Celtic Cannot Trust The Ibrox Club On Tickets Unless The Governing Bodies Step In.

Image for Celtic Cannot Trust The Ibrox Club On Tickets Unless The Governing Bodies Step In.

My good friend Kevin McKenna, a long-time supporter of this site, wrote an excellent piece for The Celtic Way today on the Ibrox ticket standoff, which ended with an interesting piece of information; according to people he knows, their club has made an offer to Celtic in which they would start to “phase in” a return to something like a decent allocation.

It would be an obvious step forward, and I can understand why Kevin and others would be keen for our club to pursue it. It’s a victory, of sorts, because it makes it clear that we have forced their club to the table and some sort of negotiation. But it’s not enough.

Celtic has set out its demand for a return to the full allocation.

That Ibrox is suddenly willing to meet us half way is not a bad thing, but we’re still negotiating with a gun to our heads and when I see that happen my own natural instinct is for us to draw some blood before we even think about talking.

So I think for this season anyway, their fans will not set foot in Parkhead.

We’ve shown we can go to their ground and win without fans.

Whatever football advantage they were hoping to get from this has long since been exposed as a fantasy. We’re just as capable of getting results there as we were when 7000 of us filled a stand.

In fact, the atmosphere at that last game so heavily worked against them that even they must see the utter folly of what they have done. The toxicity which greeted the Roofe substitution and the full-time whistle will have given them a proper shake.

They have crafted the worst of all possible worlds.

Now their team has to come to Celtic twice in this campaign without a single supporter, and that does confer a massive disadvantage on them as we’ve seen in previous years. They literally have nothing to hold over us at this point; this has actually worked to our advantage in a football sense, and that was the last outcome they ever expected.

That’s how we inflict a blow on them. We force them to acknowledge that in the best way, by having to come to our ground and suffer for their mistakes. Once we’ve drawn blood, once we’ve shown them the consequences of their behaviour in a way that is impossible to ignore, then it’ll be time to sit down and the negotiating table and discuss this.

But not with them. Or at least, not just with them.

Because if Celtic’s threat to give them no tickets is a bluff, then the bluff isn’t just against them but against the governing body as well. There is little doubt that Celtic has tried to involve them in this debate and if that’s true then clearly, we’ve been rebuffed. Our threat is designed, in part, to drag them into it.

Remember; if they tell us we have to give Ibrox tickets then we can simply refuse to.

The ancient mantra of any body which seeks to govern the affairs of human being goes something like this; “We can’t make you do this. But we can make you wish you had.”

Except, what exactly can they threaten us with? A slap on the wrist fine which we could pay out of the petty cash box? We could just keep on paying them until the cows come home.

Eventually, there will need to be a settlement here, we know that, we are all well aware of it, but on whose terms? Increasingly, I believe it will be on ours.

We are in the right. We have the high ground. We have won at Ibrox without fans, which strips from them the only positive they got from this. Their ground has now been branded as unsafe.

If we now ban them from our ground, we hold every one of the cards for a future discussion, and that is the best time to have the discussion, when you are sure to win.

Kevin says they are ready to offer us 3500 tickets. That’s actually a pretty decent opening bid. But if we get even a 10% guarantee from the SPFL we can up that to 5000 minimum and keep on pushing. It is crucial, however, that we drag them to the table.

Then, and only then, can we put away our guns.

Then, and only then, is this is a discussion worth having, when it’s underwritten by legislative guarantees.

Because to be frank, I don’t trust the Ibrox club on anything, and to trust them on this would be madness.

Share this article


  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Great article and magnificently put over indeed !

    For once, I am lost for words to respond with – And I agree with every single bit of your journalism 100% plus !

  • Clara says:

    Too true James, the toxicity spewing from their fan base since we beat them has been something else, to then announce we get our ticket allowance increased would send them into orbit, seems strange timing?

  • Jimmy R says:

    I am with you on holding out for at least 10%. How they police 5,000 will be up to them. In the end they might have to give us the whole stand. (Separation of toilets, kiosks etc.) That cannot happen before next season at the earliest as they have already sold those seats to the orcs. The 700 seats in the corner has been deemed unsafe, and watching the scenes at the end of last Sunday’s game, will continue to be very unsafe regardless of any mitigations they can put in place. This means we have been effectively banned from Ibrox ergo we treat them with the same disdain they have meted out to us.

  • Johnno says:

    We now hold the upper hand in this whole ticket fiasco.
    Yet as much as I detest the thought of such scum within our ground, I still believe that a solution to the fiasco needs to be sought.
    The level of anger at the full time whistle has potentially forced the hand of the scum now.
    We can’t be bought into this nonsense of tit for tat shite.
    It was clear that the scum players were in bigger danger than our own at the full time whistle, with the level of toxicity that shit hole brings with it.
    The ground would have emptied far quicker if our supporters were in attendance, which is becoming the normal from the scum when we have to play them.
    Sure the scum players were left well impressed by moleman who subjected them to the well earnt reception at the end, with plenty more for them to savor yet.
    Still believe the scum will have the cheek to ask for tickets for the new year Derby, but that will depend upon just how far they are behind us in the league.
    That scum club showed the viewing world what they are all about and the shower of scum they remain, in the past and the present and the future won’t change either.
    We don’t need these shower of scum to make the Glasgow Derby, but the scum certainly need ourselves to try and keep a dead brand alive.
    So 2 ways to look upon matters from our respective, but giving supporters a decent allocation for the derby is possibly the best way to go, even if a few doubts remains in place

  • Seamus O'Broin says:

    No Surrender Celtic…. sic

  • Michael Conway says:

    No tickets for paradise in the new year glasgow derby for sevconians

  • JimBhoy says:

    As you mentioned it cannot change this season as tickets sold to home fans. If the negotiations go ahead (prolly pushed by SKY) then we need to ensure there is a good chunk allocated and not a few hundred.

    Adding Celtic fans at Ibrox may help them with the fighting with their own fans.

    The parking facilities around Ibrox are not up to scratch and unsafe imo.

  • Joe McLaughlin says:

    While I agree with your article and fully appreciate the work you do and you are one of my top goto sites I’m disappointed that you are promoting a pay to read site.

  • Tam says:

    If the SFA/SPFL are at the table for discussions on ticket allocations for the Glasgow Derby…. they must speak….I say this because after.. pundits were told that their safety couldn’t be guaranteed, glass was found on the park, weapons placed for use later,an opposing assistant scarred for life, opposing teams fans pelted with objects, opposing teams players pelted with objects……….. and we are… still…. waiting for the SFA/SPFL to comment on this…all committed by one club and it’s support “the rangers”

  • Mr Vincent McSherry says:

    Why are we banning their fans? Does that not make us as stupid as them? Really dissapointed with the attitude of our board.

  • Paul taggart says:

    Leave it as it is take nowt and give them nowt dont even speak to them about it if kyogo had scored that earlier chance over there that place would av been empty at HT how would that av looked fkn brilliant

  • Woodyiom says:

    Spot on.

    3,500 away fans initially tbf would be a sensible and reasonable starting figure as it allows for a decent atmosphere and noise in the away section but (more importantly) guarantees safety in numbers. Ultimately, I would be happy with a rule which required ALL teams in the SPL to have to allocate 10% of their capacity to away fans and ONLY IF the away DOESN’T take up their allocation can those seats be sold to home fans. I accept that would mean we get 5000 odd tickets at Ibrox whereas they would get 6000 at ours but I haven’t got a problem with that because percentage of stadium caacity is the most sensible measurable way and cannot be manipulated and means that clubs have to offer that same amount to every team who turns up at their stadium. That way Hearts for example have to offer us the same number of seats as they do to Rangers, Hibs, Aberdeen etc

    • Wee Gerry says:

      I’d go the other way and say that since every club is guaranteed 6,000 tickets for Celtic Park we should also get 6,000 for their place.

      That way all those embarrassing empty seats at every away ground would once again be filled with happy Celtic fans and the club boards themselves would be far richer.

      But since the majority would rather leave travelling Celtic fans in Glasgow than have them boost both their club and local economy I say leave them to their half empty stadia.

      Now we have the daft situation where the country with the biggest average football attendance in Europe sees our love for the game being done down by bigots who’d rather lose a lot of money than see Celtic fans cheering in their ground.

      Let them stew in their own stupidity.

      • Woodyiom says:

        “Let them stew in their own stupidity” That really solves the problem NOT!
        Currently the rules are that clubs only have to allocate “a reasonable number” of tickets to visiting fans which means they can make it up as they go along and worse they can change what they might normally offer part way through the year! What I am proposing has nothing to do with reciprocal amounts of tickets, its about ensuring that allocations are fixed throughout the season and sensibly relates to that club’s stadium capacity. We can’t expect Ross County to give us 6,000 tickets when their stadium only holds 6,500! In the EPL its a minimum of 3,000 tickets unless your stadium only holds 30,000 or less in which case its 10% of your stadium capacity. Given that we have two massive clubs, 3-4 medium sized clubs and the rest minnows we could go the other way e.g. a guaranteed minimum of say 2.5k tickets unless your stadium is greater than 25,000 in which case its 10% of your stadium. Only Celtic and Rangers will ever take more than 2.5k fans to away games anyway so its not going to affect our fans getting tickets for home games but would guarantee our away allocations don’t get cut, ensures we get a proper allocation at Ibrox and prevents the clubs from “leaving travelling Celtic fans in Glasgow” !!

  • Gareth1888 says:

    One poetic justice aspect of this which I’ve not heard anyone else say, is that because they had no Celtic fans to point their fingers at and throw all sorts of abuse towards, their frustrations were laser focused or exclusively directed onto their own teams failings for once! Some of those fans who were shouting “you, you, you and you, fluck off, you, fluck off and you fluck off” to their own players, might have been more inclined to shout abuse at 700 brave Celtic fans instead! So that was sweet for me to see! All that energy and pent up frustration backfired on themselves!

    • Wee Gerry says:

      Great point which James covered elsewhere by rightfully saying that they’re denying Celtic tickets has backfired on them spectacularly.

      Then we even got to see some hefty bear on bear as they caused havoc fighting amongst themselves.

      All those hatred’s have to find an outlet somewhere I suppose and one of the finest moments in all my years watching Celtic was that split second where the silence enveloped Ibrox, a silence so profound you could actually hear Kyogo’s peach of a ball hit the back of the Ibrox net.

      I’ve watched that goal more than a dozen times already and that moment where they realise what’s just happened is truly unique, right when I thought football couldn’t show me anything I hadn’t seen before, and I’m sure silencing all Ibrox will live as long in wee Kyogo’s memory as it will in every Celtic fans.

  • John says:

    I think if we wait, they will implode that much we may get even more as they will not be able to sell their section.

  • Stephen Ferry says:

    Never let one of them in

  • Fat mike says:

    Half the old allocation might sound fair to boardrooms and on paper, but where are they going to put us? And does it make it any safer? Doubt it

  • Malcolm Morrison says:

    Excellent line of thought!

Comments are closed.