This Season Is Becoming An Unenjoyable Farce

Nobody can do anything about the Coronavirus pandemic. Not within football anyway. The decision to proceed with the season behind closed doors was a necessity, though it could well be argued that some fans should be able to return without compromising social distancing, as has happened in Germany.

Jock Stein famously said “Football without fans is nothing.” It’s a quote we’ve heard a lot in recent months, Manchester United even tried to attribute it to Matt Busby! It was bizarre and it remains weird to watch games in empty stadia. The absence of the Fields of Athenry and the roar of the crowd, replaced by the sound of Neil Lennon barking instructions, has made for a miserable back drop. Unsurprisingly, the tempo of our play has suffered as a result.

It is what it is and under current circumstances I’d rephrase Stein’s quote to “Football without fans is better than nothing.” However, after being able to watch a couple of football games, we had Boli-gate and the Aberdeen debacle. Celtic had matches abandoned by the government as punishment, despite the fact that Boli and the rest of the team tested negative. Yet when an Edinburgh Rugby player attended a house party and tested positive, the club’s rugby match in France was allowed to go ahead. No yellow card was issued to rugby either – unlike the one Sturgeon handed to football.

Regardless, we missed two games so the season was already stop-start.

A few weeks later there was international break to interrupt the season once more, now another one has come along so quickly. International breaks during a global pandemic? Really? I had my reservations a few days ago…

Now we face the reality of Odsonne Edouard almost certainly being unfit for the match following his isolation after testing positive for Covid-19, whilst Ryan Christie is ruled out due to having to isolate for 14 days after Stuart Armstrong tested positive in the Scotland camp.

The game hangs in the balance as if any more cases or isolations present themselves then it won’t be viable to play. The Scottish Government have already closed pubs across the Central Belt too. Whether you agree with the reasons or not, it seems that any joy surrounding watching football has been sapped.

There are much more serious concerns in the world just now, but, where football is concerned, this season is becoming a bit of a farce now.

Liam Kelly

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

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