Steven Naismith says Hearts are right to prioritise their own fans and give the Tynecastle faithful the chance to pack out their own stadium amid a row over ticket allocations.
However, the manager has urged Scottish football to follow in the example of the likes of Germany to make the game more beneficial for everyone.
Hearts have cut the away allocation for their game against Celtic in Edinburgh this weekend to just over 500 and the manager insists they have to look after their own “growing support”.
The former Scotland forward admits that there is certain things Scottish football as a whole can do better but argues that the current structure within the game doesn’t allow that to happen.
So while he agrees that having a full stadium packed with both sets of fans would create a better atmosphere and better product he says Hearts need to give their own support the opportunity to watch what he hopes will be the beginning of a successful period in the club’s history.
Compared to other top European leagues the Bundesliga has some of the most affordable ticket prices in the continent, and as a result continually produces massive attendances across the season.
And they have a rule in place that means 10% of the stadium capacity should be put aside for travelling fans in every league game.
Naismith cites that as one example of how the domestic game can improve the fan experience across the board.
And while he insists having less Celtic fans at the game on Sunday won’t make any great difference to the result on the day he says the home fans have to be the priority.
He said: “It’s not going to be much of an advantage or make that much of a difference to be honest but I think first and foremost as a club we have to look after our own fans.
“Consistently over the last six of seven years there has been a growth in the club in every department, the business side, the stadium, the club are looking to progress and develop as much as they can with all that and the fans and the ownership that brings a bigger following.
“The following is growing and growing and when we’ve got a fantastic stadium why would we not want to pack it out with our own fans?
“I think there’s questions to be asked in the bigger picture and Scottish football can learn a lot from Europe, but at this moment in time with the way the structure and everything else is, then we as a club need to look after ourselves.
“Everybody individually looks after themselves. For the good of the game and the product is there things we can do better? Across the board there is but the structure of Scottish football is not conducive to allow that to happen.
“But that’s a bigger issue than how many tickets we can give the opposition.
“I think having a full crowd with two sets of fans there definitely gives it a better atmosphere, that’s for sure, but it goes back to the structure and the make up of the league. This needs to be a collective good for the game, good for everybody approach.
“You look at the German league in the past and what they done with ticket prices, that’s something they have done that makes it better for everybody. As a country we need to get better at doing that and maybe sacrifice a small portion for the benefit of everybody.
“But like I said, as it stands, we have a demand and a great backing and we’ve got to give them the opportunity to watch a successful period in Hearts’ history.”
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