Old Firm derby: Rangers chairman Dave King insists there will be no U-Turn on Celtic ticket decision

27 Nov

Rangers chairman Dave King has insisted the club have “no intention” of reversing the decision to slash Celtic’s ticket allocation for next month’s Old Firm derby.

The Light Blues announced earlier this season they would be handing their Old Firm rivals just 800 seats for the December 29 derby clash.

Rangers chairman Dave King

It was a move which saw the Hoops respond in tit-for-tat fashion ahead of the pair’s Scottish Premiership meeting at Parkhead in September.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers also criticised Rangers’ decision, with the Northern Irishman claiming it has damaged the fixture as a spectacle.

“There has been something taken away from the games,” said Rodgers.

“I think over the course of the games, home and away, they have been great spectacles, partly because of the impact of the away support. That’s now limited.”

But King, speaking at the Rangers International Football Club’s annual general meeting at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow, insists the new arrangement is here to stay.

Responding to a question from a shareholder, the South Africa-based tycoon said: “I can give you absolute assurance that the board has no intention of reversing that decision.”

Managing director Stewart Robertson also warned the Parkhead players they have a “responsibility” to behave both during and after next month’s Ibrox showdown.

It comes after the publication of a police memo which claimed the Celtic squad had provoked an angry response from Rangers fans following their 1-0 home win in the opening derby battle of the season.

Celtic players have been accused of goading Rangers fans

An unnamed superintendent claimed there had been a “clear link between the actions of the Celtic players (which immediately inflamed an already delicate situation) and subsequent response of the Rangers fans”.

Another police report, which was published following a Freedom of Information request, claimed: “Celtic players did a lap of the pitch before stopping in front of the Rangers supporters and celebrating which incensed the Rangers supporters.

“Public order officers intervened to prevent disorder and them entering the pitch.”

The police debrief stated they would liaise with clubs over “post-match celebrations on the pitch”.

Brendan Rodgers has slammed Rangers’ decision to allocate only 800 tickets to Celtic fans for the upcoming Old Firm derby

Rodgers insists it is “unfair” to blame his players for the actions of opposition fans.

But Robertson says the Hoops squad did play a part in the ugly scenes following the match.

The Rangers chief told the meeting: “Players have a responsibility to be very careful about their actions during games and after games.

“Every action can have a reaction, as we saw that day. We just can’t have a repeat of that and players have to be very conscious of what they are doing, whether it be celebrations or other actions.

“We would hope we don’t see any repeat of that at all, anywhere.”