Main » 2008 » July » 22 » Falkirk reject Gers' ticket levy
5:59:22 PM
Falkirk reject Gers' ticket levy
Rangers fans must buy tickets directly from Falkirk
Who pays for the Old Firm ticket levy - the home club or the fans?

Falkirk managing director George Craig has told BBC Scotland that his club has rejected Rangers' proposed 5% handling fee to sell tickets for away matches.

The Old Firm consider the levy a means of recouping administration costs for distributing tickets to their own fans.

"We weren't prepared to pay the 5% for the service that would be provided by Rangers, so we just had to get on and sell tickets ourselves," said Craig.

"We think we will be able to sell tickets quite comfortably in our area."

Rangers and Celtic contacted the 10 other Scottish Premier League clubs to announce that they would be charging the fee for handling ticket sales to fans who wished to travel to see the Old Firm clubs play away matches.

On Friday Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston described the move as stirring up "a hornets' nest" and that the clubs would discuss a response.

For Falkirk, though, the matter is pressing. They host Rangers on the opening day of the season, 9 August.

Craig said: "We were a bit surprised to receive the letter from Rangers and Celtic just a few weeks prior to the start of the season.

"It was totally unexpected, but we're first up so we had to respond.

"It's up to Rangers and Celtic how they run their business - I've got to worry about Falkirk.


"We just couldn't accept the 5% handling fee that was suggested. To compete in the SPL financially is difficult at the best of times," Craig continued.

It remains to be seen how the board at Dundee United will deal with the issue. The Terrors host Celtic on 17 August.

Falkirk, though, are confident that they can handle ticket sales for visiting fans.

"We've put in place a process that we think will ensure a smooth sale of tickets and also make sure that a lot of local people who support Rangers will be in the stadium that day," said Craig.

"We're in the central belt, there are a lot of Rangers supporters in the Falkirk area. Of course, I would prefer them to be coming to support Falkirk, but I'm a realist."

Both Kilmarnock and Falkirk have indicated that the move by the Old Firm has, at best, stimulated some debate among the 10 other SPL clubs.

"Each club has got to make a decision. I think it's fair to say that every other club was surprised at this recent development," added Craig.

"It's fairly common that the clubs support each other when it comes to selling tickets to their own supporters at away grounds."

Despite the rejection of Rangers' terms, Craig insists Falkirk and the Glasgow side are discussing the forthcoming tie.

Craig stated: "They are fully aware of what we are doing. It always was an option that if we weren't going to take up the 5% handling fee then we would sell the tickets ourselves.

"There's the whole issue of unacceptable conduct within the stadium so both clubs have got to communicate."

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