Kilmarnock chairman Billy Bowie has told the Daily Record that the reason for his club slashing Rangers’ ticket allocation for Rugby Park is because the Ayrshire side’s fans feel “intimidated” – and the Gers should be demanding answers from him over such irresponsible comments.

Rangers have usually been handed 8000 tickets in two stands at Rugby Park but will now only be given one stand, housing around 4000 supporters.

17th February 2019, Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Kilmarnock versus Celtic; Sunset at Rugby Park

(photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Killie originally claimed this was to “celebrate” their 150th anniversary before Bowie then expanded on it in an interview.

“We have spoken to our own supporters about it and there is a feeling that they are intimidated when the Old Firm sides come to Rugby Park,” Bowie told the Daily Record.

KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 17: A general view of the stadium's artificial pitch prior to the Scottish Ladbrokes Premiership match between Kilmarnock and Celtic at Rugby Park on February 17, 2019 in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“So we have decided what we want to do is create an environment for them on match days where they feel absolutely safe. We want them to feel comfortable bringing their families to any Kilmarnock game and that has not always been the case.”

 

Bowie also claims Killie want to get 1000 extra fans through the gates for every home game to offset the huge financial loss caused by slashing both Rangers and Celtic’s allocations.

Clubs are more than entitled to give opposition fans as few tickets as they can within league rules but the constant painting of Rangers and Celtic fans as the cause of all of Scottish football’s ills has to stop.

KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 09: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard reacts during the Scottish Cup 5th Round match between Kilmarnock and Rangers at Rugby Park on February 9, 2019 in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Killie fans may well feel intimidated by the large number of fans the Old Firm bring to Rugby Park – that’s often what happens when an away team brings a greater number of fans (8000) than usually attend Kilmarnock games. (6500 according to Transfermarkt)

If clubs are happy to cause themselves financial harm simply to get it up the Rangers support then so be it, but when the time comes that “safety” falls behind financial demands, hopefully, the Gers tell Kilmarnock where to go.

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