Celtic hit back at Rangers and call for summit over derby ticket allocations

Celtic will offer only 800 tickets to visiting Rangers fans it tit-for-tat deal

Rangers supporters attending the Old Firm game against Celtic at Celtic Park  on April 29th, 2018. Photograph:  Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers supporters attending the Old Firm game against Celtic at Celtic Park on April 29th, 2018. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

 

Celtic have called for talks between themselves, Rangers and Scottish league officials over the ticket row which is set to transform the atmosphere at their derby fixtures.

The Scottish champions had quickly vowed to reciprocate when Rangers recently declared a sudden end to the mutual arrangement which saw more than 7,000 away fans attend games at both Ibrox and Parkhead.

Celtic have now confirmed they will follow suit on Rangers’ plans to offer about 800 tickets to their Glasgow rivals but have called for dialogue on the matter involving the Scottish Professional Football League.

A club statement read: “Celtic Football Club has confirmed that it will issue approximately 800 tickets to visiting supporters for the fixture against Rangers at Celtic Park on September 2nd. This mirrors the decision announced recently by Rangers.

“This is not a development we welcome and it is unfortunate that the initial decision came without any form of discussion. The previous arrangements worked well for both sets of supporters as well as contributing to the status of the fixture as a sporting occasion.

“Following the unilateral action by Rangers, we cannot allow our own supporters to be doubly penalised, by having access to the away fixture reduced so dramatically, while not being offered the opportunity to maximise our own support at Celtic Park.

“The rules of the SPFL call for ‘reasonable’ provision to be made for visiting supporters, without being specific on numbers. Within that context, we would welcome further discussions involving the two clubs and the SPFL.

“Celtic’s decision relates, at this stage, to the match on September 2, 2018.

“Meanwhile, Celtic will closely monitor the implications for crowd management and other factors surrounding these fixtures. We will at all times be guided by the interests of our own supporters and the reputation of Scottish football.”

Meanwhile, Jozo Simunovic has been ruled out of Celtic’s second leg against Rosenborg after being handed an extra one-match suspension.

The centre back served an automatic ban in the 3-1 first-leg victory in the Champions League second qualifying round after being sent off against Alashkert in the previous round.

But Uefa’s control, ethics and disciplinary body (CEDB) has decided his high challenge warranted further punishment.

A Uefa statement read: “The CEDB has decided to suspend the Celtic player Simunovic Jozo for two Uefa competition matches. The player has already served one match and will therefore be suspended for the next match for which he would be otherwise eligible.”

Celtic had a young central defence of Jack Hendry and Kristoffer Ajer against the Norwegians at Parkhead.

Dedryck Boyata was still not back after Belgium’s World Cup campaign and Marvin Compper is still struggling for fitness.

Versatile defender Mikael Lustig could come into contention to face Rosenborg, his former club, next Wednesday following his World Cup exploits with Sweden.

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