Hearts lodge formal complaint with SPFL over away fan lockouts at Rangers and Celtic

Hearts have lodged an official complaint with the Scottish Professional Football League over the ongoing lockout of away fans at Ibrox and Celtic Park.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 8:12 am
Tynecastle officials have complained to the SPFL.

Tynecastle officials are unhappy that Rangers and Celtic refuse to allow travelling supporters into their stadiums this season and want the SPFL to intervene as soon as possible.

Hearts and Motherwell wrote to league officials earlier this week requesting clarity on the rules, which state that every member club must accommodate a reasonable number of away fans at games.

The response has been less than satisfactory and a formal complaint has now been submitted by Hearts. Their followers could not attend August’s Premier Sports Cup tie at Parkhead and have also been told they will be locked out of Ibrox in two weeks’ time when they visit Rangers in the Premiership.

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Both Rangers and Celtic claim they cannot accommodate travelling supporters because Covid red zones – areas which must remain empty – inside their main stands force them to relocate season ticket holders to sections normally reserved for away fans.

The Hearts manager Robbie Neilson today offered full backing to his club’s support, who have already visited towns like Dundee and Dingwall in numbers this term.

Neilson wants the issue resolved as soon as possible to ensure they can travel to Glasgow and said he is completely behind the fans.

“I agree with them 100 per cent. We are one of the few clubs with a fanbase spread all over the country,” he told the Evening News.

“When we go up to Ross County, we get all our fans from the Highlands and Islands coming to the game. When we went down to Queen of the South in the Championship, we got all the people coming from the north of England plus Dumfries and Galloway.

“It’s a big loss when they aren’t there – for us as a team but also for the supporters. It’s part of their life. The sooner they get back in, the better.”

Hearts host Motherwell at Tynecastle this afternoon knowing whoever wins the match will move to the top of the Premiership table for 24 hours at least.

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