‘I’ve got my own views’ - Brendan Rodgers defends Celtic’s position over Old Firm ticket row and claims Rangers fixture has suffered
The Hoops manager has waded into the ongoing stand-off between the two Glasgow clubs.
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Brendan Rodgers has backed Celtic’s stance as the Old Firm ticket war rumbles on, claiming the derby fixture has suffered as a result of having NO travelling supporters in attendance in recent years.
While admitting games against arch rivals Rangers remain a great spectacle, the Hoops boss reckons the reduced numbers of away fans and the total shut out of travelling spectators has cast a grey cloud over the showpiece fixture.
However, Rodgers admits he is fully on board with the decision of Parkhead officials to knock back the offer of 708 tickets for the opening Glasgow derby of the season at Ibrox on September 3 amid safety concerns. The Hoops are expected to deny Rangers fans access for the return meeting at Parkhead in December, despite claims that Ibrox chiefs will demand their minimum allocation of around 800 tickets.
Various reports suggest the Gers are prepared to complain to the SPFL if Celtic don’t co-operate, but any attempts from league hierachy to force the issue will be fought by the Scottish champions.
Offering his thoughts on the current stand-off, Rodgers said: “I think ultimately, from the club’s perspective, it’s about the safety of the game. That’s obviously the priority. I’ve been lucky enough to watch the games over many years and to be a part of them in my first period here. But I’ve got my own views on it having felt the atmosphere and everything with it.
“There has been something taken away from the games. 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.”
Meanwhile, Rodgers has issued an update on the condition of centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers and midfielder Reo Hatate ahead of Sunday’s Viaplay Cup knockout clash against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. Both players were forced off through injury during the 3-1 win at Aberdeen last weekend.
Rodgers stated: “We just need to see how they are over the next week or two. Cam has a slight hamstring and Reo a slight calf. They won’t be ready for this weekend and the surface is obviously too much of a risk. We’ll assess them over the coming week. There isn’t a specific time on it. We just need to see how they are over the next week or so.”