Celtic and Rangers finally call a truce after SPFL intervene in Old Firm row | Football | Sport

Rangers and Celtic have come to a mutual agreement to let larger numbers of away fans back into Old Firm derbies once again. Starting next season, about five per cent of the seats in their stadiums will be for visiting supporters for Scottish Premiership matches. 

The two Glasgow giants had become embroiled in a row where each side regularly kept cutting down how many tickets the other team’s fans could receive for trips to Ibrox and Celtic Park.

This started when Steven Gerrard became the boss of Rangers in 2018. Before then, more than 7,000 fans from the opposing team could enjoy the atmosphere of the white-hot derbies.

But lately, there haven’t been any away fans at the games. Supporter safety has been cited as the primary reason for the lack of away fans. Celtic rejected 700 tickets for a game at Ibrox earlier this season.

The lack of away supporters has diminished the neutral appreciation of the Old Firm derby as one of the best football games to watch in Europe.

SPFL rules only said that home teams should let a “reasonable” number of away fans come to league games. But now, the league’s decision-makers have stepped in and helped fix the problem after discussions between the clubs and the police.

The SPFL announced on Friday: “Following engagement with both clubs, the SPFL is pleased to confirm that Rangers FC and Celtic FC will provide ticket allocations of around 5 per cent for away supporters, for SPFL matches between the two clubs.”

They also said: “It does not affect the remaining two league matches between the clubs in season 2023/24, which will remain at a zero allocation for away supporters.”

With Ibrox having 50,817 seats and Celtic Park 60,411, this means about 2,540 Celtic fans and 3,020 Rangers fans can go to away games in the future.

Rangers shared that this decision came after talks with everyone involved, including the SPFL, local authorities, and TV companies.

Their statement included: “While this will not affect the two remaining league derbies this season, from next season, both clubs will be required to provide five per cent of their stadia to the away team for Old Firm games only – mirroring the UEFA European match model.”

Rangers also said: “Rangers’ position has always been for away supporters to be present at these games, and with this move, a significant number of our fans will be able to support our team at Parkhead in seasons ahead.”

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