THE Celtic v Rangers clash next month is likely to be played without fans at Parkhead.
The champions are due to host Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side in the east end of Glasgow on Saturday, October 17, but it could be played in silence from the terracings.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement this afternoon means it almost certain that fans will NOT be in the arena for the game, as reported by the Scottish Sun.
Pushing back the phased return of fans for a minimum of three weeks from Monday September 14, supporters still have a slight chance of being allowed to return to the stadium.
However, that is assuming a best-case scenario on the recent upsurge of coronavirus positive cases – and the proviso that this weekend’s test events at Aberdeen v Kilmarnock and Ross County v Celtic are successful. Three hundred fans will be allowed to attend each Premiership encounters at Pittodrie and Dingwall.
In practice, it seems almost impossible that Ms Sturgeon would give the okay for home fans to be allowed inside next month.
Immediately after October 5 is the international break, with Scotland playing host to Israel in the Euro 2020/21 play-off at Hampden.
It is then back to league duty the following weekend, but the First Minister said this lunchtime that any future test events would be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Given the risks of having any number of fans along to such a fixture, it would seem unlikely in the extreme that the meeting between Neil Lennon and Gerrard’s sides would be considered for inclusion as a test event