By Nick Ware

29th Aug, 2021 | 10:21am

John Hartson dismayed by Rangers decision ahead of Celtic clash

John Hartson has branded the decision not to allow away fans for today’s Old Firm between Rangers and Celtic as “ridiculous”.

Speaking on Sky Sports [10:00, 29/08/21] ahead of the game, the ex-Hoops striker admits he has been left dismayed by the decision taken to ban away supporters at Ibrox.

“It is a shame,” he said.

“I think it’s ridiculous there’s no away fans.

“Away fans bring a lot of colour, they bring a lot of noise.”

Disappointment

Sky Sports reported last week [21/08/21] that the Gers had rescinded their offer to allow the entrance of around 700 Celtic supporters for today’s clash.

The reason given for the U-turn was that Celtic were unable to guarantee that they would return the favour for the reverse fixture in January.

Rangers clearly believe they are within their rights to do what they are doing, and it’s hard to argue against it if the aforementioned reason is true.

However, there’s no denying that it will take a slight edge off the famous fixture as away supporters always add to the atmosphere, regardless of the opponents.

That effect is amplified even more in Old Firms as both sides bid to make themselves heard.

Ibrox will still be rocking as always today, but it may just fall short of the usual levels seen in this clash.

Nevertheless, it should act as a boost for Rangers players while it could pile even more pressure on Celtic without even a minority in the stands willing them on.

It will be a partisan crowd at Ibrox, and the Gers will hope that can push them over the line as they look to get their season on track after a disappointing start.

In other Rangers news, Chris Sutton has made a big Old Firm suggestion after ‘hopeless’ Europa League triumph.