Celtic could be denied Scottish Cup opportunity with calls to end competition

By Euan Davidson

February 5, 2021

With the Scottish Cup, Celtic have already won a trophy this season. Technically.

The delayed Scottish Cup was an absolute triumph for the Bhoys. Yes, it was a scrappy final [Sky Sports], with Kristoffer Ajer’s winning penalty sealing the Quadruple Treble. Without fans inside Hampden, and being held in December, the final definitely didn’t have the lustre befitting such an unprecedented trophy haul.

Still, though: a happy moment during a difficult season.

Much like the 19-20 edition of the Scottish Cup, Covid-19 has ruined the momentum of the competition. There are increasingly loud calls to scrap the tournament altogether.

St. Mirren boss Jim Goodwin has added to the noise, with his comments about the Scottish Cup.

Goodwin told the Daily Record:

“The Scottish Cup is one we all really enjoy and of course we would love to be able to get it played but, just thinking with my sensible hat on, I don’t see where we can squeeze that competition into the calendar.

“We already have eight games in the month of February and there’s nowhere to fit it in this month so I just can’t see how we can do it

“Unless we do it without some of the lower league teams but I don’t think that would be fair either.

“Personally, I can’t see it happening. If SFA decide that we can fit it in then great: let’s do it.

“But what I think is there won’t be a Scottish Cup this season – they’ll just have to write it off, it’s as simple as that.”

Absolute scenes / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Sad situation for Celtic, Scottish Cup hangs in in balance

This is undoubtedly an unfortunate scenario for Celtic.

For Celtic, the Scottish Cup has been a happy hunting ground in recent years, of course. A 5th consecutive title would’ve been a new record [RSSSF] in the competition, unsurpassed by any Scottish club.

It would’ve also been a perfect goodbye to a few players who have served us with distinction. In a domestic knock-out tournament, the Bhoys would’ve had an excellent chance to win something this year.

With the title far out of reach (albeit, not yet impossible to win) and the Betfred Cup proving to be an absolute debacle in 20-21, Neil Lennon might’ve held out hope. As it is, Goodwin joins a number of calls to scrap the tournament entirely.

It makes sense, really. Coronavirus has caused scheduling havoc since the start of 2020. Forcing players to make it through an unreasonable amount of games benefits nobody.

It’s sad, but it looks like the oldest trophy in football isn’t getting lifted in May.

Meanwhile, Olivier Ntcham insists he’s an “asset”.