Quiet bars and empty stadiums replace packed pubs and raucous crowds on derby day


The typical rowdy derby day atmosphere was today replaced by quiet bars and empty stadiums as the Merseyside and Old Firm matches were hit by coronavirus lockdowns in Glasgow and Liverpool. 

Football fans have not been allowed back into stadiums since football restarted in June and August for England and Scotland respectively.

And new coronavirus measures – putting Liverpool in a tier 3 lockdown and Scotland in the midst of a circuit breaker lockdown – also kept them off the streets and out of the pubs.

Under strict Tier 3 rules, all pubs and restaurants must close and offer only a takeaway service, while meeting anyone outside of your bubble is banned.

In Scotland, groups of up to six from two households can meet outside or indoors in public spaces, but pubs are banned from selling alcohol inside.

Pubs can sell alcohol outside until 10pm, provided the rule of six is adhered to.   

An empty Goodison Park provided the backdrop of today’s Merseyside Derby, which saw Everton take on Liverpool in their first clash of the 2020/2021 season. Unfortunately, there were no fans to witness the thrilling 2-2 draw

Celtic Way, the iconic avenue infront of Celtic Football Club's Park Park Head Ground, had a heave police presence ahead of the Old Firm Derby today to stop desperate fans from gathering near the stadium

Celtic Way, the iconic avenue infront of Celtic Football Club’s Park Park Head Ground, had a heave police presence ahead of the Old Firm Derby today to stop desperate fans from gathering near the stadium

Before coronavirus, a Merseyside derby would see Everton’s Goodison park full to its 39,500. The same goes for Celtic Park’s 60,000 capacity on any given Old Firm derby.

Today however, the stands lay silent, as did the most of the local pubs that would normally be booming, packed to the rafters with fans unable to get a ticket to their team’s derby games: Everton v Liverpool and Celtic v Rangers.

Riot vans and uniformed officers stood around all four corners of Goodison Park to deter Everton fans, but despite the police presence and restrictions, some fans fans still went to the ground for the 237th Merseyside derby.

In Glasgow, seven police vans were in…

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