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Huge Decision Day approaches for Quiet Man Michael Nicholson

In 18 days time Brendan Rodgers takes his squad to Ibrox, it remains unclear whether or not there will be any Celtic fans inside the ground.

In May it was home fans only at the Derby fixture with Celtic keeping very quiet on whether they will take 700 tickets for the dangerous corner section between the Broomloan Road Stand and the Sandy Jardine Stand.

There has been complete silence from Michael Nicholson over whether or not Celtic fans will be inside Ibrox, last season favoured messengers were told that the decision not to take up tickets was based on safety issues from the match in January.

Across the city James Bisgrove has had plenty to say about the ticket allocations, setting the agenda with favourable media coverage about the Derby fixture.

Interviewed by Kris Paxman Boyd in May, the Ibrox CEO said:

As we’ve now again sold out our season tickets again for next season – which is phenomenal, 45,000 season tickets – the [away allocation] opportunity for next season is in the corner of the Govan West stand which means the maximum we can do is 700-800.

But that’s subject to what the rest of the stakeholders bring to that conversation and we’ll see where it goes thereafter.

On the return to full stand allocation he added:

I think there’s a long way to go before that’s a realistic opportunity or consideration. To manage expectations then I would say that looks unlikely but we need to take it one step at a time.

There are so many considerations in terms of the security operation getting two sets of supporters getting in and out of both stadiums.

We want to make sure if our supporters go to Parkhead they’re protected and take our responsibility here so we have to be guided by the authorities and the clubs will also have a voice.

As a minimum we’re going to be around the table and have dialogue with Michael [Nicholson] and Police Scotland over the summer months.

Typically Nicholson has said nothing, par for the course of his 23 months as Celtic CEO.

In line with the rest of the Celtic board Nicholson is fully committed to the O** F*** brand, even signing Celtic up to export their poisonous relationship to Sydney before the Ibrox board got cold feet.

When a Celtic employee was permanently disfigured by a bottle thrown by an Ibrox hospitality guest in April 2022 Nicholson said nowt. When broken glass mysteriously appeared in Joe Hart’s goalmouth in full view of the Ibrox groundstaff Nicholson said nothing about the selective failing of the CCTV covering 20% of the stadium.

Sticking with his leadership style there is unlikely to be any comment from Celtic over whether or not they decide to risk the lives of 700 fans at Ibrox on September 3..

Once tickets for that corner are released for sale to home fans there is likely to be second hand comment from ‘sources’ and ‘senior sources’ with the spotlight then switching to whether Celtic allocate tickets to away fans for the December 30 Derby at Celtic Park.

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