Today's SPFL news will give hope to Celtic supporters missing away days

By Euan Davidson

July 23, 2021

Celtic supporters will be watching the SPFL intently, as Ross County brought away days back to the Premiership.

For Malky McKay’s side’s league opener, visiting St Johnstone fans will be allowed to travel to the Highlands from Perth. With all of Scotland now in Level 0 of Covid restrictions, questions will be asked.

An announcement on St Johnstone’s website read:

“We are delighted to announce that Ross County will be opening up an away allocation for our game on Saturday, 31st July.

“Tickets are available on a first-come basis, and fans can purchase tickets by calling 01349 860860, with any remaining tickets being sold on the day (subject to availability).”

Not only are the club getting an as-yet unconfirmed number of tickets, but their supporters’ bus is back in action.

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What does this mean for Celtic? Presumably, it depends on the attitudes of each club. Heart of Midlothian are determined to “satisfy season-ticket holders” before entertaining away fans.

If Hearts play hard-ball, that’s their wont. Celtic have two home games after that, against Dundee and St Mirren [Celtic FC]. The next away game after that is at Ibrox. So, don’t expect much.

Realistically, the focus will be on Livingston on the 18th September. By then, it might be feasible for Celtic fans to enjoy their first away day in a year and a half. Albeit, in reduced numbers.

Are away days back on the menu? Celtic fans will be watching SPFL with interest

Of course, there’s potential for this to be a mess.

Covid-19 wise, we are far from out of the woods. In Scotland, the infection rate is still an alarming 1 in 80 [Scotsman] at the time of writing. So, there’s that to think about.

What could be a headache, though, is the arguing and counter-claims involved. We’ve already seen plenty of whinging about allocations from our rivals this week. How many fans, for example, will Celtic be allowed to have inside the stadium, given the size of Celtic Park?

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

And how would that compare mathematically to the likes of the Tony Macaroni Arena, Easter Road or Pittodrie, for example? Different stadia will have different obstacles, capacities and safety measures. There’s no exact science to the numbers of fans allowed into matches, as far as anyone can see.

Still, this is something to cling to. If St Johnstone fans are allowed to travel up to the Dingwall, then it sets a precedent for the rest of the SPFL. Of course, there are going to be difficult conversations and pointed fingers along the way.

Still, rather that than the bleak nothingness that was last season. In the SPFL, away days are back, in a very real sense.

In other news: What did Brendan Rodgers say about Ronny Deila?