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. BRTH



    Great post sir and spot on.



    However is my old memory playing tricks or where there drawings pre-Celtic Way that showed a range of facilities outside the stadium such as restaurants and museums ? Isn’t there a plan to do soem of this or did I dream that ?



    Getting old csc

  2. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Maybe those squirrels who gnawed the big picture, had something to do with that wee rodent type creature who chewed through the Hadron Collider cable.


    Are we seeing a pattern here:)




  3. weeminger



    There are some on here who spend all day climbing walls.


    Paul has consistently catered for them.

  4. Easy for Me to say on

    I am very seldom lurker and even less poster. Sold my shares 3 years ago to be fair but now no longer a Season Ticket holder either. Quite frankly, depressed at all things Celtic.



    Celticrollercoaster supporting Shay,our bhoy wonder along the way on 4th May 2016 2:18 pm



    Very good points, very well made. It is very much a feeling like being at the back of the bus.


    I’m weary of the triumphalism and blatant corruption from SFA, the Scottish Media and The Bigot drome.


    If our board are not prepared to stand up for what is right, let me ask you, should we stand up for them and should we support them with extremely hard earned income? Are we not then supporting the corruption so glaringly evident in Scottish Football with our own hard earned money?

  5. Tontine Tim on

    Joe Filippis Haircut on 4th May 2016 9:51 am



    Well great news this morning Cifti doesnt want to come back to Celtic he should never have been a Celtic player in the first place and as for Carlton Cole what a waste of space and money.Whoever signs these duds should be held to account. H.H.



    *Ronny just did and others will too just like KD and Alan McDonald with big Raphael.

  6. weeminger on 4th May 2016 2:40 pm



    Mine’s is £559 for Main Stand, £26.61 for 21 games (or £29.42 for 19 league games). IMO £400 should be maximum price for 20 games (19 x league + 1 x euro qualifier) for a standard seat anywhere in the ground. Standing section should be cheaper and the kids tickets and concessions remain as they are.

  7. traditionalist88 on

    Easy for Me to say on 4th May 2016 2:48 pm



    Much as this subject has been done to death, passively walking away is not an option IMO.



    There would need to some form of coherent strategy because Celtic supporters walking away would be nothing but an unexpected little bonus for those we are supposedly taking aim at




  8. Allyhuntersgloves, I take it you are talking about the front of the main stand,if it is ,I couldn’t agree more,the facilities are a disgrace, Fergus McCann should have pulled the whole lot down,I think the excuse,was that it was a listed building, well the present lot would be doing the old building and the fans a favour,by demolishing it,They got permission to demolish the old school, between kerrydale st and London rd for the celtic way,then surely they can apply for the main stand ,to be at least upgraded,PS did JP Taylor get back to you,

  9. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    TRAD88. So do you advocate we should do nothing and continue to put our hard earned cash in to corrupt Scottish Football ? I agree a coherent strategy would be much better but we as a support are so fragmented that is unlikely happen so individual supporters will just have to do what they think is best for them. H.H.

  10. Geordie Munro on

    “TRAD88. So do you advocate we should do nothing and continue to put our hard earned cash in to corrupt Scottish Football ?”






    Your are either taking the pish or you haven’t been following the blog much recently.




  11. Tontine Tim on

    Fully concur with SFTB, in the airport industry this is known as non-aeronautical money as landing fees just don’t cut it and it makes no sense to increase them as it would only get passed on to the passenger hence higher fares and possibly less travellers.



    Everyone who does business at an airport must pay their fare share, who pays for the road and terminal maintenance, signage, line markings, pa system, salaries etc. Not just the airlines but taxis and limos, shuttle busses, store vendors, advertising etc.



    We all like to travel and low cost fares allow us to do that. No difference from the fitba, we all want a successful team on the park but there’s a cost to this and it’s up to our senior management team to raise the funds, not all teams have/had incestuous relationships with the banks.



    Also it should be noted here, most airports are 24/7, fitba grounds are normally bi-weekly and there’s the concern.



    Vendors queue up to operate out of the former as there’s a ton of money to be made and they pay either a percentage of gross revenue or a minimum annual guarantee fee. I don’t know what the licence agreements are at fitba as probably not enough revenue is generated and the vendors are probably looked upon as concessions.



    As for opening up the area surrounding Celtic Park as a kind of “Chelsea Village”, this is the east end of Glasgow we’re talking about FGS. It’s not CFC that are the problem but getting businesses to pour money down the drain at empty shops and restaurants.



    In regard to gambling, my maternal grampa was a bookie pre-WWII, he gave it up, why I don’t now but my mother and her siblings had a comfortable life growing up, even during the hungry 30s, none of them incidentally gambled in fact the only 2 punters in the family were my da and an uncle, both were in-laws.



    Mrs TT’s da had a part time job with a bookie, none of her family gambled. Strange but I don’t know why on both counts, must have been something subliminal.



    Pity they didnae own pubs.

  12. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    GEORDIE MUNRO. No fella I am just asking a question as I am interested in Trad 88 point of view.However you and I have been posting on CQN long enough for you to know I do not take the P as you call it.H.H.

  13. Celticrollercoaster supporting Shay,our bhoy wonder along the way on 4th May 2016 2:18 pm



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




    Certainly the last 5 years have proved more eventful than most but I can’t recall a time when significant numbers of fans have been disengaged. It may be in the DNA.



    Sir Robert Kelly, Desmond White, Terry Cassidy, Michael Kelly, Fergus McCann, Brian Quinn, Dermott Desmond, Peter Lawell all have, in their time, been identified by some fans as enemies of Celtic and as evilly intentioned. Interestingly, Robert Kelly’s reputation was rehabilitated in the late ’60s and early ’70s. That had much more to do with Jock Stein than with anything Sir Robert did.

  14. Easy for Me to say on

    traditionalist88 on 4th May 2016 2:52 pm



    I’m tired. I can keep justifying my hard earned income going to support a corruption that is too obvious and blatant to be ignored. Resolution 12. What I am sure will be many honest mistakes next season……..

  15. My simplistic take on season books and ticket prices conversation: Nae bother we’ll tag X amount extra on them as we have limited revenue streams that are turning a profit.



    And this from our “captains of industry”. Jeyus wept its a shambles.



    Want a match day experience? Go see the Seattle Sounders, or the Portland Timbers. Marching bands leading thousands of supporters through the city center chanting and singing. The stadiums surrounded by every facility you could imagine. The stadiums themselves bursting with those same facilities. A waiting list for both teams’ season books. And the football is crap…

  16. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    BRTH 1:44


    And 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. That will never work. There are no other big clubs in European Football doing that kind of a thing. Anyone who thinks of that kind of thing is silly.




    Indeed – ridiculous idea. Would never work! :-)


    Some very good points there.


    Surely a museum would also be appealing to visiting fans from European opponents. Better than sitting around in the ground for ages.


    What about some kind of tie-up with their club – maybe a discount from their own club shop if they buy something from ours? Make the whole thing a more inviting experience.


    Has to be some more creative thinking.

  17. Allyhuntersgloves on

    Timbhoy3, I was actually talking about the rear stand (I sit beside the press box), but I was down in front stand for Europa game this year and the facilities are no better. its almost £30 per game where I sit (£559 ticket) and these guys take the proverbial as they know its full of guys who have been going for 25+ years and we will renew anyway. it’s a disgraceful way to treat your core supporters. As I say, the main stand is limited but a decent toilet and food stall isn’t too much to ask for?



    JPT did get back to me (he always responds to fans) and pointed out he sits in the main stand himself, agreed the facilities are not acceptable but there are no plans to do anything with it (at least he was honest). ….



    Just a final point on renewing, nothing that RFC(IL) ever did or will do will stop me going to see Celtic, Celtic however may stop me going to see Celtic, you see absolute power corrupts absolutely and people in power at CP have forgotten their roots (some others never had roots)

  18. Geordie Munro on

    Sorry Joe,



    That came out a bit snippy.



    Trads gave his view on this about a mulyin times in recent weeks. I was a little surprised you had to ask.



    Nae offence bud




  19. thetimreaper on

    We have plenty of other problems to deal with other than our stadium and facilities. Celtic Park is a magnificent arena, revered and respected throughout Europe. Sure, if we can add recreational facilities to improve the match day experience, I’m all for it. But the stadium itself is fantastic. Why anyone would want to ‘bulldoze’ it is a mystery to me. Celtic fans have stopped attending in their droves, for a variety of reasons, mainly the product on the pitch and shambles in the Board room. Get the fundamentals right and fans will come back. There are 50,000 turning up in Govan every other week. Why? Because they have a club and a cause they believe in (whether we agree or not).

  20. Phyllis D


    Ha, we could call them supporters buses. Made me laugh and I see whit yer sayin’ but I was thinking more for folks who travel by car and don’t want to take their car all the way to Parkhead. Would help ease congestion an and around the ground and stop ye looking for a space for 20 mins!


    It’s quite well practised ye know across Europe.

  21. Here’s a diamond of a suggestion- instead of spending small fortunes on the likes of the Derk Boerigters and Carlton Coles, use that money to employ the Seattle Sounders marketing team on a part time basis at Celtic.



    Then again there’s nobody with local ties that stands to turn a shilling out of that one, so it’s probably a no go.

  22. traditionalist88 on

    Joe Filippis Haircut on 4th May 2016 3:00 pm



    TRAD88. So do you advocate we should do nothing and continue to put our hard earned cash in to corrupt Scottish Football ?





    No, doing nothing is the opposite of what I am saying.



    But if you plan to sit at home and do nothing, then tbh you’d be as well supporting Celtic at least.

  23. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    GEORDIE MUNRO. I have just returned from 9 days holiday so cant say I have noticed Trad.88 view on the subject but as someone who will not support corruption I am interested in others point of view perhaps I am looking for someone to give me a good reason to continue my support. No offence taken fella I understand if a subject has been discussed for days it can be frustrating for a poster to ask a question that may have been answered more than once. H.H.

  24. !!Bada Bing!! on

    GLASSTWOTHIRDSFULL-Some of what you mentioned were on a to do list from CFC ,when the school got bulldozed,museum etc,must be a big back burner we have….

  25. traditionalist88 on

    Easy for Me to say on 4th May 2016 3:22 pm



    traditionalist88 on 4th May 2016 2:52 pm



    I’m tired. I can keep justifying my hard earned income going to support a corruption that is too obvious and blatant to be ignored. Resolution 12. What I am sure will be many honest mistakes next season……..





    I get it. But hitting Celtic is not the answer – we don’t even have all the facts yet.




  26. Bada Bing-



    Actually it wouldn’t, the Dallas Cowboys play in sky blue and are a busted flush on the field these days, although have you seen their stadium, fan base and business model though?

  27. Allyhuntersgloves on

    people at celtic park that should know better are spinning the reality of Res12, keep your eye on the money and read carefully what the guys who lived and breathed it are saying, not the half truths that celtic execs would have you believe.

  28. Ally hunters gloves, I too will renew,thanks for replying, also the chap who mentioned, 50,thousand supporters,turning up at Ibrox,our club had 60,000, supporters,when Fergus took over,now with downsizing,average players,crap managers,etc,lucky to have 40,000,at home games,but hopefully a new manager,no ex players for me,we can get the many thousands fans,back,

  29. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    You learn things every time you log on to CQN.


    This week we have had a revolutionary analysis of the capitalist system which overturns all previous understanding of economics….Free Money.


    Now, as we speak…CQN, can see 30 years into the future.


    Astounding….what next, Teleportation?



    Pity about the squirrels gnawing through ‘The Big Picture’ though:)




  30. mike in toronto on

    Traditionalist …



    but if Celtic have (at least some of ) the facts, but chose not to disclose them …. what other options do fans have but to withhold money?



    Otherwise, as I have said to HT on here, as long as people buy tickets and shirts, the Board will take that as tacit approval of the events of the last several years, and the Board’s performance. And, frankly, it would be hard to argue with that ….

  31. timbhoy3 and allyhunters gloves



    I have been a ticket holder in the south and its an utter disgrace, for such expensive tickets we are treated like mugs



    facilities are worse than crap, smelling toilets food that runs out at half time with no choice



    its appalling really

  32. Greenpinata on

    My friends in Celtic,



    Where to start !



    It may indeed be the case that we will have to bulldoze our stadium to cater for the realignment of the number of supporters who are willing to pay week in and week out to watch Celtic in Scottish Football.



    It may indeed be the case that no matter what we do, alternative attractions for supporters are greater than the attraction for actually making the effort to watch games like Celtic v Hamilton.



    Celtic Park will always be full for certain European games and 2-off league games per season, but can that justify a > 60,000 ground ?


    If we remain shackled to Scottish football our ground may be simply too big. Supporters who are out of the habit ( for whatever reason ) of not going to watch Celtic may never come back on a regular basis, especially if they have found more attractive alternatives. Although we may say we are faithfull through and through, the reality is that we are an extremely fickle support.



    Times are changing and before we downsize we have to make the match day experience as appetizing as possible.


    We must upgrade our surrounding infrastructure to accommodate the modern day fan and meet his / her expectations.



    If you take the converted church pub of St Lukes in the heart of the Calton as an example. Who would of thought that a pub of that stature would be viable only 10 years ago. ? It gives an alternative match day experience to the “traditional” pubs on the Gallowgate and if Saturday was a guide it was more busy than the “usual suspects” we visited.



    Society is changing, expectations are higher, alternative attractions are plentyfull. We must adapt or face the consequences.



    Just as Football fans are not criminals, they will not be treated as second class citizen’s. Forget fancy facilities and prefential treatment for those who can afford to pay Invester seats etc. Make the facilities equally good for all.



    Hail, Hail.

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