THE new parking proposals around Celtic Park, as proposed by Glasgow City Council, the state of the pitch at Celtic Park (this, before Brendan spoke publicly on his concerns about the pitch on Saturday), ticket policy for the visits from Sevco Rangers and the rumours about a new hotel at Celtic Park are subjects that CQN put to Celtic in a recent Q&A meet-up…
VFR800 reports back as usual…
Following on from the Q&A sessions with John Paul Taylor before Christmas, CQN met with him to discuss a number of issues and we presented a number of questions that we are now able to publish with answers.
GCC Parking Proposals around Celtic Park
CQN: There has been significant coverage recently about the Glasgow City Council parking plans around Celtic Park; this has raised some concern about the match-day experience for Celtic fans and some specific problems for certain fans. For example there is concern over access for disabled fans: what mechanisms will be put in place by GCC and Celtic to ensure ease of access for disabled fans?
JPT: This aspect hasn’t been made clear at all and is naturally something we will be asking GCC to explain clearly in order that we’re satisfied that disabled fans are not disadvantaged in any way.
CQN: Many older fans who do not have a “blue badge” rely on transport in cars to get to the match; how can they be catered for to ensure that they don’t have up to 1 mile to walk to the stadium? Also supporters with young children will be in a similar position to older fans who may find the long walk to the stadium difficult, especially in winter months and evening games. How can they be catered for to ensure that they don’t have up to 1 mile to walk to the stadium?
JPT: Same answer as above to both of these questions. I think the lack of any suggestions on how these issues will be managed tends to suggest that this whole idea has not been considered with the wider support in mind but has simply been put forward on the basis that all fans are young, fit and able bodied. Naturally we are hopeful that GCC will have taken these matters into account and that they will share their plan with us as to how they will address them.
CQN COMMENT: The impression being given is that Celtic are taking this very seriously and are in touch with GCC reading the issues we have raised. We will continue to press for long-term answers to these questions.
Season Tickets and Glasgow Derby Pricing
CQN: There have been a number of questions regarding the status and cost of the upgrade for special season ticket holders for the Glasgow Derby games against Sevco Rangers. Will special/concession season ticket holders have an option to buy a ticket that includes all home league games next season?
JPT: The final details of the Season Ticket package have yet to be finalised but I believe there is a proposal to include this as an option next season.
CQN: Are there any plans to include those on lower wages (e.g. apprentices) or the unemployed in concessionary season tickets?
JPT: Not that I’m aware of at present, I think these schemes are admirable but I fear they would be very difficult to administer.
Celtic Park playing surface
CQN: The condition of the playing surface has been deteriorating as the season has progressed and there are noticeable bare patches on the pitch; are there any plans in place to bring it to the standard we would expect for Celtic FC?
JPT: As most fans know we have an excellent Groundstaff with Hayesie winning Groundsman of the year on numerous occasions. I’ve got no doubt that John and the boys will be doing all they can to make sure the pitch is in top condition for the remainder of this season and next. I know that we had a new pitch laid a season or two ago so I’m not clear on whether another new one is in the pipeline but as I say we have the best team in the country working on it.
CQN COMMENT: this was raised with JPT before the recent comments in the press from Brendan Rodgers. The pitch was re-laid after the 2014 Commonwealth Games and hasn’t fared as well as the previous pitch which was down for 14 years. We predicted on the blog ten days ago that a new hybrid pitch would be in place for next season, along the lines of the pitch at Arsenal.
Almores Café Hotel
CQN: There have been observations of groundworks near the existing ticket office and rumblings of a hotel; without asking for speculation, are there any truth in these rumours?
JPT: No word on any of these I’m afraid, I know it was mooted at other Clubs in the past so I don’t see the Club falling into that trap, if when there is anything to announced the Club will confirm and state clearly what their plans are.
CQN COMMENT: Understandably Celtic don’t want this to turn into a floating pitch and moonbeams scenario so are, quite rightly, keeping tight-lipped about these “rumoured” proposals. It’s interesting that it wasn’t flat out denied; it was “no word on these”. In this vein, Winning Captains and I had to settle for a burger from the van as there was no succulent lamb on offer either!