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Cutting the Old Firms Allocation


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Following St. Mirren’s excellent win against Celtic yesterday, many of the Paisley faithful are hailing the change in atmosphere at the match after the St Mirren board had decided to slash the Old Firms away fan allocation from two stands to one. Some fans are suggesting that the decision to do this may even have had a positive impact on the outcome of the game, on the mentality of the home side, as there were more home fans cheering their team on and less of a presence was felt from the Celtic fans.

 

I’ve always been an advocate for teams cutting the Old Firms away allocation. There is nothing worse than sitting at the home of your own club with half of the stadium or more dominated by thousands of Old Firm fans singing their bigoted songs and making their presence very much felt. St. Johnstone are one of the worst offenders for OF allocations. In the not so distant past, 3 stands have been allocated to the OF. More often than not this basically turns it into a home game for the opposition and Saints are rolled over, hammered by several goals. The thousands of OF fans lord it over and revel in the toxic atmosphere they create, breaking into their bigoted songs. So vile is the situation that I never consider going to these games. I don’t believe I am the only person who refuses to go these games for this reason.

 

Quite often the argument of money is brought up. Clubs seemingly rely on a blue or green pound to get by. I simply don’t accept this. The St. Mirren board must be commended for their decision. They knew they would potentially lose out on a significant amount of money but they listened to their own fans and have decided to try and reap the rewards of the long game - ie by attracting more people to support their local team and not putting them off. This time it may have worked, with St Mirren fans saying there was only a difference of 256 odd fans compared to the same fixture last season when Celtic had 2 stands (if I’ve got that right, correct me if I’m wrong).

 

It’s got me thinking, what clubs in the top flight should be cutting the OF’s allocation? I know Hearts, Hibs and Kilmarnock have all reduced OF allocations to either 1 stand or half a stand but I don’t know if they have persisted with this? I’d like to see St Johnstone give the OF one stand behind the goal only. Livingston give away pretty much their entire stadium away to the OF (and Edinburgh clubs as well). Motherwell give them that massive stand behind the goal which towers over the stadium and holds 4000 odd fans. Does this bother Well fans? How would you feel if you were given the option to claim that stand as your own and give the away fans the stand behind the opposite goal instead? Dundee United often give the OF fans ‘the shed’ - are they happy with the current allocation setup?

 

As I said on another thread earlier, I think it’s time clubs grew a backbone and started slashing the OF allocation for good. Celtic and Rangers already have a massive advantage financially to the rest of us and it doesn’t make sense that we should be giving them an even bigger advantage by turning our stadiums into Old Firm away day party dens.

 

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5 minutes ago, jamamafegan said:

Motherwell give them that massive stand behind the goal which towers over the stadium and holds 4000 odd fans. Does this bother Well fans? How would you feel if you were given the option to claim that stand as your own and give the away fans the stand behind the opposite goal instead? Dundee United often give the OF fans ‘the shed’ - are they happy with the current allocation setup?

We've already cut the OF allocation and have done for the past few seasons. Long before it was fashionable.

Not sure why us giving the away stand to away fans would bother Motherwell fans tbqh.

The McLean stand (away) seats 4,825 it was purpose built to allow us to just dump all the away fans in the same stand. Technically St Johnstone get the same allocation as the OF. 

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Twitter is full of hard-of-thinking OF dildoes who utter "boycott them, they'll die without our money", forgetting that we all survived an entire season without any support.

The atmosphere was brilliant yesterday and the fans are fully buying into the club's plans to increase the fanbase.

4700 home fans in attendance, a good 1000-odd more than normally attend matches against the b(h)igots despite lunchtime Sunday ko, live on the telly and the expensive tickets.

The "experiment" (if you want to call it so) has been wildly successful and must remain in place.

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Not sure why us giving the away stand to away fans would bother Motherwell fans tbqh.


Because if holds nearly 5000 fans - therefore when Motherwell play the OF that’s 4800 odd fans roaring their team on from a huge stand that looms over the rest of the stadium. I would have thought this enables the OF to make their presence felt when they come to visit you. If it doesn’t bother you though that’s fine, I’m just curious.
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I’d be delighted if we imposed a total ban at Tannadice on fans from both arse cheeks.

That said, the performance of professional footballers shouldn’t be affected too much by the crowd one way or another.

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If clubs want a huge travelling support for the cash then that comes with several negatives.

While reducing the away support makes the home support more vocal and may encourage more fans to turn up for a better atmosphere. 

 

Old firm fans will moan but both of us don't allow in huge numbers of away fans.

 

 

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To be fair we're the same as some others, just the three stands. 

If we could even contemplate filling our main stand of 2,000 then we'd absolutely close the south stand like we used to do in the 2000s - back then it was for season ticket holders all the way up to the corner. I think right now we're at 1,200 ST holders and maybe ~200 walk ups. To be fair that's up from the 750 it was a few seasons ago but we'd need something like another 1000 fans to even justify closing part of the south stand.

Locals would rather sit in the pub/house and watch Rangers/Celtic/Hearts/Hibs, which is a shame. It's a long road but we're slowly building up. I think the most home fans we had last year was 2,500 but that was with about 1,000 tickets being given out to schools

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7 minutes ago, Granny Danger said:

I’d be delighted if we imposed a total ban at Tannadice on fans from both arse cheeks.

That said, the performance of professional footballers shouldn’t be affected too much by the crowd one way or another.

What about the referees?

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2 hours ago, jamamafegan said:

It’s got me thinking, what clubs in the top flight should be cutting the OF’s allocation?

We did it a few years ago now. The standard away section in the South Stand consists of P, Q and R. The Old Firm used to also get sections S and T as well but don't anymore

I can't find the exact date we did that but in doing so we removed a fence that was between section T and V which showed that this was something more permanent.

 

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It’s a matter for every club and it’s own supporters to decide really. 

Every club is different here but I always think owners no 1 priority should be targeting sustainable growth in your own fan base. I would suggest chasing a quick buck by giving up huge parts of your stadium to opposition fans is a bad way of doing that. 

Any club board that abandons the notion of growing its own base and wants to engage in short term thinking is just poor at their job, imo. 

Saying that, if your core support is ok with it then I guess it’s fair game? 

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Mind when the then Partick Thistle board were in tears after the fixtures were releases a few years back because they had one less Celtic/Sevco visit at home? They went sprinting to the tabloids to wail about how massively unfair it was and how they were terribly disadvantaged.

Horrendous bootlicking nonsense.

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9 minutes ago, NorthernLights said:

We did it a few years ago now. The standard away section in the South Stand consists of P, Q and R. The Old Firm used to also get sections S and T as well but don't anymore

I can't find the exact date we did that but in doing so we removed a fence that was between section T and V which showed that this was something more permanent.

 

Was November 2014 we cut it. Current allocation about 1700.

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It's sometimes hard to separate the 'does the cutting the allocation help produce better results' or 'are more Hibs fans buying tickets precisely because we're more likely to beat them'.

Spoiler

Hibs' home record against Celtic since returning to the top flight in 2017:

December 2017, Hibs 2-2 Celtic, full stand for Celtic.

April 2018, Hibs 2-1 Celtic, full stand for Celtic, but a sell-out crowd in the home end.

December 2018, Hibs 2-0 Celtic, half stand for Celtic.

March 2019, Hibs 0-2 Celtic, full stand for Celtic (Scottish Cup requirement, I think).

April 2019, Hibs 0-0 Celtic, full stand for Celtic

And then from then on, it's been a full stand for Celtic:

2019, 1-1 draw.

2020, 2-2 draw (COVIDball).

2021, 0-0 draw (COVIDball).

2021, 3-1 defeat.

2022, 0-0 draw.

The recent record with Celtic having a half stand:
P1, W1 D0 L0

The recent record with Celtic having a full stand:
P7 W1 D4 L2

The recent behind-close-doors record:
P2 W0 D2 L0

Having written that out, it's obviously not an exact correlation and it doesn't equal causation, but when Celtic had half their usual capacity, we won. Even during a bit of a tailspin under Lennon. When we give them a full stand, we can often match them, but more often than not we end up losing.

Edited by HibsFan
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The only thing stopping clubs from doing what is best

2 hours ago, Dons_1988 said:

It’s a matter for every club and it’s own supporters to decide really. 

Every club is different here but I always think owners no 1 priority should be targeting sustainable growth in your own fan base. I would suggest chasing a quick buck by giving up huge parts of your stadium to opposition fans is a bad way of doing that. 

Any club board that abandons the notion of growing its own base and wants to engage in short term thinking is just poor at their job, imo. 

Saying that, if your core support is ok with it then I guess it’s fair game? 

Id agree with that

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4 hours ago, Dons_1988 said:

Diddy clubs won’t win the league until they give the OF as many tickets as possible. 

This is fact and I won’t hear a word against it. 

Or just sell more to your own supporters by reducing the ticket prices or If you are going to cut away allocations and take the hit on revenue then surely it’s even better giving away free tickets to schools, local football teams etc to try grow the fan base, maybe you do this already? 

Edited by Jinky67
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47 minutes ago, Jinky67 said:

Or just sell more to your own supporters by reducing the ticket prices or If you are going to cut away allocations and take the hit on revenue then surely it’s even better giving away free tickets to schools, local football teams etc to try grow the fan base, maybe you do this already? 

Giving tickets away free to local schools is a ploy thats been going on for decades. I remember getting a couple of tickets to Love St and I'm older than time itself.  

 

Is there not some rules in place about pricing to get in?  It's something to do with all seats have to be the same price for home and away fans, or can't charge more than the other club charges your fans when you go to their place...

Someone on here will know the score I'm sure.  

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5 hours ago, capt_oats said:

We've already cut the OF allocation and have done for the past few seasons. Long before it was fashionable.

Not sure why us giving the away stand to away fans would bother Motherwell fans tbqh.

The McLean stand (away) seats 4,825 it was purpose built to allow us to just dump all the away fans in the same stand. Technically St Johnstone get the same allocation as the OF. 

You reduced Rangers' allocation further for the play-off in 2015.

That turned out ok.

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