Hearts don't want Celtic fans in for Scottish Premiership opener

By John McGinley

July 3, 2021

Hearts aren’t entertaining the idea of letting Celtic supporters in to watch the opening Scottish Premiership fixture of the season.

The Tynecastle club are looking to service their own season ticket holders before thinking of allowing away fans into the ground.

You can understand the perspective. We wouldn’t exactly be happy with Hearts fans rocking up to Celtic Park at the expense of our fans that had weighed in cash.

It means that Ange Postecoglou’s first Scottish Premiership game in charge could be in front of thousands of rival supporters.

Celtic will kick-off the league campaign on Saturday 31st July at 8 pm.

Hearts chief executive Andrew McKinlay told The Scottish Sun: “For the first home game in the Premier Sports Cup, we will have 2,000 fans inside.

“For the second cup game, and the first game of the season against Celtic, we are currently working on the number as we have been given different social-distancing numbers to work with. It is social distancing inside the bowl but also social distancing on the concourse and they are different numbers.

“We’re working through that but it looks like being a few thousand more. It seems optimistic to me, but we are being told it will be back to normal from August 9.

“The agreement in the cup is we’ll all stick to home fans only. We will not bring any away fans in until we have satisfied our season-ticket holders, unless we’re forced to.”

The SPFL have yet to confirm the arrangements for the opening fixtures of the season. It could well be the league decide some away fans should be given access. However, clearly Hearts won’t be up for that.

Who can forget this classic Celtic goal vs Hearts? / (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

Thankfully it shouldn’t be an issue that causes a problem for too long. As McKinlay states, there are hopes that restrictions on football crowds will evaporate by mid-August.

Clearly that’s pending and will be based on Scottish Government numbers closer to the time.

Everyone is excited about the return to Celtic Park, but getting away days back will also be a huge boost to the support.

In other news, Celtic made bid for versatile Olympian but he prefers African stay.