BT Sport considering unusual Celtic Park option amidst broadcast controversy
BT Sport are considering hosting coverage of Rangers games from an empty Celtic Park in the Europa League this season.
On Thursday, Chris Sutton and Neil Lennon were denied entry from Ibrox on Thursday night. Both had been invited by BT Sport to cover both Celtic and Rangers’ Europa League games.
However, supposed security concerns kiboshed the coverage. Instead, for Real Betis v Celtic, Stiliyan Petrov was called upon to give analysis from a London studio.
A task for which he was richly rewarded, with bizarre criticism from Charlie Nicholas.
The fall-out from Thursday night’s Ibrox drama has meant that BT Sport are considering unusual options for their coverage of Celtic and Rangers. A BT Sport source said [via Daily Record]:
“If this scenario comes up again then the safety of our staff is paramount. However, the cost to us doubles if we have to set up two studios so it’s more economical to have just one base.
“Therefore, one option being considered is simply to set the studio up at Parkhead. It seems ludicrous considering we won’t have the fans arriving for the game as they will be at Ibrox.
“Something would be lost and Ibrox Stadium will miss out on the exposure of a full house on a European night which makes great viewing as it showcases a magnificent arena to the world.
“But we could be left with no option. At a time when [Rangers managing director] Stewart Robertson has said they are looking for more money to be invested in the Scottish game it doesn’t make much sense to be upsetting a major UEFA stakeholder.”
Odd situation could get odder when BT Sport potentially roll up at an empty Celtic Park
The bizarre events of Thursday night – skewered by Chris Sutton this morning – could have ramifications going on for months.
It means BT Sport could host coverage of Rangers’ home game against Sparta Prague from an empty Celtic Park, while the Bhoys take on Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena.
There are other permeations that could result. Either way, it’s an absolute mess.
From BT Sports’ perspective, they want well-rounded coverage of both teams, with pundits representing Celtic and Rangers on nights when both are playing.
Especially with a home crowd in attendance adding ambience to proceedings.
It’s just a weird situation. Get used to some unfamiliar sights in this season’s Europa League.
In other news: It’s time to give Stephen Welsh his Celtic place back