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. mike in toronto on




    If this is a time for unity…. doesnt that apply equally to the Board? How can the fans be ‘unified’ with the Board, if the Board isn’t ‘unified’ with the fans?



    If the Board knows what happened to the 5WA, if they know what is going on with R12, then why aren’t the fans being told? Unity is a 2 way street.



    If the people in charge of Celtic have an OF business model, then supporting them in their endeavours is actually hurting Celtic and its fans in the long run.

  2. Oops!



    Forgot I was on delay tv!



    Caught up now, and see my late comment was accurate.

  3. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on




    We are living in ANOTHER golden age for Spanish fitba.

  4. MiT



    If Citeh get to halftime with the same scoreline, they only need the one goal to qualify if they don’t concede again, obviously.



    Not impossible with Aguero and de Bruyne about.



    It’s the not conceding that’s more of a problem!

  5. mike in toronto on

    NBRS …



    I dont disagree with you …. spanish football is great to watch …. it is just, for me… the old Euro Cup was special because it was sort of exotic …. seeing different teams from different countries …. I just think it misses something if it is two teams from the same country in the final



    I thought RM would win today, which was why I was hoping for a bayern win yesterday.

  6. I’ve read with interest posters, giving reasons why they will not renew, were be it resolution 12, the corruption of the sfa or the huns being treated with kid gloves.



    For myself and a lot of supporters I speak to, the Saturday/Sunday early kick offs or even Sunday games is the biggest turn off.



    This needs addressed, considering the paltry amount we receive.



    Get back to Saturday afternoons and feck sky/BT and the rest of the channels.

  7. mike in toronto on

    Beatbhoy… agree … Aguero is a great player… but, if I were putting together a team, deBruyne might be the first player I buy… a really good player… and a good player to watch as well.



    You know how to pick your players!

  8. MiT



    His comeback from a bad knee injury at the start of the year has been outstanding.



    Played as if he’d never been away, and City missed him badly.

  9. mike in toronto on

    beatbhoy … bbc just reporting that Aguero hasn’t had a shot on target in 470 minutes of CL football … timing is everything! :)

  10. Marrakesh Express on

    When you see semi finals in the Bernabeu and Allianz, and then consider Pirlo, Messi and Maldini etc stating that CP is the best atmosphere in the Champions Lg, it’s some accolade.

  11. There was contact!!!!


    The oft repeated mantra of football commentators to convince you that the diving fanny did not just do as such.


    Tolerance of cheating is a societal issue.


    But football is now challenging theatre for the level of theatrics.


    Financial doping and cheating all over the green field and we are told it’s sport.


    The once beautiful game ruined by tv and wealthy ownership.

  12. MiT



    Ha! Ha!



    Forgot he put a penalty wide against PSG in quarter final!

  13. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    Goodnight Timland.



    The young Miss has her English exam tomorrow


    so I’m surrendering the laptop,a wee prayer for her


    and the next generation widnae go a miss.

  14. Citeh get to halftime with no further damage.



    Madrid might get a bit twitchy if it’s still only 1-0 after about 70, with that away goal rule.

  15. prestonpans bhoys on

    Oh good Lord mcmanapish on at HT, the Andy Walker of English football. Were is the mute button…..

  16. Mike in Toronto



    I agree .


    The board must endeavour to be united with the fans.




  17. An Teach Solais on

    Wee prayer that St. Joseph of Cupertino, patron of young people sitting examinations will intercede for our teens tomorrow and throughout the exams period. HH

  18. Neg Anon



    I don’t want Celtic to change.


    I want them to improve in all aspects.



    But primarily I want a better team on the park.



    The boards biggest failing in my eyes is that they have not got a workable plan to get us out of the SPFL.



    We are shrinking staying there.




  19. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Mini starts hers tomorrow also





    Hmmmm ;-)

  20. Burghbhoy



    That is exactly how I feel.



    But I will definitely be renewing.




  21. EDB



    I hope to see you at the match on Sunday.


    I am greeter ,so be warned .



    Stay strong .




  22. —–






    We Have No Connexion Tae Mossend..



    Other Than Passing Through It A Coupla Times 30+ Years Ago…



    However,It Did Stick In Our Minds….



    As The Place Where We Saw Our Very First Three-Legged Dog…



    (A Black Labrador Cross-Breed ? )



    On Oor Way Tae An “Open-Day” At Honeywells Computers…



    When Computers Were The “Next Big Thing”….



    An’ We Were Told We Would Only Need Six Of Them….




    For The Entire Country..!



    Best Wishes….




  23. Hart saves City after great move by Real. Modric should’ve scored though.

  24. Saint Stivs says SACK THE BOARD on

    Good news good news.



    Unsellable tickets pegged back to existing prices which is less than 2012 pricing.



    Good news good news



    Twenty’s plenty a near success as we leave ticket prices as they are today (eh whit).



    Good news good news



    We have our biggest spender betting sponsor who wants you all to be spending bigger (daftybets).


    They started today on old firm statements.



    Good news good news



    Magners continues as a sponsor promoting their Irish cider. Watch for them doing something with their English cider version at 2nd rangers. Old firmest near joint sponsorship.



    Good news good news.



    Peter knows what res12 is and he fully supports it. But given his PLC obligations he can’t really call anyone out on it.



    Good news good news



    Let’s wait on the next tax case verdict .then we might consider title stripping.



    Did I read that right ?



    Let me Douglas park the bus for a minute.


    For a number of years old rangers falsely registered players.


    Every time this happened the result should be overturned to a 3-0 loss.


    On several dozen occasions they played with a full team of wrongly registered players.



    Jim carry got done for abusing and misinterpreted the rules on one Celtic player.Got done. Pursued by Fergus.



    By my wreckoning Celtic and the rest of football got cheated on at least 400 football match occasions.



    Buy a season book for a spineless executive board to be mute on all cheating.






    Did I miss anything ?

  25. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on






    Mini starts hers tomorrow also









    Yup – Miss BGFC sits her English Higher tomorrow at St Ambrose – prayers for all the weans.






  26. Nat know I have no information on anything Celtic pay for on cqn. I suspect they don’t. But I do know how well connected Paul is with board members and he has become the voice of the Celtic support as far as the msm are concerns. Those two things concern me greatly.



    Corkcelt in CQNs early days Paul did debate. I understand why he doesn’t now. That’s not my point. My point is he will not tackle the boards performance. That’s wrong.



    An teach. Simple. We withdraw our money from the board, that is the only thing they will listen to. It’s painful but it’s sadly necessary.



    Winnings. Was that the good news? That Celtic were too scared to raise season ticket prices? Do you know what forced Celtic hand? The letters from supporters. The threat of withdrawing our season books. That threat still exists. I only see this as a sop. The board need to earn trust (and they have done nothing to earn it). If I read your article correctly then the suggestion is that Celtic not act on res12 because of the court cases involving the Hun. Is that correct? And if it is what is the connection? I would suggest that res12 is about the sfa. It doesn’t need connected. And therefore if this is the reason then it is spurious and simply an attempt to kick rs12 into the long grass before burying it. Please correct me if I have misunderstood. And if Paul is pushing res12 then why be quiet about it?



    Big wavey. I will ask again. Give me a single good reason why Celtic don’t take res12 to UEFA? Or indeed the sfa?