Rangers granted permission for 17,000 fans at league opener with Livingston

Steven Davis and Jason Holt
Rangers and Livingston met behind closed doors at Ibrox last season

Rangers have been given permission to have 17,000 fans at Ibrox for the start of their Scottish Premiership defence against Livingston on 31 July.

The club have moved their title flag day to 18 September when they expect Ibrox to be "filled to capacity".

They are allowed 8,500 at Saturday's friendly with Brighton and 12,750 the following day against Real Madrid.

Rangers then expect "a full house" for the home leg of their Champions League qualifier on 10 August.

The Scottish title flag is traditionally unfurled by the champions at their opening fixture, but Rangers have moved it back seven weeks after talks with Police Scotland and Glasgow city council safety advisors.

"We will now unfurl the league winners flag v Motherwell where based upon the current government roadmap, our board is pleased that all our season ticket holders will be given the opportunity to witness this occasion as we expect Ibrox to be filled to capacity," the club said.

Remaining Scottish coronavirus rules are expected to be lifted on 9 August.

Steven Gerrard's side have been drawn to face Malmo or HJK Helsinki in their opening Champions League qualifier, with the away leg on 3 or 4 of August.

Restrictions eased on Monday, two days after Rangers had a limited number of fans at their friendly with Arsenal.

Celtic Park will host 9,000 supporters for Tuesday's Champions League qualifier against Midtjylland. Should Celtic progress, they will face PSV Eindhoven or Galatasaray in the round Rangers enter the competition.

On Thursday, Hibernian are allowed 4,700 fans at their Europa Conference League qualifying home leg against Santa Coloma, while 5,655 can attend Aberdeen's home game against Hacken in the same competition.

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