Celtic fan groups call for Linfield ticket rethink

Two Celtic fan groups have urged the club to reverse their decision to decline tickets from Linfield '“ and asked the Belfast club to consider selling directly to visiting fans.

Linfield's home ground of Windsor Park. Picture: SNS

Celtic last week revealed that no tickets would be available for their fans for the potential Champions League qualifier at Windsor Park.

Should Northern 
Ireland’s champions progress past La Fiorita of San Marino, the second-round first leg has been pencilled in for a 5pm kick-off on Friday, 14 July – two days after the Orange marching season hits its peak – following discussions with the clubs and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

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The timing exacerbated fears over a meeting between two clubs with supporters on opposite sides of Northern Ireland’s political divide and the Scottish champions stated that the “safety and 
security of all Celtic 
supporters travelling and attending matches is of paramount importance to the club”.

But the Celtic Trust and Green Brigade have demanded a re-think.

A joint statement posted on the trust’s Facebook page read: “The vague statement released by the board late on Friday afternoon did not contain any clear explanation of this decision – a decision made with no consultation at all with fan organisations, groups or regular European away travellers.

“The statement noted ‘safety concerns’ but it is our understanding that the PSNI does not object to Celtic fans travelling and, indeed, Linfield has publicly encouraged the board to accept our allocation and stated they are ‘more than happy’ for Celtic fans to attend the match.

“We believe that the board is more concerned with protecting the brand than the welfare of the fans or the success of our 
team.

“We call on the board to reconsider their decision, and should they fail to do so, for Linfield to sell 
tickets directly to Celtic supporters.”