Ticketless fans urged to stay away

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Ticketless Celtic fans have been urged not to travel for next Tuesday's Champions League trip to Manchester United.

Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police are desperate to avoid a repeat of the ugly scenes involving a minority of supporters who travelled south to watch Rangers in the UEFA Cup final.

"Manchester is looking forward to welcoming Celtic fans visiting the city for Tuesday October 21's UEFA Champions League tie with Manchester United," a joint statement from council leader Sir Richard Leese, Chief Supt Gerry Donnellan and Manchester United chief executive David Gill read. "We're a city that's passionate about football with a proud reputation for hospitality. In return, we are sure that Celtic fans will want to uphold the great reputation of the club and its travelling supporters."

It continued: "Along with Celtic, we are urging supporters who do not have tickets not to travel to the city. Ticketless supporters will not be able to get into the game and facilities will not be provided for fans to watch the match elsewhere.

"We promise to show the greatest respect to visiting Celtic fans and are sure that they will respond in kind by helping keep our streets litter-free and abiding by local bye-laws.

"These laws obviously include a ban covering on-street drinking and this will be enforced.

"We have welcomed Celtic supporters to Manchester on many previous occasions with great success. We are sure next week will enjoy the same great experience. We hope you will all enjoy the match and visiting Manchester."

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell added: "Celtic supporters have a tremendous reputation and have become renowned across Europe for the positive manner in which they travel and support the club.

"This was again in evidence just a few weeks ago when our supporters travelled to Villarreal in numbers and despite the result once again made friends and enjoyed a great sporting occasion.

"We are delighted that Celtic Football Club and Manchester United FC also enjoy such a fantastic relationship. We are sure our fans will travel to Manchester once again with the aim of supporting the club positively as they enjoy another great meeting between two of Europe's great clubs."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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