Big 42-club SPFL meeting to be held today; Celtic Dubai trip likely to come up

By David Walton

January 13, 2021

A massive 42-club SPFL meeting is scheduled to take place later today, with Celtic and their Dubai trip likely on the agenda.

So much controversy has surrounded

The club’s jaunt to the UAE. It was a trip Celtic were determined to portray as an intense warm-weather training camp. However, it was undermined hugely by photos of the players having a drink at bars and on sunloungers.

It’s also seen government go in on the club and football in general too. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has questioned the reasons for the trip, and expressed her frustration when a positive Covid test and 15 close contacts were identified (Daily Record).

This was announced on the same day as a three-week shutdown for the lower leagues. And STV reporter Raman Bhardwaj has confirmed that all 42 clubs will take part in a meeting today to discuss the closure, with plenty of clubs certain to have big questions:

Interesting to see what comes of SPFL meeting; Celtic already blameless for lower league decision

Celtic’s Dubai camp is almost certainly going to come up today. Clubs will be demanding to know why they were allowed to go away whilst their leagues are temporarily closed. In addition to that, they’ll likely just want to vent their anger at what they’ll feel is double-standards.

Of course, it’s important to know where to draw the line. Celtic are blameless when it comes to the suspension of lower-league football. SFA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell has already confirmed that after stating the following in the Scotsman:

“This is a decision we’ve taken to help stop the spread of the virus. It’s not linked to Celtic. This decision was talked about throughout most of last week with the JRG, and in-depth on Friday – before we knew of the Celtic situation.”

The Celtic board have come under fire for their Dubai decision / (Photo by Craig Foy / (SNS Group via Getty Images)

The Daily Record has also reported that discussions over the £20m government bailout package will also be had. They state that Maxwell will also be on the call. A source told the Record the following:

“It could be a very interesting meeting as feelings are running high. A number of top flight clubs are now crying out for the money they were promised by government and there is unrest at the other end over the decision to introduce a fire break in their leagues.”

But expect Celtic and their foreign trip to be a heavy subject. Especially given club chairmen, managers, and players have all been unfairly linking it to the suspension (Falkirk Herald).

In other news, an official club figure has backed the supporters’ call for the board to take action.