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Celtic, Rangers Set for Derby Showdown—Still Without Away Fans

No, there won’t be any away supporters at Ibrox on Sunday, as Celtic take on Rangers in the latest edition of the Glasgow derby. However, the years-long ticketing tit for tat between Scotland’s two biggest clubs appears to have ended, with an agreement, announced earlier this week, that will allow traveling supporters to attend matches at Celtic Park and Ibrox, beginning with the first derby match of the 2024-25 season.

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And so, with relatively little fanfare—unusual, in and of itself, in Scotland—all of the atmosphere that makes this one of the most compelling fixtures in world football (though, admittedly, not for the faint-hearted) looks set to return. Unless, of course, another disagreement intervenes. Which is always possible when Celtic and Rangers are involved.

With the new agreement, 5% of tickets in both grounds will be set aside for away supporters. At Celtic Park, that means about 3,000 seats; at Ibrox, about 2,500. That’s less than half of the 7,000 allocated historically, and that made these matches such a unique spectacle. But still, it’s better than 0, the number of away supporters who will—officially at least—in the stands in Govan on Sunday.

And while that may diminish the atmosphere, it will hardly lessen the significance of the match, which promises to be key in the title race, what with Celtic clinging to a two-point lead at the top of the table, and Rangers holding a match in hand.

That latter match, by the way, could be played as soon as next Wednesday, with Dundee scheduled to host Phillipe Clement’s side at Dens Park, in a match originally slated for March 17th, but scuppered by a water-logged pitch.

Ironically, that fixture could set off another row between the two Glasgow giants—that is, if reports suggesting that Celtic have provided Dundee with pitch covers to protect the surface from further damage, what with rain in the forecast in the coming days (it is spring in Scotland, after all).

There’s no question the Hoops have a vested interest in making sure that match isn’t moved to a neutral ground—or, worse, Ibrox. But first things first. On Sunday, all eyes will be on Rangers’ home ground, even if those with a green view will be relegated to their televisions. At least for now.

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