Ex-Celtic star: Away fans should be banned in ‘embarrassing’ Old Firm fixture

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Former Celtic star Davie Provan insists the Old Firm derby is a regular ‘embarrassment’ to Scottish football as he welcomed both clubs cutting the ticket allocation for away supporters.

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The away fans' allocation has been cut down at both Celtic Park and Ibrox. Picture: SNS

The away fans' allocation has been cut down at both Celtic Park and Ibrox. Picture: SNS

Rangers took the decision earlier this year to significantly reduce the away section at Ibrox for Glasgow derby encounters, which soon saw Celtic follow suit.

The Parkhead club have since voiced their concerns that supporters may not be safe as they make their way to Govan for the upcoming clash on 29 December.

Provan, though, believes away fans should have been banned a long time ago, and that doing so would take some of the hatred out of the fixture.

Writing in his column for the Scottish Sun, he said: “Police Scotland should have banned away fans years ago. Yeah, it would be an advantage for Steven Gerrard’s side to have the whole of Ibrox behind them, but Brendan Rodgers’ boys would have the same edge at Celtic Park in March.

“By reducing Celtic’s allocation to sell more season tickets, Dave King has done everyone a favour.

“Already, Celtic have retaliated and if this leads to an all-out ban on away fans for Old Firm games, I’ll drink to that.

“In the past this fixture has cost lives. Taking the hatred out of it by banning away supporters would be a step forward. The game is more trouble than it’s worth.”

He added: “Some believe banning away fans will ruin the Old Firm spectacle. What spectacle? The sight of two tribes spewing sectarian hatred at each other?

“Sorry, but we shouldn’t be celebrating the atmosphere of this game. It embarrasses every one of us.

“By the time I hung the boots up I’d more than 30 Old Firm games under my belt. I didn’t enjoy any of them.”