It's time for Rangers to give up stupid pettiness aimed at Celtic
Mind when Rangers cut the ticket allocation for Celtic supporters at Ibrox?
It was 2018 when the furore began. Our rivals just couldn’t buy a win against a rampant Bhoys side who were steaming towards yet another title. In response to being constantly battered on the park, the Gers’ hierarchy cut what was an allocation of 7,000 to just 800 [BBC].
So then, it followed that Celtic would do the same. Why would the Club feel obligated to maintain such a sizeable allocation when our rivals were obsessed with being as small-minded as possible? Celtic could sell more tickets to Celtic fans, in that case, so why not do that?
But enough’s enough. While next season’s tickets are already sold, and in the Covid era, it’s going to be impossible to juggle things around for 21-22, the season after should restore some normality. And that should involve Celtic and Rangers being able to match each other in terms of away support.
Frankly, it just makes the matches that much better. Last year, Celtic’s SLO said that “One club” was willing to negotiate, and they didn’t play in blue. For the sake of the Derby going forward, this small-time behaviour needs to stop.
Should Celtic make first move, or is it a Rangers problem to sort?
For the sake of diplomacy and, well, not being tinpot, it stands to reason that Celtic are well-placed to make the first move here. After all, we have a bigger, better stadium. It doesn’t affect us in quite the same way.
But sorry, no. It’s not up to us. Celtic have been up for negotiating since this weird stand-off began. If Rangers made the first, odd move in this game of chess then it’s up to them to go “actually, this was daft”. We have a full year to get this sorted, and it’d be a petty and self-serving act on Rangers’ part not to fix this bizarre issue.
Even Ally McCoist wants a return to the pre-2018 agreement. It was one of the things to the credit of Rangers that this gentleman’s agreement between the clubs existed at all. When our rivals took their ball and went home, it just made them look like brats.
One Club is willing and one isn’t
— Celtic FC SLO (@CelticFCSLO) March 5, 2020
This can at least be sorted by 22-23, if not sooner
While all this seems like big talk after a season where the Bhoys couldn’t land a blow on Gerrard’s side, 20-21 was an utter anomaly. An aberration of a season. Against the run of play, Clive. When supporters are back in and our club isn’t tearing itself apart, these are going to be closer matches. But it’s still worth remembering that Celtic had their away allocation cut when we were regularly beating our rivals across multiple competitions.
But this Cold War doesn’t really help anyone. Both clubs can actually stand to make more from returning to the status quo. And as a spectacle, it makes for a better watch. For fans of either side, it’s so much more satisfying to beat your rivals when there’s plenty of them watching along with you.
You’d expect Celtic, for various reasons, to be reasonable here. The “no-one likes us, we don’t care” crowd very much care.
If there’s a solution to this – and there so obviously is – it’s worth sorting out.