St Mirren confirm no away fans in attendance for Celtic Park trip on Saturday
St Mirren have confirmed that their supporters won’t be able to visit Celtic Park this weekend.
Celtic have informed the Paisley club that their fans will need to be locked out. This is due to the main stand at Parkhead continuing to be a “Red Zone”. This means no spectators can sit in that specific area, leaving Celtic having to shift fans to sections of the stadium normally allocated for away supporters.
The same move was made for Hearts supporters for yesterday’s 3-2 League Cup win at Parkhead. Tynecastle fans were left fuming with the decision from the Hoops.
However, red zone areas leave the club with minimal choice. Celtic need to have an area of the ground to provide separation from the staff and supporters. It’s something all clubs in the Premiership have to comply with.
It remains to be seen how long away fans will be shut out of Parkhead for.
Celtic can’t be blamed for locking out St Mirren fans; there’s no other option
It’s easy to say that Celtic should use another section of their ground as a red zone. But it wouldn’t matter, fans would still need relocated into other areas of the ground.
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Some will point to Rangers allowing Dunfermline fans into Ibrox on Friday as a show of good faith. The same goes for Motherwell letting Hibs fans to attend their opening Premiership clash of the season. But neither of these games were left sold out.
At the moment, Celtic are selling out their fixtures. This leaves them with no other option than to give fans some tickets in the away section of the ground.
It surely doesn’t need explaining to opposition fans that Celtic should be looking after their own fans first and foremost. Imagine the uproar if the club allowed opposition fans into the ground over our own. CEO Dom McKay would be getting criticised all over the place by the Celtic faithful.
Of course we want away fans back into stadiums regularly as soon as possible. Visiting supporters complete football matches. It’s the last part of the jigsaw needing to be put into place for football to be back to normal again.
But, for now, Celtic are standing by their supporters. They hardly deserve any stick for that.