In 30 years few will go to stadiums like Celtic Park


Safe standing comes to Scottish football. Standing was a part of our game for over a century (and still is in the semi-professional divisions), but the Taylor Report changed the game fundamentally, as grounds were made all-seater in the 1990s. This phenomenon was not restricted to the UK, Uefa (to some extent) enforced the trend on the rest of the Continent.

Then things changed in Germany. New stadiums had railed seating, which allowed spectators to stand during games. This allowed more people to fit into the same space. The grounds still had to be converted to conventional seating for Uefa games, but the phenomenon of safe standing proved, well, safe.

In fact, it is a lot safer than the de facto situation in many UK grounds, where away fans stand in areas which are clearly unsafe for standing crowds.

I understand why Celtic have situated the safe standing area where they have lower-tier corner of North and Lisbon Lions stands, but for me it should be North Stand upper. If you’re going to have a standing section, don’t just site it where one has emerged organically, put it where it best suits the stadium, can have most impact on atmosphere and has room to grow. Make no mistake, demand will outstrip supply for the standing area, and soon enough we’ll be wondering how we grow it.

The stadium can be further-portioned off. At the moment the family area is squashed between the new standing area and away fans – this section also has nowhere to grow. If you want more families, ensure each passing decade the stadium has more targeted family areas.

There should also be greater price differentiation for tickets. The pack-em-in reality of standing areas fits the profile of a cheaper ticket, which fits the reality of the North Stand upper’s isolation from amenities like lounges. Fill the North upper full of cheap, standing tickets, extend facilities like lounges – and charge accordingly, or family facilities, to lower tiers.

You want to stand in a busy area, move about and keep warm – pay less. You want to keep warm in a lounge – pay more. You want to take penalties against Ms Hoopy, go to the family area. Just bring a child, please.

30 years from now, few will want to watch football in a stadium like Celtic Park. This happened to football in the 70s and 80s.  It became stuck in the infrastructure of what was then regarded by many as a decrepit bygone era.  Many football fans just stopped going.  I can see history repeating itself.

Cater for the future or your local shopping mall/multiplex will.  In future, everyone will want access to a warm lounge before and after the game, and at halftime. Try planning a leisure activity in northern Europe for the 21st century and come up with any other conclusion.

Ticket machines should be at the perimeter of the stadium footprint. Once inside, you should have fan zones with bars, restaurants, cafes, play areas, shops – mostly undercover. You should never be more than 5 minutes away from being able to spend money. Or spend a penny – with paper towels available all afternoon.

I’m usually in the environs of Celtic Park close to 3 hours on a match day. The opportunities for engagement are enormous, but we’re miles away for thousands of us in the ‘reasonably priced’ seats.

None of this is meant as a criticism. We have a magnificent 20th century stadium, I was one of thousands who paid to build it. All of the above wish-list would cost millions we just don’t have – this is the reality. But we need to have a vision of what our future requirement looks like.

I still miss the old Celtic Park, the new stadium cannot touch if for atmosphere, but what we expect when we go to the football is different now, and will be different again in the future. The first thing I’d do if we broke free of Scottish football is call in the bulldozers and start again.

Season ticket prices remain same as last season, confounding conspiracy theorists four-year fantasy. This caused brief spates of cognitive dissonance before a fresh wave of conspiracies washed the pain away.

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  1. Ernie Lynch



    Res12 is an issue Celtic have to act on. There is locus in terms of impact on a SFA decision in 2011 on the value of Celtic in share terms.



    The same club is an SPFL and SFA issue. I have no problem with TRFC fans believing it’s the same club to them and no number of statements by anyone will change that. It wouldn’t change our minds if position reversed.



    Where there is a problem is officially treating past titles/trophies as continuous with any future ones but that is an SFA/SPFL problem that only the 42 member clubs can address should it even become an issue. (I can see it erupting if TRFC win the SC and it’s recorded by SFA as anything but TRFCs first win.)



    If you want to focus on doing something about that then good luck mate.





    Congratulations on getting yer all-clear from the clinic!!!!

  3. Kev J. Delighted to hear that you got good news form your tests. All the best.







    Congratulations on getting yer all-clear from the clinic!!!!






    I second that.



    And congrats on the cancer all-clear as well…




  5. MASTY on 5TH MAY 2016 10:29 AM






    Perfect description of what level5 are doing to the Celtic support and many among us have fallen for their shite



    Your bang on there, and the biggest culprits being the CT, and Phil Mac. But shhhhhhh, don’t mention that., not so long ago res.12 was the buzz word for all negativity towards CFC, the CFC board, and the CFC CEO, egg on face time coming,? Time will tell, I’m saying nothing.


    Lurking Huns GIRFUYs

  6. Kev jungle



    Hope your keeping well, I noticed your love child capitulated to the sheep at the weekend, told you he was a five card trick, keep well, HH.

  7. Anybody know if Kerrydale suite open on SUNDAY prior to kickoff ?



    Wishful thinking

  8. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    Of course….you were behind Res 12 from the start….not.


    Everybody was wrong, and you knew best.


    In fact, i can clearly recall you slagging Res 12, and giving the Res 12 bhoys grief.


    Ha….and now you want to steal a bit of credit.




    You never supported Res 12…..until you were TOLD to.

  9. AULDHEID on 5TH MAY 2016 12:09 PM



    The problem is that if Scottish football allows the same club narrative to become established (and that’s what is being allowed to happen, and no club has done anything at all to stop it happening) then football in this country is no longer a sport. It’s a business and and it’s an entertainment, but it’s not a sport, in any real sense.



    Incidentally I don’t think the Celtic Board are obliged to do anything about Res 12. They’d be entitled to take a view that it wouldn’t be in the shareholders’ best interests to pursue the matter.



    Likewise with the same club narrative they’d be entitled to take a view that challenging the same club narrative would be in the best interests of the shareholders.



    They have discretion to act on either matter as they see fit and have decided to exercise it accordingly.

  10. BT @12.21..


    Cheers Pal.. Appreciate it.. Reading them now…


    Love bein a Hoops Supporter !!!!

  11. Have you seen this pair of rejected Hun tragedies?






    C’mon L5 plants, let’s hear yer latest diatribe about the evils of Celtic and why the fans must stay away. Let’s hear the sledgehammer-subtle panic pieces designed to whittle away supporters confidence in the top dogs; let’s see yer boolin’ club prose ‘destroy’ Celtic from within, lol.






    There’s a contact email for them. I suggest lucrative offers pouring in if you’ve got five minutes of fun time to request public relations on behalf of wife-beating, tax-dodging, fenian-hating Huns who’ve just been pulled up on drink-driving charges with a lingerie-clad goat in the passenger seat whilst lurching home from refereeing conventions.






    How’s that sound, Jim?

  12. auld bertie on

    Agree with the Brazen Head Sage, Phil was played when he published the Dermot Desmond didn’t know about Red 12, I found it hard to believe that a secret agent figure, took all the paperwork to Gibraltar? Why not just email the info. Some manic depressives on here will not buy a season ticket, Red 12, Peter Law well, or heated driveways are just lame excuses. My take on Red 12 is Celtic will be financially compensated and SFA officers forced to resign. Compromise Agreement will be signed. Cue more hand wringing, Threats to boycott ,yawn.

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