Paradise for a Pound, as Celtic announce Europa League Play-off Plans

By Euan Davidson

August 13, 2021

Celtic will play AZ Alkmaar in the next round of the Europa League qualifiers, but there’ll be something different this time around.

For one thing, the first leg will be on a Wednesday. That’ll be a little boost before our meeting with St Mirren the following Saturday.

Furthermore, Celtic have announced a price plan, which includes £1 entry for under-13 Season Ticket holders.

The club announced [Celtic FC]:

“…this £1 ticket offer for our youngest Season Ticket holders offers fantastic value for our Celtic supporting families looking to back the Bhoys under the Paradise lights as the European campaign continues.

“It was fantastic to see so many Celtic-supporting families and supporters of all ages coming together last night, creating such a positive atmosphere which played no small part in the Bhoys’ fantastic performance on the park!

Celtic 3-0 FK Jablonec | The glory of being back at a packed Paradise

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Celtic 3-0 FK Jablonec | The glory of being back at a packed Paradise
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“With capacity crowds permitted going forward, and with more fans able to use their own seats including the main stand, there’s a lot to look forward to at Celtic Park in the weeks and months ahead and we can’t wait to share the joy of a packed Paradise with you all.”

After a raucous Celtic Park saw the Bhoys take care of Jablonec in last night’s Europa League action, AZ Alkmaar represent a different test altogether.

We do, however, have the advantage of playing on a Wednesday night. That can only bode well, in terms of rest and recovery, for a potentially tricky home game against St Mirren.

AZ Alkmaar, meanwhile, kick off their league campaign tomorrow against RKC Waalwijk. They could be a little rustier than ourselves, but they have had some impressive results in pre-season. Wins against Panathanaikos, Real Sociedad and Torino will have boosted confidence.

Celtic ready for sterner Europa League test

There’s certainly an argument that season ticket holders ought to get into these matches without paying extra. Unfortunately, it’s back to normal with European ties, in terms of renumeration.

So, given those circumstances, £1 entry for season ticket holders under 13 is hardly a bad deal. Looking out across Celtic Park last night, you could see plenty of families taking in the atmosphere, and getting to take part in the pre-match rituals that seemed so alien for 17 months.

Photo by Patrick Goosen/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Yes, AZ Alkmaar will provide some stern competition. Without disrespecting Jablonec, the Eredivisie side represent a pretty steep step up in terms of competition.

Granted, they’ve lost huge players over the summer, with Myron Boadu and Calvin Stengs leaving for Monaco and Nice respectively [Transfermarkt].

Still, though, they’re far from mugs. And you know Ange Postecoglou and the Celtic players will be relying on the famous Paradise atmosphere to give them backing in the season’s biggest test yet.

Read more: Jablonec man joins long list of players overwhelmed by Paradise atmosphere