Today debate rages across Celtic cyberspace about those lousy 700 tickets we are to be “handed” by Ibrox as if it were an act of charity and not something they are mandated to do by the SPFL regulations.
John Hartson has weighed in to suggest that we demand 10,000 or tell them what to do with their tickets, and a lot of our sites appear to agree.
Talking to friends of mine, some of them feel exactly the same way.
Believe me when I say that I understand that impulse. When I read the coverage of this – and their club didn’t even have the basic decency to announce this, they leaked it to their goonish “official media partners”- I was absolutely furious, especially as it was coached as if they were doing us a favour or taking some sort of moral position on it.
Yet I balk at the idea of us telling them where to shove their tickets.
I balk at the idea of us turning them down or making a demand for more which we all know full well is going to fall on deaf ears.
There are two reasons why I feel this way.
First, our fans are entitled to go to Ibrox and support their team.
And 700 tickets is better than none at all.
It’s easy for those who don’t go to away games to demand that we turn these down, but for those who would follow Celtic to the moon and back it’s a harder thing to swallow. The allocation is paltry, and insulting, but we can’t deny those guys their chance to do it … and we can’t deny the team the opportunity to have our fans in the ground.
The second reason is that Ibrox will not respond in kind.
They will take our 700 tickets and they will give them to the worst of their support, and we will have to put up with their bile for 90 minutes even as our own supporters are deprived.
We aren’t going to move the needle here.
Just look at the state their club is getting into pandering to the crazies over Australia; does anyone really believe they are going to wander into the next big fight with their fans to grant us more tickets for their stadium?
As usual with this lot, they’ve taken a lamentable decision for short-term gain without thinking for one minute about the long-term impact of it. They did this to appease the howling of their fans who couldn’t stand the sight of us celebrating in their stadium after we’d stuffed them.
That’s why we’re here right now, because pitiful losers grumped and moaned and bitched about having to suffer a bit of ridicule and humiliation … their board never thought past doing it for a year to shut them up. They are now trapped in a ludicrous situation.
I see no way of reversing them on this, and so our threat to send the tickets back would do not one bit of good.
We can’t deny them an allocation any more than they could deny us one now that there are no more requirements for red zones … they will snap up anything we offer them and the whole point of cutting their allocation in the first place was reciprocity.
All we’d be doing sending those tickets back would be handing them a victory.
The best thing we can do here is simply continue reflecting their behaviour with our own.
They’ve offered us a ridiculously small allocation … we should respond in kind, and make it clear that this is the way it’s going to be, and that they are the ones responsible for that.
It is shit for our away fans, and I get why the support as a whole is furious at their presumption and arrogance and the way the media is spinning this … but let’s not play into their hands, folks.