Celtic away days could return with September trip to Livingston

By Euan Davidson

August 26, 2021

Celtic away days could be back on the cards for fans, with Livingston applying for increased attendance at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Livingston currently have a 5,000 capacity limit on supporters. But with Celtic arriving on the 18th of September, Livi chiefs have applied to increase crowd numbers.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, clubs are allowed to welcome home a percentage of home supporters. Some exceptions being made for travelling fans in the league. As of yet, Celtic fans haven’t been able to attend an away game this season.

While they could be looking to increase the number of Livingston fans at the game, it’s likely a cash boost from Celtic supporters would be welcomed. The West Lothian side haven’t topped an average of over 5,000 supporters since the 04-05 season [Transfermarkt].

Livi’s average attendances dictate that they’re probably wanting to open the door to Bhoys fans. To say that Celtic supporters have craved an away for a year plus is underselling it quite a bit.

The Tony Macaroni has been a relatively unhappy hunting ground for Celtic in recent seasons. Disappointing draws and defeats [BBC] have made Livingston a difficult away trip. More so without supporters there to cheer the Hoops on.

The Odsonne Edouard gamble Celtic look set to take

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The Odsonne Edouard gamble Celtic look set to take
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A West Lothian council spokesperson sounded optimistic about Livi’s chances. They said [West Lothian Courier/Daily Record]:

“Local authorities will receive applications from event organisers to exceed the capacity limits set out in Scottish Government guidance.

“Each application will be considered on its own merits in terms of the public health controls, risk assessments and other mitigations which are required at this time.

“We have an application from Livingston Football Club, which is under consideration and will be determined in due course. It is not appropriate to discuss any aspects of this with anyone other than the applicant at this stage.”

Could Celtic away day to Livingston be on the cards?

So, it seems like the plans are in place, and logic suggests that the Livi attendance numbers mean they’re looking to bolster their coffers with Celtic cash.

But will it be possible? Scotland’s Covid-19 case numbers have been skyrocketing in recent weeks. Yesterday, Scotland reported more than 5,000 new cases, the highest since the pandemic began [BBC].

Therefore, it’s increasingly hard to imagine there’ll be huge support for crowds of people congregating in buses. Being allowed into football matches at all, at this point, was probably beyond our expectations even a couple of months ago.

If there’s a safe way of getting it done, with fans being tested in the run-up to travelling across the M8, then it’s worth doing. But you’d imagine it’d be through the club exclusively, with supporters’ buses being chosen. A free-for-all, with fans travelling by train or car seems altogether more unlikely.

At the time of writing, we just don’t know. But it feels like Livingston aren’t keen to let an opportunity to earn more money from a tie against Celtic slip. Why would they, after all?

We’ll be following this one carefully. With any luck, and a reduction in case numbers, Celtic fans could be gearing up for their first away day in 21-22 before too long.

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