The “Old Firm” Numbers Game!

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Some weeks back Glasgow Celtic were accused of ‘massaging’ their attendance figures when they declared full houses despite the evidence of rows of empty seats.

Predictably enough the first to weigh in to this ‘discussion’ was Rangers owner, Charles Greene.

The bold Charles (he doesn’t like to be called Charlie) maintained that in the blue half of Glasgow they didn’t do that type of thing and that their attendance figures were accurate.

Unfortunately for both clubs, under the Freedom of Information Act, it appears that both clubs haven’t been telling us the complete truth.

Both clubs have been adding season tickets holders to the actual attendance, even if those season ticket holders have been sitting at home or in the pub watching the game.

So, for example, on December 22nd, 2012, Celtic declared for their home game against Ross County an attendance figure of 49,428 while the actual number of fans in the ground was 28,931 - a difference of 20,497.

Rangers, not to be completely outdone, said that their crowd against Monrose on January 26th, 2013 was 46,273 but police say the actual crowd was 33,696 which left 12,577 unaccounted for (season ticket holders).

Neither club are doing anything wrong and in financial terms their figures are technically correct, but with television cameras now at practically every game the ‘evidence’ is right in front of us.