Rangers 'extremely disappointed' as away ticket allocation for Old Firm refused

It means there will be no away fans at the fixture for the second time this season.

Rangers ‘disappointed’ as away allocation request for Celtic Park for Old Firm refused SNS Group

Rangers say they are “extremely disappointed” after being refused an away allocation for their game against Celtic at Parkhead on December 30.

That means the Ibrox side will have no supporters at the game being played in the east end of Glasgow in eleven days time.

It comes after there was no Celtic fans at this season’s first Old Firm game after the Parkhead club refused an allocation of around 700 fans for the September 3 fixture over safety issues.

Rangers could potentially go top of the league with a win at Celtic Park if they win their three league games before then.

They are currently five points behind but have two games in hand starting with Wednesday night’s game against St Johnstone.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Rangers said: “Despite winning a case put to an SPFL Board Sub-Committee, Rangers FC, with extreme disappointment, will not have any supporters present at Parkhead for the Old Firm match on December 30.

“The sub-committee agreed with Rangers that Celtic FC’s stance of providing zero tickets to Rangers’ fans was unreasonable.

“Despite the fact that the sub-committee agreed with Rangers, the sub-committee was unwilling to determine what a ‘reasonable’ number of tickets for the fixture would be.

“The sub-committee was unable to determine this reasonable number due to the fact that the other party had not submitted enough evidence on this issue, despite having ample opportunity to do so in the weeks and months leading up to the hearing.

“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.

“This decision calls into question the effectiveness, and highlights the procedural defects, of SPFL Rule I27.

“To Rangers, 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.

“The club will consider its position before participating in any further SPFL led hearings.

“Rangers, alongside several other SPFL clubs, also looks forward to the overdue findings of the ongoing, protracted SPFL governance review.

“Rangers will be making no further comment at this time.”

Celtic says the club “stand by its decision not to allocate any tickets for away supporters” for December’s Old Firm match.

In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, Celtic said: “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 30th.

“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.”

SPFL rules state that “a reasonable number” of away tickets is made available, in agreement with the opposition. These rules don’t state any mandatory minimum allocation for away fans.

However, rule I27 says that the SPFL board can make a final decision in the event of a dispute.

Celtic won the first derby of the season 1-0 with Kyogo Furuhashi scoring the only goal of the game.

The SPFL has been approached for comment.

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