Rangers have fired a warning at Hibernian after the Edinburgh club halved their allocation for the final league game of the season.
Hibs have already sold out of tickets for the West, East and Famous Five Stands – and have decided to cut the away allocation in the South Stand to house more of their own fans
A statement on the Hibs website read: “The South Stand is now open for Hibernian supporters to purchase tickets for our final match of the season against Rangers.
“Tickets have sold out for the West, East and Famous Five Stands, with Hibs supporters now able to purchase for the East end of the South Stand.”
With both sides chasing a second-placed finish, Rangers hit out at Neil Lennon’s side by implying that the ‘safety’ of their fans would be compromised and that the decision made by the Hibs hierarchy ‘beggars belief’.
The Ibrox club’s statement read: “First and foremost Rangers hopes the safety of our fans, who will now be in only one section of the South Stand rather than filling it completely, will not be compromised by this decision, which beggars belief.”
Just days after Rangers fans unfurled a banner saying ‘We Deserve Better’, the club claimed they expect their rightful share of tickets as ‘Hibernian benefitted financially’ from their away support as the Ibrox side ‘rose through the divisions’ – and warned that ‘ticketing arrangements for future matches’ would be reconsidered.
They added: “This is the least Rangers expects for supporters who have repeatedly proven themselves to be the most loyal in the country by selling out away ticketing allocations at opposition stadiums for years.
“This was evident as we rose through the divisions when clubs the length and breadth of the country, including Hibernian, benefitted financially from the presence of our fans.
“Rangers will, of course, bear in mind Hibernian’s decision when considering ticketing arrangements for future matches – both home and away – against this particular club.”
In November, during the club’s AGM, Rangers fans called for the allocation of Celtic fans at Ibrox to be reduced – a proposal that was rejected by the board.
A decision that angered some Rangers fans including one prominent former fan rep Mark Dingwall, who at the time said: “I think there is a groundswell among the fans that the behaviour of the Celtic support as a whole and some of their players, in particular, has become so outrageous in the last couple of seasons that something really needs to be done about it.
“I detected that the board were a little bit nervous about it but they’re obviously coming under a lot of pressure to do something.
“At the moment they’re saying there are arrangements in hand that they have to honour and they’re bringing out reasons for not doing anything with regards to the safety certificate etc.
“But I think there’s really a head of steam building up with the fans over that issue.”
Celtic play host to Rangers on Sunday at Celtic Park looking to win their seventh title in a row, while Graeme Murty’s side are looking for their first win over Brendan Rodgers’ side in ten games to halt the Parkhead side’s title party.