Celtic fans braced for Rangers 'lock-out' at Ibrox in first Old Firm game of cinch Premiership campaign

Ibrox will host the first Old Firm game of the season, but Celtic’s visit to Rangers is set to be played in front of home fans only.

Police segregate between the supporters during the Ladbrokes Premier match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium, on September 1, 2019, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Recent years have seen a decrease in visiting supporters attending the fixture when played at both Ibrox and Parkhead and Celtic were expecting to have around 700 supporters present at the home of their city rivals and last year’s SPFL champions.

However Rangers have reportedly pulled the plug on away fans attending after seeking assurances that the club’s own fans would not be locked out of future clashes at Celtic Park this season.

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Hearts fans were unable to watch their team’s Premier Sports Cup defeat in the east end of Glasgow last weekend as the home side required additional ‘sterile space’ in the stadium under SPFL guidelines which meant relocating home fans and left no space for visitors. St Mirren fans have also been adversely affected by the restrictive ‘red-zone’ for Sunday’s cinch Premiership fixture.

Celtic fans were moved to the corner section of Ibrox in 2018 having previously been allocated the adjacent Broomloan Road stand. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The Daily Record reports that as Celtic were unable to confirm if this would also be the case when the Old Firm sides meet again in January’s reverse fixture, Rangers took action and denied the away allocation set for Ibrox next weekend, meaning home fans will only be present for the first meeting of Ange Postecoglou and Steven Gerrard.

Fan capacity at the fixture has been an issue in recent seasons with Rangers reducing the previous Old Firm away allocation in the Broomloan Road stand by shifting Celtic supporters into the usual visitors’ section in the north-west corner of the ground. Celtic reciprocated by cutting their rivals’ allowance for games at Parkhead.

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