"We've argued our case"; SPFL club boss comes out swinging over Celtic ticket controversy
Hibernian manager Jack Ross is disappointed with the outcome of talks with the SPFL and Celtic over League Cup Final ticket allocations.
Hibs were allocated 17,500 tickets for the Premier Sports Cup Final against Celtic on December 19th [Scotsman]. It’s hardly parity, given that Celtic have been allowed a far greater allocation.
Celtic have been given the traditional east section of Hampden. There’ll be sections of the north and south stands for Hoops supporters, too.
Clearly, that’s hacked off Ross and Hibs, who feel they should have greater presence at December’s showpiece event.
Ross said [Sky Sports]:
“I think first of all, naturally we want as many of our supporters as possible in the stadium. Recent history and beyond shows that we would sell that allocation easily, in terms of the numbers that have attended.
“Even in terms of the semi-final aspect of it, I think historically the Semi-Finals of the League Cup in Scotland have not always attracted big attendances. Even when the biggest clubs have been involved in them. So I’m not sure if it’s a good barometer to use as to how you set final allocation.
“We’ve argued our case and it’s fallen upon deaf ears. So it’s about us then using it as motivation again.
“We’re still going to have the best part of 20,000 Hibs supporters in the stadium. If we produce a performance like we did on Sunday, then they’ll make more than enough noise to compensate.”
Hibs will still have 17,500 fans v Celtic but you can understand their disappointment
On the one hand, it’s going to be easier for more Celtic fans to get to League Cup Final. From an incredibly, incredibly biased perspective, of course we’re happy with that.
If Saturday night reminded people of anything, it’s that Celtic supporters can bring the atmosphere to Hampden. There’ll be absolutely no problem selling out the allocation, and as such, the SPFL have every right to look out for their coffers here.
However, Hibs are a big club, with a significant level of support. It reduces the spectacle to a degree when both clubs don’t have parity in terms of numbers.
Would Hibernian have sold out a bigger allocation? It’s hard to argue they wouldn’t have. Cup Finals are a massive deal; plenty thousands of their supporters would’ve been keen to go. Plenty still will, but it doesn’t seem entirely fair.
You can see it already, can’t you? Provided Celtic win, the complaints will be out in force. That the Bhoys had an advantage, that more Celtic fans were there, and it was unfair.
We want to win trophies without any of these kinds of advantages. Yes, speaking from a selfish point of view it means that more of us will get to the final. It’ll be a fun day, all of that.
But for me, at least, Jack Ross has a very good point here.