Neil Lennon has revealed his irk at Celtic’s lack of recovery time ahead of our clash with Atletico Madrid tomorrow evening in the UEFA Champions League group stages. The Bhoys face-off against the La Liga side at Paradise which should be another magical atmosphere under the lights. Brendan Rodgers and his men will be looking to gain their first points of the campaign to date and Lennon has bemoaned the lack of a rest his former team have had.
The Hoops had to travel to Edinburgh on Sunday to play Hearts at 2.15pm due to Sky Sports Scotland’s scheduling, whilst our European foes have had the chance of an extra days recovery time ahead of the big clash, as they played on the Saturday night. It’s becoming a regular theme of our contract with Sky Sports in Scottish football that we are at their behest in terms of times continually, which is unfair.
As Lennon pointed out on PLZ Soccer, Sky have no trouble helping out English Premier League teams when it comes to scheduling their matches so that they are not put out to any great deal ahead of mid-week European clashes. Speaking on the channel, he said: “Celtic are playing on a Sunday afternoon when they have got a Champions League game on the Wednesday night. Atletico Madrid played on the Saturday evening, why are Celtic playing on a Sunday afternoon?
“Now they have only got Monday and Tuesday to recover, and then they are playing against Atletico Madrid. I know it might be for TV, but Man United played on Saturday evening. Arsenal played on Saturday evening at 5.30pm. Man City played; all their teams that are in the Champions League played on the Saturday. The Scottish representatives play on the Sunday with a day less recovery. I just don’t get it.”
There’s no denying that Celtic and Scottish football more generally, is an afterthought by Sky Sports, and their Anglo-centric approach to football in the Britain is so obvious it’s cringworthy.
Cutting coverage short and changing channels post-match is a regular occurrence and the lack of consistent coverage is a joke at times too. With no television cameras for this coming weekend’s fixture with Hibernian, it really does make the mind boggle as to why we felt the need to give away our TV rights for a poke of beans years into the future.