Former Celtic player and boss Kenny Dalglish reckons Old Firm clashes with Rangers will be “diluted” after both sides were stripped of their away allocations.
The Scottish Premiership heavyweights have raised concerns about the safety of supporters in the limited numbers situation which has seen around 800 fans allowed into either stadium up to this point in the campaign – but that will be reduced to zero for the remaining fixtures at both Celtic Park and Ibrox this season. It marks a dramatic fall from the thousands that used to pour into the away stands to create a derby day cauldron in Glasgow – and making the fixture one of the most renowned derby fixtures across the globe.
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Dalglish reckons the decision by the clubs is a real blow for Scottish football – admitting something will now be taken away from the fixture going forward. However, the Liverpool icon backed the decision if it was taken on safety grounds by the Glasgow rivals.
Writing in his Sunday Post column, Dalglish said: “My preference would be to have it back to the way it used to be, when Celtic had 7000 or 8000 at Ibrox and Rangers had the same number at Parkhead. It changed a few years ago when Rangers reduced it to 800 fans to make sure season-ticket holders were given priority.
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“That was unfortunate, but I could understand where they were coming from. Celtic then followed suit.
“We are now at a stage where there will be no visiting supporters at the next two league games and that will dilute the atmosphere. It will be a fantastic fixture – but a little bit of something has been taken away. But if it’s down to putting the safety of supporters first, then you need to respect that. All fans need to feel safe, and be safe, when going to the football.”