"Entirely possible"; A-League chief's prediction for Aussie Celtic friendlies

By Euan Davidson

March 4, 2022

A-League chief Danny Townsend thinks Celtic v Rangers game in Australia will be a sell-out come November time.

It’s a story that’s dominated headlines all week, with rumours, claims and counter-claims coming out in the days since it was announced.

This claim, though, is a pretty clear indicator of why New South Wales legislators were so keen on making this happen. Townsend, who’s joined the A-League after years working as CEO of Sydney FC, reckons that the 83,500 capacity will be filled when Celtic and Rangers come to town.

Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images

Townsend said [Daily Mail]: “A sell-out is entirely possible.

“And that’s a testament to how popular those two teams are and, equally, how many Scottish people are here in Australia starved of seeing two teams they love. Each of them in their own right is exciting.

“There is the Ange factor, for sure. He is a popular figure down here and someone our country is really proud of. He went from the A-League to the J-League and now has a role at such an influential world club like Celtic. Having him back here and playing against the big rivals will sell really well.

“But Rangers have a huge following as well, by sheer virtue of the fact that Australia is built on waves of migrant population for the last 200 years. For every Scotsman I know in Sydney, one Celtic man is matched by one Rangers and that’s the beauty of that rivalry.

“So, yes, it’s a huge stadium. But I think it’s highly likely that it will be a sell-out.”

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The appeal of Celtic in Australia is obvious; but that doesn’t mean every Hoops fans is into the idea

As we know, a lot of Celtic supporters aren’t keen on the Australia jaunt. Theoretically, it sounds alright; without competitive club football going on, an Ange Homecoming in most circumstances would be acceptable. It’s the invitation of that lot from Govan that’s angering fans.

From an A-League and NSW perspective though, it’s pretty obvious that this would at least sell fantastically well. It’d be the first time the Glasgow Derby is played outside of Scotland. Given the demographics in Australia, and the huge support for Celtic in Australia, it sells itself.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

A sell-out would be impressive, on its face. Any doubts about the appeal of Celtic abroad would surely be quashed, if the Accor Stadium can sell out its 83,500 capacity. It’d be an impressive feat, and testament to the reach of both Celtic and Ange Postecoglou.

Danny Townsend is confident, certainly. Celtic, for their own part, will surely see a sizeable bit of income for playing in Australia.

That doesn’t make the decision any less controversial, however. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation unfolds in the coming months.

Read more: SPFL boss doubles down on his lavish praise for Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou