First Open Meeting of the 2010-11 season

Published on Saturday 16th April, 2011 by Celtic Trust

Ticket prices and kick-off times anger Celtic fans

7 April 2011

The meeting was attended by around 25 people, many of whom had been at previous Open Meetings. A summary was given of the discussions of last season and the extent to which we had achieved our aims. It was noted that there remains outstanding issues re the SFA but we need to wait till after their AGM in June to see how matters will play out.

In terms of the Poppy Issue, cordial correspondence with Poppy Scotland revealed that they have concerns that the poppy might be used in a sectarian way. Celtic have confirmed that the poppy will not appear on the jersey again. The Celtic Trust raised the issue of ticket pricing (at Parkhead and elsewhere) and the issue of kick-off times. It was noted that the CSA are also working on these issues and there will be opportunities for broad-based action.

The two matters were taken separately. Kick-off times There was a wide-ranging discussion over about an hour regarding this issue which has caused major inconvenience to many fans and is now getting worse. The discussion focussed on the reasons behind some of the more difficult instances this season and discussed the cause: television or UEFA rules. There was general agreement that we need to get to work on setting out our objections to kick-off times which make attendance at games problematic. Those who watch away games on TV also said that they would prefer 3pm kick-offs. It was reported that Celtic would prefer 3pm kick offs and that they would have preferred that to have been more often the case when the last TV deal was agreed. It was noted that technological developments might influence the bargaining over the next TV deal as might a current legal case 'the Portsmouth Landlady' case. The meeting AGREED to begin to develop a written case for more reasonable kick-off times which is motivated in terms of looking after travelling fans (this is particularly important given that the game itself is made more of an interesting spectacle with a large and vocal crowd). It was AGREED that we should seek to work with the Trust, the CSA, Supporters Direct and all other groups. It was AGREED that we should aim to have this developed in good time for the next TV deal and that we should put our view through Celtic and directly to the SPL through Neil Doncaster.


Ticket Prices

There was again a wide-ranging discussion of this issue with many examples being given of the affordability issues which arise from ticket pricing policies. It was noted that the rise from a child's season ticket to an adult one was far too steep notwithstanding the 16-18 policy for full time students. It was AGREED that we should support the CSA sub-committee which is about to begin work on this matter. We need information re pricing policies both at home and away and the policy re concessions of all clubs. We also need information re Celtic's ticket pricing policy for away fans. It was reported that Peter Lawwell had indicated that he would be willing to come and discuss these issues so that we are fully informed about the policies and the motivation behind them.


Racist and sectarian chanting

There followed some discussion regarding the behaviour of Rangers' fans and the possible action that can be taken. A variety of views were expressed. There was also some expression of discontent at statements from the SFA and other bodies which failed to distinguish between the behaviour of the two sets of fans at the CIS Cup Final. A number of strategies were discussed to deal with these matters and the Trust agreed to follow them up and report back. In particular, if there is no improvement over the next two games at Ibrox, the Trust will report back options before their first visit to Celtic Park next season.


Next meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting would be convened by the Trust as soon as there had been further developments of the strategies outlined above. People will be notified in the usual way. If the meeting with PL goes ahead it is likely to be very soon.


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