Admitting their plan to stop away fans buying home end tickets for the season’s curtain-raiser ‘wasn’t carried out to an acceptable level’, the Lions have now pledged to make changes and ensure there is no repeat – even if it creates a financial hit on the West Lothian club.
Rangers were allocated three stands in the Tony Macaroni Arena and in future, Livingston will limit home end sales to season ticket holders with no online facility available when such large visiting crowds are anticipated, to avoid a repeat of Saturday lunchtime’s scenes which prompted complaints from supporters in the ground's main stand.
Livingston conceded: “We didn’t get it right on Saturday and the club wants to put on record our sincere apologies to those who had their matchday experience tarnished.”
Explaining the procedure going forward the club added: “We weren’t naive to the belief that opposing fans may try and purchase tickets in the home end. Despite our best attempts at putting measures in place to prevent – firstly at source, secondly at the turnstiles and thirdly within the ground, sadly, this wasn’t carried out to an acceptable level.
“Going forward, matches where we know our North, South and East Stands will be occupied fully with visiting fans, we will no longer offer any option to purchase tickets online for the home end. We appreciate the vast majority of our visiting support is well-behaved and a credit to the game, but unfortunately we need to deal with the irresponsible few.
“Furthermore, ONLY current 2022/23 adult and adult concession season ticket holders will be able to buy tickets in the home end either in person or over the phone with said season ticket holders card number being taken against those purchases to ensure that there is a level of accountability.
“This will almost certainly see the club lose a portion of revenue from ticket sales for these games, but it is fundamental that the safety of our fans comes first and takes absolute priority over profit.”
Livingston expect another large travelling contingent for the visit of Hibs later this month, Hearts on September 3 and a capacity crowd in October when Celtic visit.