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Stewart Robertson: Large away allocations at Old Firm derbies unlikely to return

Celtic v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Ian Rutherford)

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson admits he does not envisage large numbers of away supporters returning to the Glasgow derby in the near future.

The fixture between the two great rivals used to see in excess of 7,000 away fans at both Ibrox and Celtic Park.

However, Rangers chose to cut Celtic’s allocation for matches at Ibrox to just 800 in 2018, claiming the decision was driven by season-ticket demand following the appointment of Steven Gerrard as manager.

Celtic immediately reciprocated by doing the same for Rangers fans attending Parkhead.

The presence of so few away fans is widely deemed to have diminished the fixture as a spectacle in recent years.

But Robertson does not believe the situation can change any time soon because season tickets have now been sold in the stands traditionally occupied by visiting supporters.

He told The Athletic: “I think things have evolved over time. About 800 fans from either side now go to games.

“The challenge is changing that at the moment because both teams have sold season tickets in those areas and actually it is ‘how do you change that back?’

“Those supporters have renewal rights so it is not something I see changing in the short term.”

Followers of both teams who enjoy going to away games have called for the situation to be resolved between the clubs, but Robertson claims he detects little appetite within Rangers’ fanbase for large visiting support to return to the fixture.

He said: “The vast majority of our fans don’t want it to change, they are comfortable with it.

“I don’t know how it is on the other section of the city but certainly from our supporters’ perspective they are comfortable with it the way it is.

“The vast majority, I would be lying if I said everybody.”

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