Former Rangers striker Gordon Smith thinks the decision to slash the number of away fans attending Old Firm games will affect the “overall spectacle” of the derby – after both sides confirmed plans to cut the number of tickets offered to around 800, down from 6500.

Smith thinks that the “fantastic fixture” is made special by both sets of fans “belting their lungs out” before, during and after the world-famous clash.

The ex-Gers striker and director of football insists that you can’t cut the number of fans and not expect it to change the atmosphere.

“The old saying: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ came to mind when I heard about the moves by Rangers and Celtic to cut the number of away fans at Old Firm games,” Smith said, as quoted by the Sunday Post.

“It is a fantastic fixture.

“And a significant part of that is the fact there are two sets of supporters belting their lungs out.

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“It was like that back when I was playing, and it was much the same this season.

“So you can’t decimate the numbers of one side, and imagine it won’t make a difference to the overall spectacle.”

Football Insider verdict:

The atmosphere may change a little but the idea that Rangers – or any other club for that matter – should lock out thousands of their own fans who want to attend home games on a regular basis to accommodate your biggest rivals is absolutely laughable. If Rangers can sell the tickets to their own fans then it makes far more sense to do that than limit the number of tickets available because of Celtic fans might want them. Things like this are exactly why fans in Scotland are fed up of the ‘old guard’ who want everything to remain the way it was when they played simply because. If 800 tickets is good enough for every other club in the country when they come to Ibrox then it is more than good enough for Celtic fans. If people are that keen to hear Celtic fans make noise then I’d suggest getting a season ticket for Celtic Park rather than hanging your hat on hearing it at Ibrox.

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