The Celtic Star
·22 August 2022
The Celtic Star
·22 August 2022
Earlier today we broke the news that St Mirren had cut the away allocation for Celtic fans for the game on 17 September to just 1493, thus joining Ross County, Kilmarnock and Dundee United this weekend in reducing the number of tickets that are usually given to Celtic and indeed theRangers when the Glasgow sides visit their grounds.
Ross County swiftly reversed the policy after being left with so many empty seats on their first home match of the season against Celtic. The Champions and League Cup holders are back in Dingwall next Wednesday as Ange Postecoglou’s side sets about defending the cup won at Hampden last December against Hibs. And the Celtic support will be much bigger at that game as the Highland club look to revert to the bums on seats policy that has served Livingston so well against the Glasgow clubs.
Celtic fans packed into St Mirren’s ground last December for the 0-0 draw.
Livingston that day got the three points and maximised their revenue, an important factor smaller clubs for clubs like Livi and of course St Mirren.
Now though this farcical situation has become almost comical but there’s actually nothing to laugh about with the news that St Mirren are actually asking their own supporters to pay a voluntary contribution of £30 to supplement the loss of income from denying Celtic fans the opportunity to go to the game and support their team.
The background to this is that St Mirren, as a community club, surveyed their supporters asking them if they wanted to continue with restricting the Glasgow clubs to just one stand and if so would they be willing to pay to keep half the usual number of Celtic supporters out of their ground next month.
Livingston v Celtic – cinch Premiership – Celtic’s James McCarthy left in action during the cinch Premiership match at the Tony Macaroni Arena, Livingston. Sunday September 19, 2021. Photo Andrew Milligan
The survey results showed that the Saints fans were prepared to pay for this rather bizarre scenario but it’s worth pointing out that the St Mirren fans are not actually obliged to spend an additional £30 to keep a Celtic supporter out and may decide, in these tough times with a cost of living crisis hitting so many families, that this money could be better spent elsewhere.
Probably by the time theRangers come calling the madness of this situation will have been resolved with their fan getting two stands?
As we mentioned earlier today marketing managers are not interested in ploughing money into a league that delivers so many empty seats and it’s hardly an attractive spectacle for television executives that the clubs would like attract.
St Mirren’s Help a Buddie initiative, where supporters get the chance to purchase and donate a match ticket for those less fortunate, is a much better part of this initiative and should be applauded. St Mirren want to retain their Tony Fitzpatrick Family Stand for home supporter and to give as many supporters as possible the opportunity to “come and be part of the St Mirren Family”. Fans can spend £25 on a ticket that will be shared amongst some of the most vulnerable in the community.
Fine, well done Saints but the overall number of St Mirren fans at the game against Celtic next month is likely to result in large empty spaces in their small ground. If St Mirren can make it work then fair play to them, if their supporters want to pay the £30 that’s their choice.
It’s a tall order to expect that to happen and the folk who are going to suffer are the Celtic supporters denied the chance to watch their team play. Relegation would mean that they’d not need to worry about these matters next season.
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