Celtic directors eager to stage a Premiership title party for their supporters in Glasgow are frustrated by the “stalemate” they are locked in with the city council following talks according to the MSP who is pushing for an official annual event. 

There have been calls for an organised fan zone to be set up in future after tens of thousands of fans descended on the city centre to celebrate their team winning the Scottish title for the fourth year running a fortnight ago. Paul Sweeney, the Labour MSP for the Glasgow region, has spoken to Parkhead chief executive Michael Nicholson and his fellow board members and revealed they are enthusiastic about the proposal.

However, Sweeney was disappointed to learn their discussions with Glasgow City Council had reached an impasse over how and where the event should be run and has urged council officials to take a more proactive approach to preventing future unrest. “It is quite frustrating when you hear from the major players on this,” he said. “It seems to me that there isn’t any leadership being displayed from the city about trying to facilitate this.

“I was at the Celtic women’s team game at Celtic Park when they won the Scottish title and talked to a number of their directors. I raised this issue with them and asked what the situation in regards to more organised events was and what the club’s appetite for them would be. They said they had had significant conversations with Glasgow City Council about it and basically there was a bit of a stalemate about who is going to take the lead in organising it. 

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“I spoke to the CEO and some of the other directors. They were eager for it. They were all very open-minded, very keen to do it.  But they were saying they needed the city to take the lead on organising the logistics and planning. They have been frustrated by the points which have come back. Things like, ‘Why don’t you use the stadium for it?’ That is just not practical, you can’t license drink in the stadium, and you can’t really ticket it in that way. 

“It is not a practical proposition to use the stadiums in that way, it would not be compatible with the licensing arrangements that the stadiums have with their safety certificates and so on. That also doesn’t recognise that fans want to gravitate towards the city centre locations where the pubs are. It is not really going with the grain with what is going on out there.” 

Sweeney continued: “There needs to be a bit of a reality check and a bit of leadership shown to try and build something out of what is currently an uncontrolled and rather chaotic event that is taking place annually. Football clubs, the police, and the city council, have been in a room and discussed this and there has been a bit of stalemate in the last few years about how you build a more organised event and what sequence that takes. 

“We do really need to see the city taking a bit of a leadership role in this and trying to pull together the clubs to organise something that is a bit more coordinated and unlock more value for the city in the long run.”