As Another Club Cuts Celtic’s Tickets, The Wait For An SPFL Minimum Guarantee Goes On.

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Today Hearts issued an update on the number of tickets Celtic will get for the upcoming game at their ground; less than 600.

We used to get 3000.

Those days are over until there is some sort of concerted action from the governing body to guarantee a minimum allocation for away fans. It is overdue, and the issue should be forced if it comes to that.

It might come to that. Celtic’s determination to see this Ibrox situation through to its natural conclusion is unwavering. The SPFL are going to need to step in at some point, and that might be the point where the minimum guarantee is finally written in stone.

I cannot believe that it does not exist already, but that’s the Scottish game for you.

From 3000 tickets to under 600. That’s some drop, and it’s all well and good saying that Hearts can fill the stadium so it doesn’t matter. Their reasons are even more specious than those at Ibrox; they give Hibs fans a full stand for God’s sake, so all the justifications based on their “7000 waiting list” are a bunch of baloney.

This has nothing to do with that. They want to retain the marketing aspects of the Edinburgh derby, but for the games against us (and against Ibrox) they simply want a narrow sliver of advantage, that’s it, its really down to that. Not that it has done them much good, because we still routinely go there and win and the Ibrox club does as well.

Still, this craziness has spread out across the game like a cancer, and our governing body, which plainly has no interest in actually governing, has allowed it.

Talk about sleeping at the wheel. The away fan experience in Scottish football has been greatly reduced and the standing of the league has been affected.

The main sponsor just walked out three years into a five-year deal; that’s mostly down to the club across the city, sure, but it’s also down to matches on TV being played in front of half empty grounds whilst thousands of fans can’t attend.

As frustrating as it is for fans, it’s also immensely dangerous to the sport. What if we do eradicate the away fan experience here in Scotland, forever? It used to be custom and routine to go to away matches; what if in the future that dies completely? How long before clubs are suffering for it? Nobody seems to care. A minimum guarantee protects everyone.

During the whole controversy over the Tory government’s travel rules, which would have given supporters bus operators and supporters clubs themselves a host of nightmares, there was talk about the impact this would have on towns which away fans visit and how a lot of smaller businesses would go out of business as a result; the SPFL is presiding over a policy which is going to do much the same damage, and nobody wants to acknowledge it.

Fans all across Scotland came together to oppose the Tory measures, some of them apparently not noticing that their own clubs and others are already killing the away day experience in a way no legislation ever could.

That is more than just short-sighted, it is myopic.

And it only happens because we have a spineless football legislature which allows this sort of thing. It prefers to have certain regulations which offer no protection to the fan at all.

This has to change, and I hope Celtic do go through with their ban of Ibrox fans to Parkhead and drag the SPFL and the SFA where they all too obviously don’t want to go.

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  • John S says:

    The current trajectory will result in a total absence of Away fans.

  • Johnno says:

    Until the ticket fiasco of the Glasgow Derby gets resolved, if ever, then the rest of Scottish football can basically do as they want.
    The other issue remains with the TV deal in place allowing for PPV matches.
    In turn it didn’t mean that having a big away allocation from Glasgow was so essential to them financially.
    Lots of issues to be resolved upon the issues, and also believe our case along with the scums and the songbooks chosen at away venue’s also has a factor within it.
    Always wondered how many complaints season ticket holders from other clubs actually make about the songbooks of the supporters from Glasgow, especially when they don’t hold relevance to football as such?

  • John L says:

    They don’t want to go down that road because , ,they are shit scared of the team across the city , just look at what they have been allowed to do, spineless is as polite as we can be, if it was hearts or Hibs that started this crap, it would have been nipped in the bud .

  • John L says:

    God Bless Cathy Ferguson as she was one of us.

  • Davie says:

    Celtic fans should tell these clubs, thank you but we don’t want your tickets.
    The clubs won’t fill their grounds by themselves, so see how the loss of revenue affects them.
    Hearts wanting additional tickets for the semi final v Rangers don’t deserve any, they have about 1/8th of Rangers weekly support, so why do they deserve tickets for the semi final when they can’t go to league matches.
    Might be best for all teams to have home support only, I base that on nothing else but possible crowd trouble.

  • Joe McLaughlin says:

    The real problem is that the fans that go week in and week out will be at a loose end every other week and might find other things to do. Eventually “these other things” might take over and some of these supporters will be lost from the game.
    Does England have a minimum guarantee for away fans?

  • David Kenyon says:

    When you see the big away supports on TV down South, Scottish football just looks more pathetic than ever, with the away ends of grounds containing so few fans, sad.

  • David hill says:

    The S F A have no backbone and are not bothered aslong as the are getting the big pay packets there’s been problems in the S F A for years and there still runing our leagues could esly bring in a more serious on clubs cuting of away fans till some one grows a back bone the league sponsors are going to be hard to get its league 23/24 time to contact clubs and tell them to reinstate away fans fairer mach day experience its staring to get out of hand and its going to damage scottish football. NOW ITS TIME THE S F A GET OF THERE BACK SIDE AND DO THERE DAMN JOB OR RESIHN AND GET MEMBERS TO FORM A NEW SFA GOVERNING BODY TO KICK START THE SPL and get in the right funs ror scottish football association

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Celtic should play them at their own game… 600 for us then 60 for them –

    Nah – In fact none for them at all just like Sevco…

    That way there will be NO Labour, NO Tory, NO Lib-Dem, NO BNP, NO DUP NO UUP and NO TUV loving Butcher’s Apron polluting our beautiful Paradise !

  • Peterbrady says:

    If the buddies and soup taker Robinson do not take sevco to the cleaners it just shows how corrupt it is and anyone giving hard earned deserve everything you get either it s sports or it is fake false corrupt nonsense.

  • Ciaran Finn says:

    Hertz must be in the money if they can afford to drop 2000 odd ticket sales

  • Tony Douglas says:

    As a Celtic supporter who lives in England I go to see Norwich City. They have a ground that holds just under 27000 but has an away allocation of 2500. 10% for away supporters in Scotland must be a starting point.

  • JimBhoy says:

    I work for a very large company. Making record net new business and backlog in Billions. We are tightening our belt, why? Market uncertainty, cost of borrowing (mostly short term) and inflation.

    So bring in big $’s but your profit suffers, has a huge knock on for those companies on exchanges.

    If you cut down your cash flow options too then it is not a good medium to long term strategy.

    As far as I have seen this season those who have limited Celtic and Rangers have not had home fans fill the gaps, far from it.

    Other than cutting out much needed revenue it provides the telly games a negative atmosphere, not a good TV spectacle.

    What’s the driver (Ibrox apart) for this change, fan pressure? This season there are not many teams who can hit 12-14k fans at their grounds outwith Celtic and Rangers.

    It’s embarrassing, the dichotomy has no balance or merit. The end point will inevitably be less revenue for many clubs and less investment in talent. Scottish players suffer.

    More journeymen from the lower English leagues, Steppingstone United in the SPFL.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      Good points JimBhoy…(However The club you describe as Rangers are deceased) – (d. 14/6/2012) !

  • Thewildgoose says:

    If I was a fan of any of the other clubs in Scotland I think I’d be right behind slashing the allocation of Celtic and them. They’re already up against it regarding playing squad, budget etc. Why would they want to hand us yet another advantage ? Especially teams that can fill their stadium ( granted there aren’t many)

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