Common ground has been found and common sense has prevailed. A consensus has been reached but the solution will not be met with universal approval.

The Old Firm ticket row was never a black and white matter. Like so many issues regarding these clubs, it was nuanced and highly-charged. Some will see this move forward as a backwards step, others will see signs of progress and wish it could have gone further. As ever in Glasgow, you can keep some of the people happy some of the time but never all of the people happy all of the time.

The reduction in away allocations has been bad for the business of Scottish football and bad for the Old Firm brand. A derby which prides itself on the intensity of the fanbases – and the good, the bad and the ugly within – could not have maintained its standing had the status quo remained. The rivalry and the history of this fixture is its unique selling point and the Old Firm was being sold short. It is true, after all, that football is nothing without fans.

The clubs themselves knew that but couldn’t find a compromise. In the end, the League and Sky Sports had to come to the table and play their hand. A situation that was untenable will soon be consigned to the past.

A statement from the SPFL on Friday morning read: “Following engagement with both clubs, the SPFL is pleased to confirm that Rangers FC and Celtic FC will provide ticket allocations of around 5% for away supporters, for SPFL matches between the two clubs.

“This will be effective from Scottish Premiership season 2024/25, subject to all necessary requirements being satisfied at both Ibrox and Celtic Park. It does not affect the remaining two league matches between the clubs in season 2023/24, which will remain at a zero allocation for away supporters.”

Matches between these clubs have carried all the sporting significance of their predecessors in recent seasons despite the absence of large, or at times any, travelling supporters. Yet they have not looked, sounded or felt like true Old Firm encounters. Whatever the rights and wrongs of how we ended up in that situation, both clubs now deserve credit for being able to work towards a solution. Claims of victory are ultimately meaningless. This was a victory for common sense.

“Rangers FC notes the SPFL’s confirmation regarding future Old Firm allocations at both Ibrox and Parkhead,” read a statement, released half an hour after the emails landed from Hampden. “This was reached following input from both clubs, the SPFL, local authorities, and the league’s broadcast partners. While this will not affect the two remaining league derbies this season, from next season, both clubs will be required to provide five per-cent of their stadia to the away team for Old Firm games only — mirroring the UEFA European match model.

“Rangers’ position has always been for away supporters to be present at these games, and with this move, a significant number of our fans will be able to support our team at Parkhead in seasons ahead. At Ibrox, this will affect supporters in sections BF5 and BR5, as well as part of BF4 and BR4 in the Broomloan Stand, as it would for European matches. Alternative seating arrangements for supporters in these sections for Old Firm derbies have been identified and those affected will be contacted directly by the club.”

It would have been better for all concerned had the new agreement come into force this season rather than next. Just imagine the cacophony of noise and colour that would have greeted the players at Ibrox and Parkhead during two fixtures that will go some way to determining the winner of the Premiership title race. Instead, both of those matches will be played in front of home supporters only. Time will tell if that proves to be decisive or not.

In that regard, this solution is not perfect. It was never going to be, though. This was not just a football issue, it had become a financial one. As soon as both clubs sold season tickets in the areas where their rivals once sat twice a season, it became almost impossible to envisage a scenario that would result in 8,000-strong away supports on derby day.

This ‘European allocation' move must be welcomed. Rangers will receive around 3,000 tickets at Parkhead and Celtic will be handed around 2,500 at Ibrox. The Ibrox board will install netting as part of new safety measures and updated turnstile procedures will also be in place. Across the city, there will be a checklist for Celtic to work through as well to ensure all travelling fans are safe in a section that will extend from their current place in the corner further round that end of the ground.

It won’t be what it was once like, but it will so much better than what it has been. The Old Firm will have some of its edge back once again.