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CLARKE HAILS RUGBY PARK DECISION

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STEVE CLARKE has praised the Kilmarnock board’s decision to reduce the number of tickets for Celtic and Rangers fans for Rugby Park.

Billy Bowie, the Ayrshire team’s owner, has revealed that followers of the Parkhead and Ibrox clubs will in future only get 4,000 briefs, around half of what they previously received.

The local businessman has taken the decision following a controversial Premiership encounter against the champions in February.

Killie striker Kris Boyd was struck by a coin as he warmed up at the side of the park in the first-half and visiting supporters spilled onto pitch trackside after Scott Brown’s 90th-minute winner.

Bowie is also keen to create a party atmosphere in his club’s final league match against Rangers on Sunday, May 19 – when the oldest top-flight side will celebrate their 150th anniversary.

The Govan outfit, who will only be offered tickets for the Chadwick Stand, responded by revealing they will consider whether to take a full allocation of tickets for games at Rugby Park in future.

However, Clarke, whose side are bidding to secure a place in Europe for the first time in 17 years, believes Bowie and his fellow-directors should be hailed for the move.

The team boss, speaking to Evening Times, said: “It’s not about Rangers, it’s about Kilmarnock. It’s a decision to suit our football club and our fans, that’s the important thing.

“It has got nothing to do with Rangers. I am not surprised by their response. The nonsense that has followed is typical Scotland, I suppose.

“That is a fantastic commitment from the Kilmarnock board of directors to do that. It must be really difficult for them. It is a club that lives on a really tight budget.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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