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. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    ‘don’t mention the idea of a digitally interactive museum and entertainment centre at the front of the stadium with the club shop and a restaurant attached’



    – to say nothin’ of the ole [determinedly analogue] Gazebo.

  2. garygillespieshamstring on




    Checked the website. It is a 21 game standard ticket. 19 league games, one Euro qualifier and one other to be nominated by the club.



    On that basis, I will have to consider my position as games against sevco are included in the ticket and I do not wish to attend, or pay for, games against them.

  3. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Whatever happened to the ‘….erzzzzi macaroon bars annnaaa spearmint chewing gemmmm ‘ money……?

  4. Paul67 et al



    No no no no! Have to disagree with you Paul, there should never, ever ever, be a standing area in an Upper stand, North or no! No? As has been discussed on here offtimes before, the best place for standing areas in the present stadium are the lower ends behind each goal, though I do think the section planned will work well. Incidentally I do not think the Taylor report applied to Scotland, but was more or less adopted by the Scottish football authorities. Fergus certainly took it on board. Not sure about shopping malls being the future, (might be in some parts o Lanarkshire), but I can tell you there are more than a few derelict ones scattered around North America. It’s too late to truly adapt Celtic Park on any major scale, and whilst I have often advocated a rebuild of the old new stand, maybe, and this is where I do agree with you, that could wait for a complete rebuild at some point in the future.

  5. TWISTS N TURNS on 4TH MAY 2016 1:43 PM





    Seville? Geez, just stick a Celtic top on and you’ll be on free beer!



    Cheers TWISTS N TURNS funny you should say that,I was in a bar inTorremolinas watching football and the owner asked me what was my team,when I told him Celtic his face lit up.


    He told me that for the Porto game in Seville Celtic supporters spent a week there and his takings for that week were more than the previous 2 years.He could not speak highly enough of Celtic.No wonder!HH

  6. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    Twists n Turns – a shuttle service from various points in and around the city – maybe we could call them “supporters buses”?

  7. The Battered Bunnet on




    I’m aware of his recent business activity, but bear in mind that he spent 25 years training in and practicing Law before he got into the whisky biz 20 years ago. His profession is the Law, his business his whisky. The whisky business is relatively small beer (pun alert…), mid-sized SME by turnover (£13m), small by profit (£360K). Bankier and his family own 73% of it.



    BTW, I wasn’t aware that he was previously (until 2014) a Director of Tulloch Group.



    By pure coincidence, Tom Allison is Chairman of Tulloch Group.



    It’s a small world…

  8. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    DD and PL and the rest of the crew.


    They dont give a flying feck about your ‘comfort’


    They only want to charge you top dollar to watch a rigged league.


    Thats about it.


    You are required to pay up to watch the likes of Ciftci and Cole….like it or lump it.


    Unless you do something about it of course.


    This is our club….not the plaything of financial jackals like DD and PL, and the rest of the Tory mob.


    Just say no to the PLC.


    They are driving Celtic into the ground.


    Top dollar to watch Celtic humped by sevco.


    Nah….dont think so Peter.


    Chimps could have done a better job than the PLC.


    The ones on the old PG Tips ads spring to mind.




  9. TWISTS N TURNS on 4TH MAY 2016 1:45 PM















    Thanks for bars will try them out.

  10. Celticrollercoaster supporting Shay,our bhoy wonder along the way on

    Just sent the following to JPT





    Afternoon John Paul



    I note that we have just announced season ticket renewals.



    You will note that I have had 2 season tickets since 1994 and a further two children tickets for the last 4-5 years, probably longer, I have also been a shareholder since 1994



    I have been very disappointed with the lack of apparent action by my club against the current corruption within Scottish Football game and their apparent lack of willingness to progress these matters.



    I note as examples:



    Res12: Where in the world would any plc ask their shareholders to drive forward an issue on the board of directors behalf?



    LNS farce :Acceptance of the white wash of no sporting integrity and improper registrations



    The Secret 5 way agreement and non-stripping of titles



    The passing of all titles to the new club



    The Big Tax case.



    The leadership of the game by Messers Regan, Doncaster and Mr Ogilvie



    Whilst I know my club cannot fix all this overnight and indeed by themselves, I would have expected my club to have taken a more positive and public stance against these issues and my feeling now is that not only have we accepted our place at the back of the bus, but we are hiding underneath the back seat happy to accept the corrupt pound.



    Furthermore, the humble acceptance of the same club nonsense (albeit it for a flippant Rory Bremner quirk) saddens me.



    It is my view that the club has never been so disengaged from the fans since the Whyte, Kelly era.



    I am now at a crossroads and this is a very tough decision for me, but I am seriously now considering whether to renew any of my tickets. If I do, I will be allowing the biggest corruption in Scottish football to be simply air brushed, as I am not convinced that the Celtic board have the willingness or fight in them to drive this change forward.



    If I do not renew then I will not be there to support my team, Celtic. My heart will be broken as I life and breath, Celtic. My heart says “renew”, my head says “wait and see how Celtic respond”, but I have been waiting and waiting and waiting……and so far only disappointment.



    I believe it is now in the hands of the Celtic board to demonstrate that they are indeed the best custodians of our club and have our best interests at heart.



    I hope Celtic rise up and do the right thing before it is too late.



    Please pass my feelings onto the board members and also a copy to Mr Dermot Desmond



    Yours in Celtic




  11. BRTH – there’s a slight flaw in you comparison with Emirates re it having a cafe etc. People use the Emirates outside of sporting events taking place.



    Celtic need to think beyond shops though. Unless those shops are unique to Glasgow. There’s no chance that I’d schlep to the East End to go to shops I can get in town. Or where there’s a greater concentration of them.



    I can thing of a couple of facilities that could bring people to the area.



    1. An indoor skatepark. Glasgow doesn’t have one.


    2. A better indoor climbing facility than the one in Ibrox.



    Basically things where either they don’t exist elsewhere, or better versions might be built.

  12. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    They could get the shuttle to Shettleston.







    How’s things.



    Not a good week for my Arab wife,relegation.



    Tried to cheer her up by taking her to my usual stadium tours.



    We have been to Real Madrid,Atletico and Rayo Vallecano in Madrid and Malaga now off out to Seville and then Betis Seville tomorrow.HH.

  14. !!Bada Bing!! on

    From celticminded



    Dundee under 20s to beat Hearts today 2pm kick off. Hearts keeper has taken ill & they dont have a sub goalie so they have a centre forward in goal. Just got 4/6 with Bet365


    It’s currently 1-1 after 20 mins.



    Bet responsibility

  15. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I think the Celtic board will be feeling pretty confident at this time now wither your for or against The Rangers being in the SPL Peter Lawwell has stated that is worth 10 million to the club also the new shirt sponsor is reputed to be paying 2.6 million and of course we have Magners money.We then have club merchandise and season ticket sales so we should have an increased income compared to last season.We know we need to reduce the size of the playing squad and also try to bring in a bit more quality we also of course will have a new manager.So from the Boards point of view things are going well and I assume will not be looking to make change. The big challenge is to use the money well and not waste it on basket case footballers like Carlton Cole.H.H.

  16. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    While waitin’ for the unveilin’ of the ole Mo Bangura Memorial Space Hopperdrome the Club need to do more to raise the standard of catering at the ground, which is frankly shocking.

  17. mike in toronto on

    CRC …



    an excellent letter. I hope that you will post whatever response you receive from JPT or the club.




  18. The Battered Bunnet on

    Problem with the indoor climbing wall at Ibrox is, try as you might, you can never get to the next level.

  19. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    Good post.


    Sums up very nicely the glaring stupidity of the PLC.


    No doubt they will reply…..and blame you:)




  20. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    And you can never get the toes of the brogues to grip in the cracks.

  21. THE BATTERED BUNNET on 4TH MAY 2016 2:24 PM



    And if you do, they find our somebody was giving you a hoist up and take away your membership.

  22. I can only see the Glasgow Climbing Centre, half a mile from Ibrox Stadium; is that the one you mean?


    I would like to think they only had a wailing wall at Ibrox stadium – with 5 easily attainable levels that everyone can get to.

  23. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on




    Bankier knows more about Whisky than than the law.



    You know more about the Law than Bankier.



    Bankier knows more about PR than ……. you get the drift.

  24. traditionalist88 on

    Offer something you can’t get anywhere else in the city? Climbing walls, ice skating rinks, more restaurants…



    Or how about a high quality football team?




  25. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Tell you what bhoys, this spaceport you want to construct at CP….aint happening.


    Its all top dollar for mince these days.


    Whatever next…will you all be asking for a ‘level playing field’….or that old fav ‘sporting integrity’





  26. DHARMA BAM on 4TH MAY 2016 2:29 PM



    Yes. It’s in Ibrox – the area. It’s nothing to do with them or the stadium.

  27. Put a good team on the park, playing attacking, entertaining football, reduce prices to no more than £20 per game (£400 per season ticket) and the stadium will be full again.

  28. celt for life on

    If we ever did redevelop the main stand then a sliding roof should be considered, imagine that atmosphere in CL games under the lights…..

  29. The Battered Bunnet on




    It’s a converted church on Paisley Rd West. Decent facility if that’s your thing, although not a patch on Ratho.

  30. ItaliaBhoy on 4th May 2016 2:37 pm



    There is no ‘big picture’, that’s the problem.

  31. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    G that’s far too sensible bud.


    never catch on.


    However, you never know maybe one of Peter’s mob might pick up on it:)




  32. GARY67 on 4TH MAY 2016 2:36 PM



    My ST is £420, NW Lower. It’s not restricted view or anything.

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