Celtic have rejected Rangers’ offer of 700 tickets for the first Old Firm derby this season, and want to block Gers fans from attending September’s game at Celtic Park, according to The Scottish Sun.
The newspaper published a report via their website on 17 August which states that Rangers have already written to the SPFL demanding their allocation for the return match, as article i27 states they are entitled to tickets, but are yet to get a response.
The final two Old Firm matches last season had no away fans at all, after each club continually slashed each other’s allocations dating back to 2018, as the saga exploded today.
Having both sets of fans attending the biggest games of the season always makes them better. As hostile as things are, the rival fanbases singing against each other, and scenes of celebration are always an addition to a game that needs no invitation to fly off the handle.
Ultimately, it is a petty dispute between the two clubs trying to one-up each other, and it’s the fans who miss out and suffer as a result. Celtic refusing Rangers’ offer of an allocation just furthers the frustration and bickering going on.
While one-half of Glasgow are showing a willingness to resolve the matter, the other have made their position clear as they are showing no signs of letting the dispute go.
Rangers are still awaiting a response from the SPFL over their complaint, with the rule stating: “the home club must make provision for the admission of such reasonable number of vising supporters at every home league match as may be agreed in advance.”
The rules are clear and Rangers are well within their rights to complain, so it remains to be seen if the SPFL will stick to their own rules.
Rangers decision on Beale clear amid ‘Nuclear Fallout’ at Ibrox
Rangers should stick with Michael Beale despite a slightly unconvincing start to the season and the building tensions behind the scenes at Ibrox.
On pages 92 and 93 of the Scottish Daily Mail’s print edition on 13 August, journalist Gary Keown said CEO James Bisgrove turned up the heat on the Gers boss when he stated after the defeat to Killie that the board have “really backed the manager” with their investment this summer.
The Rangers chief made it clear the club want to be competing in the Champions League and Keown suggested those comments became public in the “midst of the nuclear fallout” from the “atrocious season-opening defeat at Kilmarnock”.
There is always going to be pressure when you’re managing any club, let alone one the size of the Gers, where expectations are high from the moment you walk through the door.
Beale is currently tasked with reaching the Champions League group stages and at least forging a title challenge against Celtic this season.
Having seen off Swiss side Servette FC in the third-round qualifier of European football’s most-prized competition on Tuesday (15 August), he has taken a big step towards reaching one of those targets.
The next test comes in the playoff round in the form of Dutch giants PSV, who will ensure Rangers will have to be at their best if they want to progress through into the group stage.
But as things stand, they are well set to achieve that goal and there can’t be too many grumbles regarding that, even if the performances weren’t entirely convincing against the Geneva outfit at times in the last round.
The bigger challenge may be in claiming the SPFL title back from Celtic, which was made more difficult by the defeat to Kilmarnock.
While they did bounce back with a convincing 4-0 victory over Livingston on Saturday (12 August), those slip-ups can’t afford to happen if they want to be sitting pretty at the top come May next year.
It was after that result that the “nuclear fallout” behind the scenes started to brew at Ibrox, with Bisgrove turning up the heat on Beale and laying out his expectations for the season.
The last thing the 42-year-old needed to hear on the back of that defeat was that the CEO had come out and talked about how much money he’s been given to spend during this transfer window.
It’s true that the manager has been well backed this summer, but things take time and there are so many new recruits to embed into the team as he looks to revamp his squad.
Perhaps a bit of calm is needed from those occupying positions above the Englishman to ensure things don’t unravel again at the start of the season.
It’s important to remember that before Steven Gerrard helped land the 55th league title and Giovanni van Bronckhorst took the club on a journey to the Europa League final in 2022, there had been years of failure.
Beale should expect to be under pressure, but he needs time to get everything into place as well as the full backing from those around him as he looks to plot the way towards ensuring the Gers can achieve sustained success in the years to come.