STEVEN GERRARD believes the Government and football authorities should have done more to ensure supporters could watch the Old Firm fixture on free-to-air television.

Parkhead will be closed to fans for the first derby of the campaign this afternoon and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned punters against gathering in houses and breaking Coronavirus legislation.

As she urged fans not to travel to England to watch the game in pubs, Sturgeon called for Sky Sports to give up their exclusive broadcast rights for the Old Firm showdown.

And Rangers boss Gerrard insists as many fans as possible should have had the chance to see the action unfold as he reiterated calls for supporters to behave responsibly this weekend.

Gerrard said: “I don’t really want to get involved in this chat but now that you’ve asked me the question, I think I will. And I think I’ve got a message for different people.

“My message to the fans is to stay safe. To all sets of fans around the world, really respect this virus and follow instructions, rules and government guidelines. I think that goes without saying.

“But to the people that have given these fans the message to stay home and do this and do that, don’t do this, don’t do that - provide free football for the fans.

“Not every fan has the luxury of Sky Sports and BT, our TV and Celtic TV. Not every fan has got that luxury.

“If you’re giving them orders to stay at home, provide free football for them so they don’t go wandering to Blackpool or Derby or wherever they go to watch the game. If you’re going to give instructions, at least back it up with free football for these fans.

“Not just Sky. The people that run football, and the governments, should make it compulsory for all the TV channels in this short space of time where there are lockdowns, tier threes and certain areas of Scotland and England where people can’t move and are told to stay in the house.

“Provide those people with free football so they can watch the team that they love and that they give so much of their life to. Give them free football to watch.”