Police Scotland asleep at the wheel


“The Away Club shall have the right to claim admission for its supporters of up to 20% of the spectator capacity of the Registered Ground at which the Match is to be played.”  That, with a small caveat for the Safety at Sports Ground Act, 1975, is the simple rule which governs away ticket allocation at Scottish Cup matches.

It is uncontroversial and has stood the test of time for decades.  At Celtic Park, which is the largest ground in the country, it means we are obliged to offer more tickets to away fans than anyone else.  Fair enough.

Offering token ticket numbers for Premiership games breaches the time tested safe routes to and from grounds.  At Ibrox, for example, 700 Celtic fans were expected to park alongside Newco fans, then walk through them to the top of Broomloan Road – the designated car parking area for Celtic fans was not sufficient to accommodate even a third of that number.

When I was there for such an occasion, we were fortunate that most of the other lot made an early exit from the game, other outcomes are possible.  While inside the stadium, glass bottles rained down from the stands towering above Celtic fans.

Where was the Safety at Sports Ground Act, 1975, when this arrangement got the green light, you are entitled to wonder?  The same scenario will hold at other grounds if a few hundred away fans are isolated among hostile opposition supporters.

You either make football safe, which Scottish Cup games are and having no away fans are, or you accept there will be actual harm to visiting fans.

Newco are boxed into a corner.  They designated part of the stadium for their ultras group where Celtic fans were traditionally accommodated.  This meant the ultras had to move for Celtic fans, which they really didn’t like and complained about for years.

With weak leadership, Newco relented, cut Celtic’s allocation and forever damaged the sport.  Unwinding this would mean moving their ultras, which is no more possible than Celtic moving 8,000 fans in the Jock Stein Stand, many of whom have been there for 20 years, to relocate their ultras.

When I got home from Ibrox after our win in April last year, I was disturbed that the police were asleep at the wheel in permitting such a dangerous scenario.  Event organisers are not the arbiters of what is and is not safe.  Newco, Police Scotland and Glasgow City Council have all looked the other way while Celtic acted on what was hard evidence of risk to life and limb.

This is why we have a board of professionals, not weak grifters.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5

  1. Good morning bhoys bring on the Wolves.



    Forgot the pub had Viaplay and invited the bhoys into mine.



    D :)

  2. What a day of sport



    First up



    Sweden ladies looked fabulous against Italy. Some people might say playing ‘the beautiful game’.






    The ashes test match resumes at the Oval with Bazball and no annoying barmy army.



    The rugby All Blacks v Wallabies



    Brazil v France in the woman’s World Cup.






    Springboks v Pumas at the rugby



    More ashes cricket






    A wee look at the huns in Germany



    Watch the Celtic warm in v Wolves.



    More Ashes cricket



    Oh and all sorts of other stuff like the Grand Prix practise from Belgium going on as well.

  3. Thanks Tom.


    I guess by ‘A’ you mean NUFC-QN or equivalent not the official site NUFC site.


    Enjoy the game today I have a blacksmith to see.:-))




  4. Shocking state of a back four.A midfielder at RB,a guy who actually will be going back to the Dons,and a guy we will be selling,or putting out on loan.Against an EPL team.C,Mon wee Greg. :-)))


    Starfelt,I think is away.As long as we get good money.


    Maeda,Kyoto,Abada,need them to play well.Hopefully all ready for next week.,and hoping to see both new signings today.


    Have heard last night that Starfelt is off,from a retired Bookie.We will see.



  5. Mild Colonial Bhoy on

    Re attendances. I cannot see how crowds at Scottish clubs are best in 70 years. I started going to games in 1960- 61 season. Our average league gate was around 19,500. Hearts average league gate was just over 20,000. Teams like Motherwell, St Mirren, Thistle had average gates of around 11,000. Even St Johnstone had an average gate of over 10,000. There is no way those clubs have gates anywhere near that these days.


    As for the old chestnut about Celtic under declaring attendances that is no doubt true, but every club did that. Due likely to reduce entertainment tax. Morton famously had the “Hal Stewart gate” where the turnstile didn’t click. However in the early 60’s our crowds were often below 20,000. That was obvious to anyone attending games in those days. Even in our great days in the Lisbon Lions era crowds of 40,000 (other than v Huns) were considered big. Nowadays a 40,000 crowd at a League game is considered poor. I suspect that the high attendance average for Scottish football is due mostly to the fact that there are people going to see our games (and the Huns) who in earlier years, for various reasons, would have spent their Saturday afternoons at the likes of East End Park, Fir Park etc.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5