Former Celtic manager Davie Hay is unimpressed after the Hoops and Rangers cut the allocation for away fans for next season’s Old Firm derbies.
Hay believes that the move could backfire on the Gers, as it could make Hoops players even more determined to pull off a win for the away fans at Ibrox.
“If I were a Celtic player walking out at Ibrox knowing that they had gone out of their way to make it as hostile as possible by reducing the visiting fans to around just 800, I am pretty sure that it would simply fire my determination to get a result” he said, as quoted by the Evening Times.
“I just don’t understand the reasoning behind it. Perhaps this is how Rangers feel they might have a better chance of winning one of the games against Celtic, because they are probably in a position where they are wondering what that feels like.”
The Hoops have won their last four visits to Ibrox, most recently a 3-2 win with 10 men in March which all but clinched the league title.
Football Insider verdict
It is a shame that the atmosphere at the Old Firm game will be changed dramatically from now on, as the number of opposition fans always added to the occasion of the games, but it seems that for the time being the away fans are set to be in the minority for the derbies next season. As Hay says though, it could backfire on the home team, as when Rangers previously banned Celtic fans in 1994, the Hoops were determined to make sure that they came away with a decent result and the match ended in a 1-1 draw. It will be interesting to see how long the decision to limit the number of away fans is made for, as it could end up with away fans being banned from the fixture entirely, or the clubs could eventually agree to restore the original allocation – and there is no doubt that the police will have their opinion on the matter as well.
In other Celtic news, Peter Lawwell has spoken about Brendan Rodgers’ future with the Hoops