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. traditionalist88 on

    i’vehadtochangemyname on 4th May 2016 5:27 pm



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





    Therein lies my point. Better weather, good opponents, decent away support, Celtic fans will turn out in force.



    The KevJ’s of this world like to tell us that there are 40k empty seats at CP for every match. The reality is there were low attendances for winter games against Ross Co, Inverness(~30k) and Morton.



    For the recent Hearts fixture at Celtic Park, the attendance was ~50k.



    Those not going for reasons relating to issues with Res 12, governance of the game in general or simply in protest at the way Celtic have gone about their business in the last 2/3 years, are not easily quantifiable and need to be more visible or else they will not be heard. IMO




  2. Greenpinata on

    traditionalist88 on 4th May 2016 5:41 pm



    For the recent Hearts fixture at Celtic Park, the attendance was ~50k.





    Would it be fair to say that we could have added another 5k to the attendance if the game was not live on TV and kicking off at daftoclock.




  3. I’m hearing the Sev’s have been sniffing in the direction of Scott McDonald.



    Good news about season ticket prices remaining undisturbed.



    Even better news will be the correct managerial appointment. We await with interest and some concern.

  4. I think the crowd on Sunday (b the Sheep) will be a bumper, mostly to help see us over the finishing line, but also in no small part because it may be a (hopefully short-duration) fond farewell for several thousand of those present …




  5. mild mannered Pedro delgado on

    I’ve only been reading cqn since 2011



    I sought out Internet to follow rtc and find out what was goin on with der Hun


    It strike me there are 3 type of people on here



    Positive Celtic fans



    Negative Celtic fans



    And Huns



    Be interestin to see people’s take on the new manager



    Will the same negs be anti the new man



    Will the same positives get behind him




    We’re the same guys pro/ anti the board in the past

  6. ——



    The Obamalini & ‘Purple Heart’ Kerry & Trouser-Suit Hillary…








    Vladimir Putin & Sergei Lavrov.









    [ Why…The Donald, Of Course! Hebcelt]





  7. theglasgowcelticway on




    McDonald would do a good job for any team in our premier league. He should never be allowed to leave us when he did.

  8. glendalystonsils on



    They could get the shuttle to Shettleston.







    I once took the shuttle to Shettleston to buy a shuttlecock from the shuttlecock shop but the shuttlecock shop


    was shut.



    Redleatheryellowleather CSC

  9. glendalystonsils on





    Thanks for the “wee” extra.




    Oooooo-er, Matron!!!!

  10. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    Good Evening Timland.



    A big well done Celtic on the ST pricing.



    Who we rooting fur the night?

  11. Can’t see Sevco signing Scott McDonald.



    He’d remind them too much of how the act to which they pay tribute blew the league in 2004-5 by fielding improperly-registered players. (2002-3 all over again!)



    No helicopters required.



    And then there was the headed assist for JVoH’s last minute winner which put us on the way to WGS’ 3-in-a-row.



    Ah, those lovely whirring blades in the sky above Dundee!

  12. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    THETIMREAPER………I’m a fitba snob and don’t pay


    much attention tae the lower league’s.



    I’ll be cheering fur Royal Madrid.

  13. Doubt it’ll happen, but I think a City v Atlético final would be more interesting.



    There would of course be the drawback of having to watch it with the volume muted!



    Still, know who I’d be rooting for !



    “I bear more grudges,



    Than lonely high court judges” SPM.

  14. Ah season book renewal time. We get a nice squirrel from Paul, who’s increasingly desperate attempts to avoid talking about the big picture becomes more and more shrill.



    Paul accuses his fellow supporters of conspiracy theories over season book prices. But it’s nonsense. The only reason that books are frozen in price is because the board are beginning to panic. They have been inundated with angry letters, emails, phone calls etc since our humiliation against the Hun. For the first time their arrogance is rocked.



    Now is the only time that the board care about you. It is clear that Celtic and it’s board are changing nothing except a patsy manager (probably do another). The failed strategy remains (alongside lovelly bonus payments). Those of you confused by the 19 games things. Yes your kids will get 19 games. But two of them will be crap friendlies. Then Celtic have the grace to offer your children a game against the hun( who are back to being called rangers fc) for a discount price. Don’t expect it be to a discount.



    Of course it’s all badly worded, confusing etc because they want you to be confused. Can’t have clear and transparent pricing can we? That would be too obvious.



    So here you are. And its decision time (and a bigger decision on season books you will never have).



    It’s patently obvious to all that Celtic are embracing the return of racism and have fully accepted and won’t question the corruption. They are simply gambling on you loving the racism so much you will sleep walk into it. I think it’s now time to accuse our host openly of contributing to this by refusing to question the Celtic boards stance on res12 or on their participation in the corruption.



    The board is now set. Don’t be swayed by hollow clams of jam tomorrow (honest Celtic will say something eventually) cos it won’t happen. Winnings can keep giving us cryptic clues as to good news. The reason it’s so cryptic is that it doesn’t exist.



    So you have a choice. Don’t renew or at the very least delay your renewal. And watch the power to enforce change that is in your hands.



    If you do renew then expect the schism in the Celtic support to widen and that support finally fracture. Be prepared for your place at the back of the bus, rampant cheating and you won’t be able to say a word. Because it’s what you bought into.



    Be prepared for a slow, lingering but certain decline and death.



    A hope Peter and the board are happy with their reward.



    I hope Paul is pleased with his work.



    Some choice ahead of you folks. You should be angry it is forced upon you.

  15. all seated stadiums were never policed the way they should have , most fans i witnessed never sat anyway , now it is just official and fans will still stand outwith the standing designated area as they have always done.

  16. HebCelt.



    I hear your coming out to play on Saturday,What time will you be in town,looking forward to meeting you again,I think the Blane Valley may be a bit crowded on a Saturday afternoon.


    Deila once again failed in Europe, and has only just managed to keep hold of the Scottish Premiership title – but it was ultimately the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Old Firm rivals Rangers last month which pushed Deila out of Celtic Park.



    from OLLY DAWES



    only just ????????????????



    new expression YOU ARE TALKING A LOT OF OLLY DAWES.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on




    Nice tae see yer getting right behind our new


    patsy manager….who ever he is.

  19. Neganon2 Seeif I happened to be stranded on a desert island with you, I’d kill myself. On second thoughts what am I saying I’d do you :) :) Ever try making your point with a humorous slant, could work you know. H H Hebcelt







    Nice tae see yer getting right behind our new



    patsy manager….who ever he is.



    It is up to the Board to shock us all and prove the Neganons wrong.




    Hold not your breath.

  21. Nye bevans. Any new manager saddled with concepts such as Moneyball is by definition a patsy.



    Celtic need real change. That means Lawwell must go. It’s clear he doesn’t want to though.

  22. Just read on Twitter an article in today’s Edinburgh Evening news.


    A Hibs supporter who ran onto the park to celebrate the S C victory over Hearts has been jailed for 4 mths!!!!






    Now apparently he has a bit of a record , but 4 months for celebrating your teams victory over your local rivals??



    What does that tell us about how football supporters are viewed by the authorities?







  23. Hebcelt I generally find most things funny. But not the situation at Celtic.

  24. NEGANON2 on 4TH MAY 2016 7:03 PM


    Nye bevans. Any new manager saddled with concepts such as Moneyball is by definition a patsy.




    Celtic need real change. That means Lawwell must go. It’s clear he doesn’t want to though.



    Why should he go when he can hang on and get a deal when he is pushed?

  25. An Teach Solais on

    NEGANON@ 6.51pm


    If you are so sure of your oft-stated prediction that Celtic is in terminal decline, why do have to repeat this assertion on an almost daily basis??


    Honestly puzzled.


    Re Paul’s choice of articles. I thought that it was HIS blog. As far as I can see, providing any poster keeps within the norms of decency, he/she is free to post as he/she pleases. Am I wrong ? Not doubting that you are sincere in expressing your feelings. HH

  26. glendalystonsils on

    BURGHBHOY on 4TH MAY 2016 7:03 PM



    You are safer running on to the pitch to assault the opposition manager.

  27. NEGANON2 on 4TH MAY 2016 7:04 PM


    Hebcelt I generally find most things funny. But not the situation at Celtic.



    A fortnight ago at Hampden still feels like Black Sunday 2.

  28. Old Tim arriving in Glasgow about 13:45, my mate and I should be up between 4-5. Looking forward to it, hope you are keeping well, see you Sat. H H Hebcelt

  29. AN TEACH SOLAIS on 4TH MAY 2016 7:05 PM


    NEGANON@ 6.51pm



    If you are so sure of your oft-stated prediction that Celtic is in terminal decline, why do have to repeat this assertion on an almost daily basis??



    Celtic may not be in terminal decline. However, without a change of direction, the club is heading for a football version of genteel poverty.

  30. Incredible scenes outside the stadium as the Madrid fans welcome the team coach as it approaches the ground.



    At first, I thought they were showing film of them arriving after winning ‘La Décima’!



    Obviously winning The Big Cup never gets old!

  31. NegAnon, OK You are having a go at Paul & have been for some time,



    Perhaps you also thank him for affording you a vehicle to outline your opinions & views. He is further to be commended by allowing a very liberal regime on here with very few rules.


    The reality of running a blog like this is that Paul cannot allow himself to be dragged into the debate, he has to remain detached accordingly he becomes an easy target, unable to defend himself.


    I think you should focus on the issues and stop making it personal.


    It must be quite obvious to you that Paul is not going to respond directly to you, so why continue goading him.

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