyde Superscoreboard].
“The reason we can say now that the plan for June is to have 25 per cent capacity, is because of the incidence in the country just now.
“We may be able to go further, or we might go backwards and then we’d of course have to reverse.
“But, Scotland has now put down a plan which says we’ll have 12,000 people at Hampden and I’m absolutely delighted.
“The distancing will be possible, the queuing systems and what they will look like, and then we’ve also had to look at transportation.
“There were lots of conversations with Police Scotland, Transport Scotland and then the SFA and with Uefa to make the event viable and make it feel like the Euros.”
Leitch also gave hope that some fans could even return to grounds earlier than the Scottish Cup final – potentially opening up the possibility of fans being inside Ibrox for the presentation of the Premiership trophy against Aberdeen, adding: “I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to think about test events again as we move into the level system.
“If you remember, on April 26 we want to move the country into Level 3, then three weeks later all being well we will move again. That’s when we’ll start to think about capacities at festivals or at theatres, or at football stadia.
“So we will again think about what that looks like, perhaps for a few hundred people initially and then some, let’s call them ‘gateway events’ – big events that we know are coming, from the World Mountain Bike Championships to the Scottish Cup final.
“We need to make sure we make them as accessible as possible, if Covid allows.”
Getting fans back in soon will be a massive boost to clubs and supporters alike ahead of the curtain coming down on the season – and the prospect of seeing Steven Gerrard’s side lift silverware in person will be a huge carrot for some.
Allowing 25% of the capacity in would allow somewhere around 12k fans back into Ibrox before the end of the season too and, given everything that has happened this season, there would be an almight clamour for tickets if fans are allowed back in before the season ends.
Hopefully, we’re finally heading to something resembling normality and the 2021/22 season can see fans getting back to games at full capacity as the Gers look to make it title number 56.
Rangers fans have been reacting on Twitter to a ‘tremendous’ announcement about the upcoming Old Firm Scottish Cup clash