Rangers have warned they may turn down tickets at Rugby Park next season after seeing their usual 8,000 allocation for next month’s clash with Kilmarnock slashed.
Killie will host the Ibrox club on the final day of the Ladbrokes Premiership season and Gers chiefs were expecting to fill both the Chadwick and Moffat Stands.
But with Steve Clarke’s side battling Aberdeen for a European slot, the Ayrshire club have decided the Light Blues will only be given the Chadwick Stand on May 19 as they look for a bumper home crowd to cheer them over the line into third place.
It means Steven Gerrard’s team will have to make do with a 4,000-strong backing and the move has angered Ibrox bosses.
Now they have hinted they are weighing up whether they should reject the option of going back up to their usual allocation if Killie bosses relent next term and once again offer up two stands to the Rangers travelling support.
Such a move could cost Kilmarnock up to £100,000 if they cannot persuade home fans to fill the seats.
A Rangers spokesman said: “We are disappointed with the decision, which will force us to consider carefully what application we will seek for future matches at Rugby Park.”
The Kilmarnock board confirmed the decision to halve Gers’ quota in a statement on their website.
It said: “What has already been an unforgettable season for everyone at Killie still promises so much as we head into the final five weeks of the campaign.
“Guided by Steve Clarke and Alex Dyer, our squad is challenging at the top end of the Scottish Premiership with the real possibility of breaking last season’s club-record points total.
“As we continue our 150th Anniversary celebrations, we want to turn our final match of the season on Sunday, May 19 at home to Rangers into a celebration of all things Killie.
“With this in mind, we as a board of directors have made the decision to house Rangers supporters solely in the Chadwick Stand with Kilmarnock supporters in the remaining three stands.”
Killie and Aberdeen are both locked on 38 points, with Clarke’s side ahead on goal difference going into the final five games of the season.
The teams meet at Rugby Park on Saturday but Kilmarnock’s main shareholder Billy Bowie wants to ensure his side have the best possible chance of pipping the Dons to a place in the Europa League.
He said: “Kilmarnock is a family club and we want to make sure Rugby Park is an enjoyable and safe environment for people to enjoy watching football.
“As promised, we have worked with and listened to feedback from our leading supporters’ groups in a real effort to encourage and inspire the next generation of Killie fans.
“After the (Rangers) game we’re encouraging all Killie fans to stay in the stadium and watch one of the most memorable Killie teams in recent memory complete their traditional lap of honour complete with a few words from our manager Steve Clarke.”