Belfast Telegraph

Breslin: Celtic fans are heading for big game at Windsor

 

By Graham Luney

Tommy Breslin says Celtic fans WILL be at Windsor Park for the huge Champions League clash with Linfield next Friday.

The Hoops said they would not sell tickets for the game and Linfield added that no tickets would be made available for away fans, however Breslin, whose Cliftonville side wrestled with Celtic in a Champions League qualifier four years ago, believes Brendan Rodgers' Invincibles will have support at the international venue.

Read more: Linfield fans snap up tickets for Celtic clash

"The supporters are resourceful and they'll get a ticket from somewhere," said the former Reds boss.

"I think Celtic took the decision not to sell tickets because they were worried about punishments, possibly a hefty fine, following sectarian chanting but I'd be totally gobsmacked if no Celtic fans were there."

Breslin added: “It’s just two games of football and hopefully the fans will enjoy both. I’m sure Celtic fans will be at Windsor.”

But Linfield stated this week: “We would like to reiterate that no tickets will be made available for Celtic fans, as outlined by Celtic FC in their club statement. Any Celtic fans present at the stadium will be refused admission.”

Celtic said that the decision not to offer their fans tickets for the first leg was because “the safety and security of all Celtic supporters travelling and attending matches is of paramount importance to the club”.

But the Celtic Trust and Green Brigade supporters groups asked for a rethink with the Trust arguing: “We believe that the board is more concerned with protecting the brand than the welfare of the fans or the success of our team.”

There were huge queues at Windsor yesterday as supporters tried to get their hands on tickets.

They also go on sale from Ticketmaster this morning from 10am, online only.

Tickets are only available to persons with a card billing address in Northern Ireland. Anyone booking tickets who does not have their billing address with a postcode prefixed with BT will have their order cancelled.

When Breslin’s Cliftonville faced Neil Lennon’s Celtic in 2013, the Bhoys won 3-0 at Solitude before triumphing 2-0 at Parkhead.

Breslin, who guided the Reds to eight trophies including two league titles, has cherished memories of the double date and he believes Linfield can cause Rodgers’ men a few headaches.

“It’s great for Linfield and the Irish League,” he added. “I remember the two matches fondly and it ticks all the boxes in terms of hype, television coverage and money. It’s a real glamour tie.

“Everyone will be asked for a line or quote but it should just be about two football matches. The hype goes on too long and David Healy will probably feel relieved when it’s over. The main hope is that the games pass off without incident and they should.

“Linfield and David (Healy) will not want to be embarrassed and will want to do themselves justice. I think at Windsor they can cause Celtic a few problems just like the Lincoln Red Imps from Gibraltar did. Form can go out the window but Celtic will be firm favourites.”

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