Celtic great Martin O'Neill calls for an end to Glasgow Derby ticket allocation nonsense

By David Walton

July 14, 2021

Celtic icon Martin O’Neill has called for an end to the nonsensical Glasgow derby ticket allocation nonsense that still surrounds the fixture.

Since the 2018/19 season when Steven Gerrard first arrived at Ibrox, the Glasgow derbies have saw away fans’ allocation being slashed by a monumental amount.

This came due to Rangers’ pettiness after consistently losing to Celtic at Ibrox in season beforehand. The Ibrox club slashed Celtic’s allocation in Govan from 7,000 to less than 900. They cited an increased interest in season books as the reason [Scottish Sun].

Celtic had no option but to retaliate, and they did. The Hoops took down Rangers’ Parkhead allocation to 800 [The Telegraph], and the game has become much less of a spectacle since.

And O’Neill believes it’s time the issue gets sorted to make the fixture what it once was. As quoted by the Herald, the ex Celtic boss said: “The Celtic fans are coming back and you know what the Celtic fans can do. They can be behind you and give you something you feel you didn’t have and, like every set of fans, they can be a bit volatile.

“It would be great if both sets of fans in their respective numbers were allowed back into the opposition stadia because there is nothing like it.

“There is nothing like 6,000 or 7,000 Rangers fans behind that goal adding to the atmosphere and the same with Celtic behind the goal at Ibrox. That would be lovely.”

Martin O’Neill bang on, but Celtic have always been open to Glasgow Derby changes

O’Neill is spot on, but let’s not let it turn into a narrative of both sides being as bad as the other here. I’ve consistently said it, but this is a Rangers issue that’s down to them to sort out.

Celtic have consistently made themselves available for discussions surrounding the Glasgow Derby ticket allocation. If it was down to the Hoops, things would be back to normal with both sets of fans getting 7,000 or 8,000 seats at away grounds [The Herald].

Unfortunately, Rangers forced Celtic into this. There was simply no way the club could sit back and allow our allocation for Ibrox to be slashed and do nothing about it. Ensuring that the same was done to Rangers fans at Parkhead was the only option.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

It’s easy to turn around and say that Celtic should be the bigger club. But we have been. We’re clearly ready to talk it out. Celtic can’t force Rangers into talks. It’s down to them to stop being immature and get round the table.

We’re talking about one of the most famous if not the most famous derby in the world. Yet you have one club throwing the huff over losing too many games at home. All this because they simply couldn’t take Celtic celebrating on their own turf.

You would hope their pettiness would lessen considering the fact these games have become more even in recent years. But hey ho, it’s Rangers we’re talking about. Don’t expect some common decency to happen anytime soon.

In other news: CHRIS Sutton throws weight behind Celtic plan to increase Parkhead attendance