New Rangers CEO suggests Old Firm away support could be restored

James Bisgrove suggested the current block on away fans attending Old Firm derbies could be lifted, but said a full restoration of tickets was 'unlikely'.

Rangers talks over Celtic Ibrox away allocation restoration under way SNS Group

Rangers could allow up to 800 Celtic fans into Ibrox for next season’s Old Firm derbies, according to the club’s incoming chief executive.

James Bisgrove said talks to restore a portion of the away allocation for the Glasgow clash in the corner of the Govan stand were under way after the decision was taken not to sell season tickets in that part of the stadium.

Fans of both clubs were locked out of each other’s grounds for the final two matches of the campaign, which were played in front of home crowds only.

Reduced allocations of around 700-800 had been in place before then, but the pair agreed to strip that back to zero amid “safety and security” concerns.

However, Bisgrove – who will officially take over as CEO from Stewart Robertson on July 31 – admitted negotiations were under way with “relevant stakeholders” including Police Scotland for a revised plan for away supporters.

“For next season, the season tickets have not been sold in the corner of the Govan stand, where the allocation was previously,” he said.

“So for next season we do have the opportunity should we decide to restore that allocation of about 700-800, that’s our maximum.

“Beyond that it’s a broader conversation. We need to have that dialogue with those stakeholders because there’s a lot of different views on it.”

Previously, both clubs had offered away allocations of around 8,000, with Celtic fans occupying the Broomloan Stand at Ibrox and Rangers taking the corner section of the Kerrydale Street and Lisbon Lions ends.

That was slashed during the 2017/18 season, but Bisgrove does not anticipate a return to those numbers in the near future.

“We’ll take the decision that is right for Rangers and right for our supporters,” he added.

“I know the question is ‘is there the chance to go back to the traditional allocation of the 8,000?’ I think that’s unlikely.

“We need to see where the conversations go. But I don’t think that is imminent at the moment.”

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