Spiralling costs for Celtic supporters laid bare; club must help lead the way

By Dave Flanigan

August 4, 2022

Celtic’s away following is one of the many things that defines the club.

For years, the travelling support have packed out stands across Europe, and regularly there is barely an away ticket to be had when Celtic are in town across the length of Scotland.

Despite consistently anti-social kick-off times for broadcasting and poor public transport options, Celtic’s away support follows the club unerringly, with early rises and late returns abound after multiple trips a season to Aberdeen, the Dundee clubs and Ross County.

Yesterday, Twitter user @BMRVCSC laid out the cost of following Celtic over the last year, with their personal tally coming to a staggering £620, purely for domestic away and Hampden Park games, with a further three fixtures played without away fans.

This figure also doesn’t include the cost of a season ticket, bringing the total for the many supporters in a similar position to well over £1200 a season.

Since Rangers’ promotion from the Championship in 2016, games between the Glasgow giants have increased to £50+ for away supporters, often with incredibly strict entry times – this is a ludicrous price for a single game of football.

Even outwith an unprecedented cost of living crisis, Celtic should be leading the way to make football more affordable generally, but particularly for their travelling fans.

This isn’t just an issue for supporters of our club either. It’s relevant to Scottish football fans across the country.

A recent campaign mirroring the Premier League’s Twenty’s Plenty drive for Scottish football has been launched – with English’s top division agreeing a £30 cap on away tickets before season 16-17, which has just been renewed for the next three seasons on the eve of the new campaign.

Club engagement and discussions on an initiative like this would be a good place to start, not least when supporters have called for fairer pricing for years, with banners displayed at Celtic Park and other grounds across Scotland.

Prior to the commencement of the new season, Partick Thistle announced a partnership with First Bus, entitling season ticket holders to free travel on home matchdays, with Aberdeen offering a similar incentive for supporters.

Whilst Celtic’s massive following will put more strain on services, public transport often remains infrequent and massively over-priced already, and with the rocketing cost of fuel, supporters are often left with little option than to cough up or miss out in an age when Sky Sports aren’t even taking up their full allocation of live broadcasts.

Whilst some fans will undoubtedly be priced out and be forced to give up places on CSC buses – demand is such that prices will remain high unless collection action from clubs is taken.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

For Celtic to start the discussion about more affordable prices would be a show of faith to supporters after the backing the financial backing the club received during the 2020-21 season when the entire campaign was played behind closed doors, with season ticket holders given a £50 voucher as recompense.

With a rare afternoon trip to Dingwall in store for the Hoops on Saturday, here’s hoping that affordable pricing for the travelling faithful is a discussion that starts sooner rather than later.

In other news: Celtic midfielder backed to attract World Cup attention.