The Ibrox side’s decision - ahead of the 2018-19 season - to end the previous arrangement of giving Celtic the 7,500 capacity Broomloan Stand has led to only around 750 away supporters attending Scotland’s most prestigious fixture in both clubs’ stadiums. Beale sees only one development that could alter the situation, and there is no prospect of it happening.
“It’s difficult because ultimately the stadiums are not big enough,” he said. “Although they are the two biggest stadiums in the league they are not big enough for the demand of the fans. How do you sell season tickets? I wouldn’t buy a season-ticket without a ticket for the biggest game. It’s the same for both clubs. Until the stadiums gets bigger it’s very difficult. The two clubs have huge demand, they are world-famous clubs. How do you cut that demand up? …in terms of saying to a season ticket holder ‘you are not going to that game’. That’s arguably why they are paying for the season book. I understand both sides of the argument. I have never lived with it the other way. So I never saw it. It might take away a little bit away from the atmosphere but most derbies around the world are like this. We zone in on our one. Our demand is huge, our waiting list for season tickets is huge. And I’m sure Celtic’s is equal to that too.
“The game is everything that's lovely about football. It has another side to it but let’s focus on the positive part of it. When I went to Brazil, they weren’t arguing about 700 away tickets because the away fans weren’t allowed to go to derby games due to crowd violence. If you’re Sao Paulo and you play Corinthians, there are no away fans. It’s the same if you play Palmeiras or Santos. There was one famous game just before I joined where Santos and Sao Paulo’s buses met and players from each team sat next to each other on the drive to the game. That’s never going to happen here in Glasgow…But it just shows you around the world, there are circumstances around every big derby game.”