UEFA made an announcement on Thursday night which no doubt interested Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell.
Football’s governing body in Europe disclosed that crowds at a capacity of a maximum 30% will be allowed to attend matches in European club competitions, and international games. However, UEFA notes that this depends on getting permission from local authorities. Some games might still be played behind closed doors.
The announcement also details that masks must be worn and social distancing measures must be in place.
Announcement has impact on Hoops
This announcement has an impact on Celtic. Following the 1-0 win over Sarajevo, the Hoops are in the Europa League group stages. The fact that there is a chance that Celtic Park could have some fans in it for the group stages will not be lost on Peter Lawwell.
He should be pushing for a meeting with the Scottish government as soon as possible to discuss the possibility of Celtic Park being 30% full for the three group stage fixtures. A statement on the Celtic website calling for immediate discussions could be a smart move.
Getting government approval might be tough
Getting the Scottish government to agree to such a deal might prove to be a sticking point though. As BBC Sport reported recently, the phased return of fans from the 5th of October has been postponed. The Hoops will take on Rangers in two weeks time in an empty Celtic Park.
However, that does not mean that Celtic Park will be empty for the Europa League. What a massive boost it would be for Neil Lennon and his players if the Hoops were cheered on by 18,000 fans in the group stages.
Peter Lawwell is more than capable of stating his case that Celtic Park will be able to handle the potential 18,000 crowd with safety measures in place.
Maybe some agreement can be had with the government, if there is wariness about 30% attendance. Perhaps an agreement will be made for 20%. That is much better than nothing. Hopefully Lawwell can get this meeting arranged as soon as possible.
In other news, Boli Bolingoli set for trips to Paris and Manchester.