Brendan Rodgers wants away-day derby ticket boost after rivals' petty Celtic move
Brendan Rodgers has called for the away-day ticket allocation for Glasgow derby matches to go back to full capacity.
The now infamous away-day ticket row has been ongoing for the past 4 years after Rangers’ petty 2018 decision. The Ibrox club slashed Celtic’s Broomloan Road capacity in Govan to just 800 [The Scotsman]. This led to Celtic retaliating for Parkhead fixtures as they left the door open for talks to get back to normal [The Herald].
Since then Celtic have been dragged into the debate as if this is our problem to deal with. But the truth is Rangers simply won’t come to the table. Ibrox Managing Director Stewart Robertson stated earlier this year that there was no change in opinion when it came to their view [Sky Sports].
Rodgers of course managed in 2 Glasgow derby matches with restricted away supports. And as he spoke to the Belfast Telegraph about the fixture, he called for a return to normal:
“Thankfully we won most. I think we had 13, won 10, drew 2 and lost 1 so they were quite enjoyable. They are memorable games and it is an intensity like no other. Managing Liverpool v Manchester United games and Liverpool v Everton games there’s a tension there of course and an anticipation of the result but there is nothing like a Celtic v Rangers game. It’s more than football and thankfully we came out on the right side more than not.
“They are two massive football institutions with passionate supporters. When you have clubs like Celtic and have that support base and that passion when it’s good it is right up there and when it’s not going so well that passion comes out in another way.
“Those Celtic v Rangers games were incredible at both stadiums and I really hope we get back to a point where you have 7,000 or so of the away supporters at each ground.”
Brendan Rodgers Celtic derby dominance ultimately led to Rangers decision
Rangers have tried to justify their action of cutting away-day derby tickets in the past by stating that it’s to satisfy the demands of their own support.
The truth is they just couldn’t accept being whipped all over the place by Rodgers’ Celtic. When the decision was made at the time, Rodgers was still in charge and bossing the derby fixture. We had just mauled Rangers 5-0 at Parkhead to win the league whilst also recently having secured 3 points at Ibrox with 10 men. Not to mention we battered them 4-0 in the Scottish Cup semi-finals too.
The point being that Rodgers was actually the one who ended up bringing this decision about due to his constant hammerings of our rivals. Those were certainly memorable days, and it was hardly surprising to see Rangers react in such a small-club manner.
There have been plenty of individuals calling for this fixture to return to normal. You get the sense Celtic would do it in a heartbeat too if they had the opportunity. But Rangers continue to be the problem here and that’s something that needs to be understood in any debate regarding it.
This was all instigated by Rangers and Celtic have simply had to go along with it to protect their own supporters. Forget the “be the bigger club” argument too. There’s nothing to gain from letting more of them in the Parkhead gates if we aren’t going to see that reciprocated anytime soon.
Hopefully, it does one day return to normal and we get bigger away supports back in. But until Rangers actually grow up, that won’t be happening.