One of the worst kept secrets in Scottish football was apparently made official to a meeting between Celtic fans and the club recently, when stand-in CEO (soon to be permanent would be my bet) Michael Nicholson told the assembly that Ibrox fans would not be allowed into Celtic Park on 2 January as the standoff between the clubs carries on.
There was little doubt in my mind that this would be the case.
The club was allowed enough leeway on the matter to make it as good as certain.
To have done anything else would have been a major PR disaster.
The Ibrox club’s fans will get parity with ours, and that seems to the be the end word on it.
Whatever they decide to do to us will be done to them.
We will eat a bit of dirt from the media because of this stance. It should be neither here nor there for anyone at Celtic Park. Some will even frame it as a suggestion that we should reach for “the moral high ground” as if you got some special award for that.
But we won’t. We will get walked all over. That’s the reality of it. Anyone who has shown Ibrox the least bit of weakness in the past few years has been stomped on and that’s not an attitude that we can afford to take.
If the SPFL regulations had mandated it, we’d have had to give them tickets like every other club.
But they left enough of a gap in the rules that I never believed that we would fail to use it to deny them in the same way they have denied us.
Our board is not moralising on this. Our board is small minded and petty.
On this issue that’s exactly all they need to be and all I would want them to be.
They have decided to give the Ibrox club not one thing more than we get and that might seem ridiculous to some but I understand this time why we’re behaving that way. It’s the only rational response.
And I am delighted that Celtic has confirmed to fans that it’s exactly how we intend to handle this.