Hearts clarify 4,535 Celtic capacity following fan 'frustration'
Hearts have released a statement clarifying the 4,535 capacity for the cinch Premiership opener with Celtic.
It was confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Tynecastle Park will only be 25 per cent full for Saturday’s encounter.
The decision from the City of Edinburgh Council was met by disgruntlement by the Hearts support with the club having more than 10,000 season-ticket holders.
The club had sought for the capacity to be 9,920 but they now expect that if restrictions are not eased when the Scottish Government next provides an update just over 6,000 will be able to attend the next home game against Aberdeen.
A statement read: “As was the case for our home Premier Sports Cup fixture against Inverness CT, the Club submitted a ‘Physical Distanced Capacity’ application to Edinburgh City Council. Our initial application sought permission to welcome 9,920 supporters into the ground.
“We were subsequently advised by the local authority that, based on the need to ensure a 1-meter distance between each person within the stadium, our maximum Physical Distanced Capacity would be 6,047 as, in order to ensure said 1-meter distance, we are required to have two empty seats between each person.
“For our first game at Tynecastle following this advice we were allowed 50% of the Physical Distanced Capacity. Accordingly, for last Sunday’s fixture against Inverness CT we were permitted to host 3,023 supporters.
“For our second game (Celtic this coming Saturday) we are allowed 75% of the Physical Distanced Capacity. Accordingly, the number permitted for Saturday is 4,535.
“Should restrictions remain unchanged for our next home fixture (vs Aberdeen on August 21st), we would expect to be allowed to welcome 6,047 supporters (100% of our max. Physical Distanced Capacity).
“The decision ultimately rests with the City of Edinburgh Council and we will continue to work constructively with them with a view to increasing capacity as soon as possible, in accordance with the relevant restrictions.
“We fully understand the frustration of supporters which we share and, like you, we are desperate to welcome you back in greater numbers as soon as we possibly can.
“We remain hopeful that restrictions will have been further eased by the time we face Aberdeen and therefore, more fans will be allowed into the ground.”