Doors to be closed at Old Firm Glasgow final

The match is an under-17s game between youngsters of each side. Picture: SNS
The match is an under-17s game between youngsters of each side. Picture: SNS
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RANGERS and Celtic are set to play their Glasgow Cup final behind closed doors next week to avoid a repeat of past crowd problems at the fixture.

The under-17 game has been arranged for Tuesday night at 7pm at Hampden Park.

It is understood that despite consultation with Police Scotland, the clubs have decided to play the fixture without allowing the public in. Players and staff from both sides will be given limited tickets to permit family and friends admission in keeping with previous closed-door Development League games.

A small number of briefs will also be distributed to selected schools in the city as the crowd is kept to a minimum.

Otherwise fans will be shut out from the game, with their only way of seeing it being through the two clubs’ own television channels who will broadcast it live. There was trouble at the 2012 final at Ibrox when Celtic supporters set seats on fire.

A year later, at Partick Thistle’s Firhill Stadium, Rangers fans threw a flare at Celtic goalkeeper Jordan Hart while Celtic supporters ripped out seats and sang about the Ibrox Disaster.

Rangers supporters then set off smoke bombs and flares and destroyed seats during last season’s final at Celtic Park.

Crowds for group games between the two sides have generally been small in recent seasons and there has been no trouble at those matches.

But in the absence of senior derbies between the clubs during Rangers’ time in the lower leagues – and with a trophy up for grabs – fans have turned out in larger numbers for finals.

An attendance of 6,500 was recorded at the 2013 game while more than 8,000 people were at the match 12 months ago.

Anticipating a similar turnout at this term’s concluding game but fearing a repeat of the recurring crowd issues, the clubs have acted to stave off any problems.