Celtic captain calls for full away allocation to return to derby match

Old Firms games have been played with either a reduced away allocation or no visiting support at all since 2018.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor calls for full away allocation to return to Old Firm games with Rangers SNS Group

Callum McGregor has called for Celtic and Rangers to return to full away allocations for Old Firm games.

The Hoops captain believes having no visiting support at the derby games takes away from the occasion and hopes it can one day return to around 7,500.

Glasgow’s big two meet this weekend in the latest instalment of the fixture at Celtic Park as the Premiership nears the top six split.

The pair will meet again at Hampden in the Scottish Cup semi-final before the sixth and final clash at Ibrox after the split.

The two remaining games will be played with no away fans after both clubs raised security concerns, but McGregor is hopeful the issue can be rectified in the future.

Speaking to the media on Thursday he said: “I think it can (take away from the spectacle) a little bit.

“Hopefully as a spectacle we can get it back to what it was a few years ago when there was bigger crowds within the stadium. I think it does add a little bit of something different.

“Of course we have to accept it for the time-being but my thoughts is hopefully we can get back to the bigger allocation that we had a few years ago.”

Rangers cut Celtic’s allocation to less than 1,000 after the 2017/18 season with the Parkhead side following suit for the following season.

Two of last season’s derbies, a 1-0 win for Rangers at Ibrox and a 3-0 home victory for Celtic, had no away supporters but returned to a reduced allocation for the remaining games and the first two of this season.

But on Saturday it will return to 100% home support in Celtic Park for the crunch encounter and McGregor says his side will look to use that to their advantage.

He said: “These fixtures are hard enough with away fans there, and it becomes more hostile if they are not. We will be looking to use that to our advantage at the weekend.

“It adds something extra, of course the games are difficult anyway but you have to go in with that siege mentality and it’s you against everyone else trying to pick up a result.

“We will be looking to harness that energy on Saturday and use it to our advantage.”

Celtic go into the game nine points ahead of their rivals with just eight games remaining of the season as they look to take another step towards their second title in a row.

Ange Postecoglou’s men are undefeated against Rangers this season with two wins and a draw from the three games this season.

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