Today’s harrowing news about the new COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the SNP have left Celtic fans reeling after it was announced the Glasgow derby would be played in front of just 500 fans at Paradise – and the club have hit back in a telling statement, demanding the government to allow the fans in question a chance to watch their team by bringing the winter break forward.
Laws sanctioned by Nicola Sturgeon mean that from December 26 to January 17, all sporting fixtures in Scotland must be played in front of no more than 500 spectators.
This is particularly baffling due to the fact that a stadium with a hypothetical capacity of 500 would be full – marking no social distancing – although with over 60,000 fans at Celtic Park, the number would stay the same.
It means that three fixtures are affected, with the away tie at St Johnstone alongside the home ties against Hibernian and theRangers having to be played in front of a diminished crowd.
And Celtic have since requested that the winter break, due to occur from January 3 to January 21, be brought forward in order for fans to be given more chance to be allowed into grounds.
“Everyone at Celtic recognises the difficulties presented to society by the current pandemic, and the health and safety of all must always be our priority,” the statement read.
“In light of today’s announcement regarding supporters attending matches, Celtic can confirm that it has today requested that the SPFL bring forward the scheduled winter break and reschedule the fixtures affected by the regulations announced.
“The game owes it to supporters to explore all opportunities to maximise the prospect of all supporters being able to attend matches and support the game they love.”
Whether the game against theRangers will then be allowed to be played under normal circumstances is anyone’s guess; but at least Celtic have gone down trying.