JD Wetherspoon, which owns nine bars in Glasgow, has confirmed that it won’t televise the first clash between Celtic and Rangers in nearly three years, the Scottish League Cup semi-final at Hampden Stadium on Sunday, February 1.
The pub chain, founded by Northern Irishman Tim Martin, fears that the fixture could result in violence.
Eddie Gershon, a spokesman for Wetherspoon, told Scottish newspaper the Daily Record: “Wetherspoon’s will not be showing the match in any of its Glasgow pubs. The decision was taken about a week back.
“The police have been to the pubs to advise that the game is on and ask what measures the pubs are taking. On the day of the match, door staff will be in place where required.”
Wetherspoon’s has over seventy pubs in Scotland. A decision on whether the rest of Wetherspoon’s pubs outside Glasgow should show the match, which will be broadcast on the BBC, will be left to individual managers.
Wetherspoon's pubs in Ayrshire, in the west of Scotland, are unlikely to open.
The area is believed to be a particular flashpoint because of the large number of pubs frequented by fans of both Celtic and Rangers.
It is also within easy travelling distance of Stranraer, the disembarkation point for North of Ireland ‘Old Firm’ fans.
In the past trouble has broken out in pubs in the area, and on the ferry boats themselves.