Celtic and SPFL should watch Premier League situation with interest

By Euan Davidson

December 30, 2020

Celtic know all about the effects of Covid-19, and the chaos it causes.

The Bhoys currently have three games in hand on city rivals Rangers, and the blame can be shared by a number of sources. Aberdeen, Rangers, Kilmarnock and St. Mirren have all fallen foul of Covid protocols in 20-21, along with our own left-back Boli Bolingoli.

With cases rising again (BBC), we’re now in another strange position: Sam Allardyce has made a reasonable suggestion that has implications across the UK (BBC).

Tottenham v Fulham was postponed, while Ralph Hasenhüttl had to manage Southampton from home in a draw with West Ham.

All in all, it’s just getting a bit silly. Inevitably, Scotland and Scottish football will see similar scenes, and Big Sam is…

This feels strange to type: Sam Allardyce is right. A “circuit-breaker” might be what the game needs in England as well as Scotland.

Celtic Park / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic and SPFL will be watching on with interest

We’d not normally advise anyone to watch the English game, but what happens next will be of great interest to football authorities on these isles as well as in mainland Europe.

Big Sam told the BBC:

“When I listen to the news that the variant virus transmits quicker than the original virus, we can only do the right thing, which is have a circuit break.

“I am 66 years old and the last thing I want to do is catch Covid.

“As much as we’re getting tested – we had one positive this week – it seems to be creeping round. No matter how hard we try, no matter how many times we get tested, how we wear our masks, how we sanitise our hands, we’re still catching a lot infections round the country.

“If that helps [circuit breaker], let’s do it and let the season run a little longer when we get through it.”

An empty Celtic Park / (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Sam Allardyce is… correct?

Did anyone else, totally unreasonably, have Sam Allardyce as a mask-below-the-nose guy? Maybe ‘Allerdici’ is more aware of current issues than we give him credit for.

The cynics will suggest that yes, Allardyce has only just taken up his new role at West Bromwich Albion, who were hammered 5-0 by Leeds yesterday (Sky Sports). Any break would benefit Big Sam, who is getting to grips with a new squad.

Clubs that are in good form will be against any break in schedule, sure. Public health is a much more important thing, though.

Footballers are certainly not immune to Covid-19. Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard can attest to that (Herald). Supporters are still having to stay at home, and clubs want as many as possible to come back once a full vaccination programme has been run.

Boris Johnson has huge decisions to make / (Photo by Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Early ending to 20-21?

If English football is ground to a halt once again, it seems natural that Scotland will follow.

Of course, there’ll be the wrangling over calling the league early that took place in March. However, it’s an entirely different scenario to the 19-20 season, and we’ll argue that if it comes to it.

The new strain of Covid isn’t messing about (Daily Mail).

Dr Erik Volz of Imperial College London (YouTube) has said:

“From what we see so far it is growing very quickly. It is growing faster than [a previous variant] ever grew, but it is important to keep an eye on this.”

Football’s significance seems to pale in comparison. However, it feels like history repeating itself, and Scottish football fans should be ready for the inevitability of our national game being suspended for at least a short while.