Celtic legend Jackie McNamara weighs in on Glasgow derby ticket debate
Celtic legend Jackie McNamara has had his say on the ongoing allocation row between the Bhoys and Rangers.
Today, Celtic announced the availability of tickets for away supporters for our next league game, where we face Rangers at Ibrox. Previously, it had looked as if Rangers wouldn’t welcome Celtic supporters at Ibrox, nor Rangers fans at Paradise.
However, that’s changed, albeit for a far smaller number than we used to get. And as Rangers stay petty and small-minded about the situation, it’s continued the debate over the future of the Glasgow Derby.
Speaking to 67 Hail Hail, Jackie McNamara gave us his insight on the Celtic v Rangers ticket fiasco. Having played in several himself, and enjoying the unique feeling of winning a League Cup at Ibrox with Celtic, the ex-Bhoys captain knows a thing or two about it.
McNamara told us [67 Hail Hail]: “I think it is [worse].
“The last game was an incredible atmosphere, 3-0, great performance, everything else. But having been a player and witnessed home and away, those games, you do need the opposition fans.
“That’s what makes it. I know sometimes it can be quite poisonous and toxic. But it’s rivalry, it’s what the game’s all about.
“Is 700 better than none? Yeah it is, the players will be happy there’s 700 there, but it should be back to what it was in years gone by. Hopefully that’ll be the case soon, because it is all about the fans.”
Jackie McNamara is right; get Celtic and Rangers allocations back to how they were
Ultimately, it’ll probably take SFA, SPFL intervention to sort this out.
It’s clear that Rangers are going to be stubborn about this. And as long as they are, who could really blame Celtic for limiting the allocation for visiting Rangers fans? It’s not something that’s likely to be sorted without mediation.
That’s the honest truth about it. And while it’s caused a lot of debate with supporters of both clubs, it’s really up to those running the league, and the clubs themselves, to get this dealt with.
There’s a prevailing idea that Celtic have coalesced by agreeing to 700. That we should be saying 7,000 or nothing. To be fair, I do agree with that. The importance of this individual game, however, means that having any of our supporters at Ibrox is a small victory for the team, if not for the club.
Given the stakes, having no Celtic supporters at all at Ibrox would make this more daunting. But the noise that even a reduced Celtic away support can make, it puts pressure on the Rangers players, too.
Eventually, this’ll have to be dealt with. Jackie McNamara’s right, though; for the future of the fixture itself, it’s got to be resolved and returned to normalcy.