A Complete Guide to Football in Glasgow

A Complete Guide to Football in Glasgow

Glasgow is home to one of the fiercest football (or soccer)  rivalries in the world: The Old Firm. With attendances averaging 50,000 at each home match, Rangers and Celtic are two of Glasgow’s most celebrated clubs in the UK. Unfortunately getting to see them play each other is virtually impossible unless you have a season ticket or know someone closely involved with either team. Nevertheless, it’s easy to get hold of a ticket for every other league home game.

I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but whenever I go abroad I see it as an opportunity to experience foreign games and their atmosphere. But I guess if you are reading this then you’re like me and love going to foreign sports events. Now I can’t comment on other cities, but I can give you a detailed guide on what I do know: Glasgow. So here goes…

When is best to go to a Rangers or Celtic game?

To avoid violence in the city and to cut policing costs in Glasgow, both teams never play at home the same time. So if you are visiting for only one weekend, chances are you will only have the choice of going to one. But here’s the good news.. both teams are really good and often fighting for first place at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

Home league games are usually on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm, but please double check this on your specific date as sometimes fixtures can change due to TV rights and Cup games during the week. If a home game is on a Sunday, then it is more than likely an early kick off around 12.30pm.

Games during the week are even more rare and sparse, and highly dependent on the fixture list and whether the teams have been good enough to stay in their respective Cup and European competitions. Again, have a look at the fixture list to determine what day and time suits your schedule.

 

What is it like on match day?

In the streets surrounding the stadiums everything pretty much stands still from the hour before the match until an hour after the match. There are always large crowds on the streets, with 99% of them friendly – you do get the odd drunk die hard fan but as a whole going to games is very safe. Expect road closures in the lead up to kick off, huge tailbacks and heavy policing.

 

Can I buy food and drink in the stadiums?

At both clubs, food is readily available to buy from kiosks in the stadium before and during the game (kiosks usually close after serving the last customer at half time). Alcohol is strictly NOT permitted in stadiums and kiosks in the stadium will only sell soft drinks. It’s also illegal to attend matches under the influence of alcohol and drugs!

 

Rangers (Ibrox Stadium)

How to get a ticket: You can purchase tickets online here and collect them at the ticket office beside the stadium.

Where is Ibrox and how do I get there? Ibrox is the home of Glasgow Rangers and is located in Govan, in the south-west side of Glasgow. Walking to the stadium takes around 1 hour but it’s quite a pleasant walk that can be completed along part of the River Clyde. It might be a good idea to walk back from the stadium into the city centre as often public transport is overcrowded and roads heavily congested after the full time whistle.

Subway: The nearest Subway station to the stadium is Ibrox Station.

Bus: To travel to the stadium from the city centre you can use First Bus services 9, 9A and 10 and McGills services 38 and 38A. Travel time is around 20 minutes to Paisley Road West at Merrick Gardens which is a five minute walk to the stadium.

 

Celtic (Celtic Park)

How to get a ticket: You can purchase tickets online here and collect them at the ticket office beside the stadium.

Where is Celtic Park and how do I get there? Celtic Park, or as other call it, Parkhead, is located in the East End of Glasgow – across the road from the new Chris Hoy Velodrome and Emirates Arena. Walking from the city centre again is quite a challenge, I would suggest public transport.

Train: Train is probably the easiest and most convenient way to get to the stadium. The nearest train station is Dalmarnock train station which you would get from Argyle Street or Glasgow Central low level platform.

Bus: From the City Centre, First Bus 61, 62, 64, 255 and 240 buses go to Tollcross Road – you can get off at the Parkhead Forge Shopping Centre and walk down to Celtic Park.