Lee McCulloch has rubbished complaints that the decision to slash Celtic’s ticket numbers for Old Firm games will affect the world-famous atmosphere – insisting it makes “perfect sense for Rangers” to reduce the number of Celtic fans at Ibrox from 6500 to 800.
The Gers confirmed last week that Hoops fans would be moved from the Broomloan Road Stand to the Sandy Jardine West corner with thousands more tickets available to Gers fans instead – with Celtic following suit for games at their ground.
The former Gers skipper thinks the Ibrox giants should do everything to give them an advantage after dropping far too many points at home last season as they struggled to a third-place finish in the Scottish Premiership.
“When it comes to the Old Firm games, I think people are reading far too much into it. It is not a tit-for-tat, it is a move that makes perfect sense for Rangers,” McCulloch said, as quoted by the Evening Times.
“Too many teams have taken points at Ibrox over the last couple of seasons and that has to change next term. So Rangers need their fans on side from the off.
“If we are going to be serious about challenging for the title, there can be no dropped points going into the first game against Celtic.
“Rangers need to go into that fixture ready to take them on and if Ibrox is bouncing with our own supporters then that gives the team a better chance of winning matches at home. That has to be a benefit.”
Football Insider verdict:
McCulloch is absolutely spot on. Rangers should be doing what benefits the club and their fans first before bending over backwards to accommodate rival fans. Giving Celtic a full stand at Ibrox hasn’t made any sense and it is only right that they are crammed into the same corner that every other set of away fans get. Some have complained that it will affect the atmosphere but with 6500 or 800 fans there, Celtic fans will make plenty of noise if they win and the same will be true for Gers fans when they travel across the city. The chance for more fans to get season tickets at Ibrox is also something the club should be applauded for making happen rather than forcing them to miss out on getting to see their heroes to let Celtic fans in instead. The reduced numbers of visiting fans will also no doubt help reduce damage done to seats and toilets every time the two sides meet.
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