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Why are there no Rangers fans at Celtic Park for the Old Firm?

Anyone watching the second Old Firm Derby of the season today will be wondering why are there no Rangers fans at Celtic Park. For several years, the away allocations for Celtic and Rangers supporters have been cut at both Ibrox and Parkhead due to fan trouble but the two clubs have gone one step further this season by allowing no away supporters into their respective stadiums.

The derby is of huge importance whenever the two sides meet but with Celtic and Rangers so close to each other in the title race, the lack of away support could be a huge factor in the end result. Why have Celtic taken the decision and what do Rangers make of it?

Why are there no Rangers fans at Celtic Park
There are no Rangers fans at Celtic Park today – Photo by Icon sport

Why are there no Rangers fans at Celtic Park?

Celtic's decision to not allocate any away tickets for Rangers fans for the Old Firm Derby relates to an ongoing issue around fan safety at Old Firm matches. Fan incidents have marred the fixture over the years and after allocations were repeatedly cut, the two Old Firm fixtures at the end of last season were played in front of no away fans.

With respect to making the decision to roll that through to the first Old Firm Derby at Parkhead this season, Celtic released the following statement:

“Given the recent serious safety and matchday issues which our fans have experienced at fixtures at Ibrox and Celtic Park, Celtic's position on this matter has been very clear. Celtic welcomes the opportunity to seek to resolve these important issues, and it was a hearing for which the club was very well-prepared.

“We are pleased that the sub-committee recognised the importance of safety and matchday experience issues in considering the question of a reasonable allocation for both fixtures. While respecting the ongoing process, Celtic stands by its decision not to allocate any tickets for away supporters for the match on December 30.

“Celtic will continue to focus on the importance of safety and matchday experience issues as we look to address reasonable allocations at Celtic Park and Ibrox from next year, in a responsible manner.”

Celtic Park
Celtic Park will be packed with Celtic supporters on Saturday – Photo by Icon sport

“It is grossly unfair that if a club (in this case Celtic) fails to submit sufficient evidence as part of such proceedings, it effectively ties the hands of a sub-committee in being able to determine what a reasonable number of tickets should be; especially when the sub-committee agrees that the reasonable number cannot be zero.

“Conversely, if a club (in this case Rangers) complies fully and provides all necessary information in good faith, it can still be penalised. Rangers' position has always been clear. We want away fans from all clubs at our stadium and wish for that to be reciprocated when we travel to other clubs' grounds.”

Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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