Glasgow City Council explain crowd decisions after rivals have Celtic meltdown

By John McGinley

July 22, 2021

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson has sensibly explained why Celtic will have a bigger crowd than Rangers on Saturday.

The Bhoys have been granted a crowd of 18,500 for the friendly against West Ham United.

Rangers meanwhile have to cope with 8,500 in the door for a match against Brighton later in the day.

At first glance, it doesn’t appear to make sense. Indeed, The Daily Record report that Rangers are furious and that their board are up in arms demanding explanations why they don’t have parity with the Bhoys.

However, it all comes down to the fixtures Celtic have already hosted at Celtic Park and the incremental increases planned over the next few weeks.

Celtic’s exciting right-back links are cause for real optimism

A council spokesperson told the paper: “We really want to see events, including matches, back as close to normal as the regulations allow. It’s good for the economy and frankly it’s just good for people to be able to do the things they love doing.

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“But in doing it safely, we’re stepping up how many people can be in stadiums match by match, starting at 50% of safe capacity, then 75%, then 100%. We think this gives the right balance and allows Glasgow’s clubs to start moving towards normality.”

There’s no grand conspiracy here. Celtic have already had matches with 2,000 and 8,000 attendances. The local safety advisory group know things are progressing well at Paradise and have now sanctioned 18,500 against West Ham United.

Rangers had the 2,000 in place against Arsenal, they’ll have 8,500 for Brighton and the next day against Real Madrid they’ll get 12,750. For the season opener against Livingston they could have 17,000 in place. It follows the same kind of pattern, per their smaller capacity.

Photo by Mark Runnacles – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

It’s not like the Ibrox club to jump in two-footed with anger at all of course. Perhaps if they hadn’t, or weren’t playing to the gallery, they’d have seen the big picture here.

Ultimately thousands more are being added to attendances with each match. It’s important crowds return to football games but it’s also important it’s down both safely and with full confidence.

Both clubs will have full houses before long. And Celtic will still be pulling in the biggest crowds in Scotland.

In other news, Celtic prefer George Baldock to Sacha Boey in right-back transfer hunt.