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In 30 years few will go to stadiums like Celtic Park

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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. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    Twists n Turns – I’m only pulling your chain mate. As you’re the source of my secondary source of income I’d never criticise you.

  2. Well done Celtic regarding ticket prices.

     

     

    All we need now is for Celtic to tackle the cheating at the SFA & we’re sorted.

     

     

    I remember 4 years ago on here some posters said don’t worry the board are waiting for the right time to comment & guess what I’m still waiting.

  3. traditionalist88 on

    mike in toronto on 4th May 2016 3:50 pm

     

     

    From the updates I read Celtic took a more than active role in Res 12 once the evidence was presented and the Company Sec was readily accessible and open with those involved.

     

     

    Until anyone has the full story or we are close to an outcome, we are jumping the gun by punishing Celtic.

     

     

    The point I have been making is that I share many of the same concerns but we can’t just walk away and cross our fingers that it’ll all work out in the end.

     

     

    Traipsing round B&Q on a Saturday afternoon isn’t going to work. The longer it goes on too the harder it would be to get us all back.

     

     

    HH

     

     

    HH

  4. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    GreenPinata

     

     

    ‘Make the facilities equally good for all’

     

    Are you some kind of Communist malcontent?

     

    Equality….PL would be outraged at such a suggestion.

     

    Equality doesnt get you a heated driveway:)

     

     

    HH

  5. The Clumpany , great article as usual , not been on in a while so gotta ask …….Any movement with res 12 from our club yet ? Somehow I think I already know the answer ??

  6. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    That might be more of your ole busted flush buster.

     

     

    Guaranteed to get the ole party started, that’s for sure.

  7. mike in toronto on

    Traditionalist

     

     

    This is one of those issues where I can understand where you are coming from …

     

     

    but how long do people wait before we say enough is enough? another month? year?

     

     

    Doing what I do (and having done it for as long as I have done it), I know that institutional changes dont happen quickly….

     

     

    but I also know what it feels like when someone is using the system to delay and screw someone around (having done it plenty of times myself)….

     

     

    and everyday that passes without some resolution (or at least a statement from Celtic), the latter will seem more and more likely …

     

     

    and, as I have said, there seems to be little inclination from Celtic PLC to address the issues …. but lots of reasons why they would wish things swept under the rug …. so, it is up to the fans to give the PLC a reason… and the only thing the PLC seems to care about is the bottom line ….

  8. TRADITIONALIST88 on 4TH MAY 2016 4:00 PM

     

     

    Traipsing round B&Q on a Saturday afternoon isn’t going to work. The longer it goes on too the harder it would be to get us all back.

     

     

    That is precisely the point. Make them get up of their fat erses and work for the benefit of the fans.

  9. Hen1rik 3.58

     

    Yes I bought into all that nonsense too……we,re keeping our powder dry …..dont interupt your enemy when they are making mistakes etc etc ………looks like we have all been conned and its back to playing them in the league next year . Cheats and liars openly mocking us but hey ho we have 4 “old firm” games to be thankful for

  10. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    I traipse around B and Q on a Wednesday, to take full advantage of my Diamond card discount.

     

     

    DBBIA/greypoundCSC

  11. traditionalist88 on

    mike in toronto on 4th May 2016 4:11 pm

     

     

    Until we have all the facts. The bhoys in the know with Res 12 appear upbeat. I read repeatedly that there’d be a price hike this summer, and that was another stick to use to beat the club. We will get answers, but no point jumping the gun. They know we are watching, closely.

     

     

     

    Quonno

     

     

    But in that case, they hide behind the poor quality of Scottish football line. Anything to deflect attention – its human nature. So what I’m saying is – IF you are refusing to back the current regime for whatever reason, don’t do nothing. If you can’t be inside the stadium, at least be outside, if feasible. I am prepared to hold off, not indefinitely, but we have a massive summer ahead on many fronts.

     

     

    HH

  12. traditionalist88 on

    Dontbrattbakkinanger on 4th May 2016 4:16 pm

     

     

    Wednesdays I can accept, well in the close season anyway :)

  13. johann murdoch on

    I agree with TBB -move the turnstiles to a perimeter area.After that create covered and uncovered fan zones in semi permanent structures [covered and heated marquees/portable buildings “pop up style.Structures and buildings don’t have to be permanent which allows more flexibility in layout too going forward

     

    My daughter lives in London and almost every year we go down and visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park..its a hoot!

     

     

    [until they decline your scottish money! thats a hoot too after they have poured all the drinks and you walk away ]

     

     

    Its a very well put together ensemble of pop up and semi permanent structures food stalls,covered beer halls,face painting :)kids rides toilets which aren’t portaloos. and very well stewarded.

     

    You have a choice of being indoor or outdoor being seated or mobile.

     

     

    The difficulty is the very small window of operations for the operators 2/3hrs max?maybe more if Euro games midweek.

     

     

    I would suggest going to good small to medium owner operators in Glasgow,Pizza units,Burger stalls,coffee stalls,Sandwich stalls,beer halls with music bands etc and asking if they want a pitch to trade from with the club gaining income from renting the stalls etc or even a small entrance fee to the fan zone with kids free.

     

    With regards to something permanent in the stadium environs take on a Starbucks or Costa drive thru franchise that could become a meeting place weekdays too and somewhere to grab a coffee and something to eat after a stadium tour/ticket purchase or that private meeting with PL:)

     

     

    Its no coincidence that KFC have 2 units[London rd and the Forge} very close to the stadium.

     

     

    Re paper towels ,I would suggest Dyson air blades,some folks like to set paper towels on fire or stuff them down the ole loos!

     

     

    If you build it they will comeCSC

  14. I see the scumbags @vanguardbears have written another article.

     

     

    If they have lost that much they should write to SDM he started the ball rolling.

     

     

    Funny that eh the 32md Mason never gets a mention anywhere.

  15. Allyhuntersgloves on

    TimBhoy3, Bozza67, the guy in front of me was writing to Celtic about the South stand facilities constantly, I suddenly realised I felt like he did but the club didn’t know it so I wrote too….

     

     

    I don’t want to get into detail on Res 12 but please please take what is coming out of CP with a pinch of salt, I heard a podcast the other night were one of the guys had clearly been briefed by Celtic on what they are doing, been engaged since 2011 all happening in the background etc etc…………. Speak to the Res 12 guys, that’s not their opinion, follow the money ……………….. we are being spun too here (timing is everything – as season tickets come out).

     

     

    Finally, I could not cancel my season ticket, ive been going since I was 8 and I’m in my fifties now, if you don’t renew, it plays into the hands of our enemies, I’m not a board supporter but I will protest from within, not from outside.

  16. Here’s a thought. I can’t bring snacks in for the kids but they don’t really eat burgers and stuff. It would cost around about £1k/game to provide a free piece of fruit for U13’s. They’d probably be able to get a Govt grant for it or something too, as part of a healthy eating initiative.

  17. eddieinkirkmichael on

    THETIMREAPER, Celtic’s average home attendance is recorded as 44,321, whilst Rangers’ is tallied as 44,720. So while they are united only about 300+ more supporters are watching them compared to us who are so disengaged etc. The media love selling the myth that they are playing to 50000 every other week but it’s bull sh@t. Before anyone starts their “our board count season ticket holders whether they are there or not” crap. The huns do this also as could be seen on tv several times this season, either that or they did their usual of dressing up as blue seats.

     

     

    I’ve watched Celtic regularly since the early 70’s and the only time I can recall our fans being relatively happy with the board was during the early MON years.

     

    My dad always said Celtic fans are never happy and love a moan. If it wasn’t Res12 it would be something else. Guys will renew or not based on lots of things such as finance etc but the whole governance and Rangers cheating isn’t going to stop anyone suddenly not to watch Celtic. The cheating has been going on for longer than I’ve been alive and we all know it, we used it to motivate our during our greatest period so why would we now say we’ve had enough?

     

     

    I think our average attendance will increase next season regardless of what our board do/say on Res 12 or Big/Wee tax cases, the glory hunters(and there are 1000s) are relishing Rangers being back in the league because for them the league WAS diminished with their absence. Some of us might call them Sevco but for most fans they are Rangers and they can’t wait to welcome them back.

  18. johann murdoch on

    DBBIA

     

    I dont think you can but allegedly..others have tried to em…dry other things…didnt end well :)

  19. Eddieinkirkmichael

     

    Well said sir. There are to many on hear spouting the MSM mantra to back up their arguments.

  20. Dubaibhoy-Ur they still deid? on

    !!BADA BING!! on 4TH MAY 2016 4:19 PM

     

     

    Did Pete ever publish his book?

     

     

    Naw didny think so…

  21. GreeninbingleyinOslo on

    Dontbrattbakkinanger on 4th May 2016 4:34 pm

     

     

    Can you wipe your buttocks on an ole Dyson air blade?

     

     

    ———————————————

     

     

    They do in Leeds.

  22. johann murdoch on

    GREENINBINGLEYINOSLO on 4TH MAY 2016 5:01 PM

     

    Dontbrattbakkinanger on 4th May 2016 4:34 pm

     

     

     

    Can you wipe your buttocks on an ole Dyson air blade?

     

     

     

    ———————————————

     

     

     

    They do in Leeds.

     

    _________________-

     

    I suppose thats when the Sh*t really does hit the fan…..

  23. thetimreaper on

    EIKM

     

     

    I’m inclined to dispute those figures. My point was that their supporters are engaged and many of ours are not. I was suggesting we concentrate on issues that matter to our supporters rather than worry about Celtic park and the facilities.

  24. i'vehadtochangemyname on

    not many tickets left for cel v aber – hope it’s a big crowd

  25. Is next season still a one horse race?? Will the manager receive extra green points if he wins the league. Is Europe the new managers benchmark. With such poor competition in a pub league should the new man waltz to a treble?

  26. THETIMREAPER on 4TH MAY 2016 5:23 PM

     

     

    We’ll see how engaged they’re supporters are if they’re mid-table at Christmas.

  27. I’VEHADTOCHANGEMYNAME err if there are not many tickets left ergo a big crowd!! Just expressed it badly I think,I’ll be there. H H Hebcelt

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