BUS loads of Old Firm fans are expected to head south to watch the game on Saturday, publicans in England have warned. 

Celtic and Rangers supporters have contacted venues in and around Cumbria as they try to find a way to take in the action with pubs and restaurants in Glasgow shut. 

However, police say they will strictly enforce lockdown rules this weekend amid concern from watering hole bosses they could be "inundated" with punters. 

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"We have had a lot of phone calls about this in the last few days," a staff member at Carlisle bar Club Britannia said. "There has been a lot of talk about bus loads of fans coming down for the game.

"We have had to take the decision not to show the match as we just can't accommodate that number of people.

"We also need to think about our regulars at this time."

The staff member, who asked not to be named, added: "In my opinion, Scottish people shouldn't be coming down right now because of the different restrictions."

The Glasgow Times spoke to a number of other bars in Carlisle who all confirmed they had been asked about the game on Saturday. 

One pub, Gallagher's Irish Bar, has even decided to close for the day after being inundated with enquiries. 

In a statement on social media, bosses wrote: "We have come to an agreement with management that, because our establishment is a Celtic themed pub and with the current pandemic and pubs being closed in Scotland, we don't want to have to refuse certain customers. 

Glasgow Times: Neil Lennon, left, and Steven Gerrard will watch their sides go head to head on Saturday Neil Lennon, left, and Steven Gerrard will watch their sides go head to head on Saturday

"We do not have the capacity for our regular customers, so we have decided to keep the doors shut on Saturday." 

Superintendent Matt Kennerley, of Cumbria Police, said: “We understand restrictions on licensed premises in Scotland might offer the temptation to travel south of the border to visit our pubs and bars – but anybody breaching rules here does face a fine.

“We would like licensees to be aware of this and to think carefully about their responsibilities and the rules in place to protect everyone." 

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Carlisle City Council and Cumbria Police are working together to monitor the situation in the area.

A spokesman for the local authority said: “Our priority is the safety of the pubs and rules are in place to protect everyone.

“We urge local businesses to comply with the new legal requirements or they could face getting a fixed penalty notice or prosecution."