Newco have cut Celtic’s ticket allocation at Ibrox from 7,000 to 800 tickets per game next season. I understand their thinking. There have been four games between the clubs at Ibrox, Celtic winning each: the first, coming from behind, the second, free-wheeling by a couple of goals, the third – scoring five, and the fourth – twice coming from behind, then winning with 10 men.
It is a litany of humiliation, played out while 7,000 have a party in a stadium, the rest of which is near-empty well before full time. Can you imagine having to sit through this, season after season? Of course they want to reduce our headcount and garner whatever competitive advantage possible.
There are problems. League rules state a “reasonable number of visiting supporters” must be admitted. This number should be agreed in advance with the visiting club, or else the SPFL board will adjudicate.
Then there is the small matter of the Ibrox safety certificate, which Dave King previously said depended on Celtic fans being given the Broomloan Stand. The police insist each set of fans have distinct and separate approaches to stadiums at high-risk games.
Celtic will be happy to reduce the number of Newco fans they have to accommodate – it should shelve talk of having to put prison-grade toilet facilities in areas they visit. Each away team will suffer a competitive disadvantage, but making visits to Ibrox trickier will do our European preparations no harm.
Whatever the police and SPFL say, Dave King has more to worry about.
He still has to get £11m out of South Africa and into a UK bank account.
He needs to satisfy the Takeover Panel before he can start a share issue.
He needs to satisfy the Court of Session over his failure to comply with Takeover Panel instructions.
He needs to satisfy loans due by 1 July (Oh you thought they were all going to be converted to shares, did you? Wait for this one).
He needs to fund a trading shortfall for next season.
He needs to find enough cash to keep the management team on-side before the transfer window closes.
And he needs to convince Uefa they satisfy Financial Fair Play regulations. Straightforward if you have lots of cash, don’t need to use it to buy-out other shareholders at 20p/share, repay loans or fund a football team.
There is simply too much to do. Better to circle the wagons by throwing some crumbs to the easily-deluded. You know how this story ends.
It’s the 25th May. It is also the weekend. You have permission to wallow in nostalgia for 24 hours. Enjoy it.
You can also participate in Green Day: donate £5 (see below) to the Foundation. You’ll enjoy this too.