Celtic’s showdown with Rangers in Sydney could be a SELL-OUT, predicts A-League chief executive

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Celtic’s showdown with Rangers in Sydney this November could be a SELL-OUT, predicts A-League chief executive Danny Townsend – as he tips first ever Old Firm friendly on foreign soil to entice 83,500 crowd

  • Fierce rivals Celtic and Rangers will go head-to-head in Sydney in November 
  • The Old Firm confirmed plans to play their first-ever friendly in foreign soil
  • A-League chief executive Danny Townsend has predicted an 83,500 sellout 











A-League chief executive Danny Townsend has predicted an 83,500 sell-out when Celtic and Rangers go head-to-head in Sydney’s Accor Stadium in November.

And he has declined to close the door on the Glasgow giants returning Down Under in 2025.

The Old Firm this week confirmed plans to play their first-ever friendly on foreign soil – as one of four teams taking part in the inaugural Sydney Super Cup – but the decision has prompted an angry backlash from supporters on both sides of the Glasgow divide.

The Old Firm showdown in Sydney later this year has predicted to be an 83,500 sell-out

Celtic and Rangers fans held up banners protesting their clubs’ involvement during their respective Premiership matches with St Mirren and St Johnstone on Wednesday night.

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But Townsend, who is currently making the transition from running Sydney FC – one of the participants in the tournament – to taking over Australia’s professional leagues, insists the game is box-office gold and that expatriate supporters are desperate to see their teams on the other side of the world.

‘A sell-out is entirely possible,’ he told Sportsmail. ‘And that’s a testament to how popular those two teams are and, equally, how many Scottish people are here in Australia starved of seeing two teams they love. Each of them in their own right is exciting.’

Celtic and Rangers are set to meet in a friendly in November at the large Accor Stadium

Celtic and Rangers are set to meet in a friendly in November at the large Accor Stadium 

Irked by perceptions that they are playing second fiddle to what will effectively be a homecoming for Celtic’s Australian manager Ange Postecoglou, Rangers Supporters Group Club 1872 have written to Ibrox managing director Stewart Robertson seeking an explanation for what they describe as an ‘alienating’ decision’.

A statement from the club’s Union Bears has also branded the trip ‘disgusting’.

Insisting both clubs are a huge draw in the Australian capital, Townsend admitted: ‘There is the Ange factor, for sure. He is a popular figure down here and someone our country is really proud of.

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‘He went from the A-League to the J-League and now has a role at such an influential world club like Celtic. Having him back here and playing against the big rivals will sell really well.

A-League chief Danny Townsend says both clubs are a huge draw in the Australian capital

A-League chief Danny Townsend says both clubs are a huge draw in the Australian capital 

‘But Rangers have a huge following as well, by sheer virtue of the fact that Australia is built on waves of migrant population for the last 200 years.

‘For every Scotsman I know in Sydney, one Celtic man is matched by one Rangers and that’s the beauty of that rivalry.

‘So, yes, it’s a huge stadium. But I think it’s highly likely that it will be a sell-out.’

Due to kick off on November 16, days and before the World Cup gets under way in Qatar, the Sydney Super Cup is a joint venture between promoters TEG Live and the New South Wales Government.

The proposed plans to hold the game abroad was met by a fierce backlash from the fanbases

The proposed plans to hold the game abroad was met by a fierce backlash from the fanbases 

Agreement has already been reached to stage the event again in 2025 and, if predictions of a sell-out showpiece prove accurate, Townsend won’t rule out the possibility of Celtic and Rangers being invited back for the next one.

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‘The Sydney Super Cup is going to be a biannual event,’ he acknowledged. ‘The likelihood is there will be different teams coming down to play.

‘But it illustrates how popular these two clubs are in Australia that the first edition of this tournament includes Celtic and Rangers.

‘That should demonstrate to the Scottish public the high regard in which the two clubs are held here.

‘There is just an enormous population base of Scottish people who have longed to see their favourite teams play in Australia.

‘With all these things, you never say never. I am sure this will be wildly successful and that the two teams will be back.’

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