Celtic wanted to postpone Hibernian game to go on a winter training camp

By David Walton

December 1, 2020

Celtic have finally confirmed the reason as to why they wanted to move their January clash with Hibernian at Parkhead.

There were plenty of eyebrows raised when Hibs had announced on Twitter that their game with Neil Lennon’s side was pushed back from January 9th to the 11th. With only two days between the dates and no matches surrounding them, it didn’t seem to make much sense.

Hibernian chief executive Leeann Dempster then stated on Twitter that she was “fizzing” with the decision, saying Hibs had actually rejected an initial request from Celtic to postpone the game.

But a Celtic spokesman has told the Daily Record that the club went through the right protocols and explained the game was requested for postponement due to the club’s winter training camp plans.

“Celtic can confirm that its match against Hibernian scheduled for the New Year has been moved to Monday 11th January 2021 with a 19:45hrs kick-off”.

“The club, through the proper SPFL process has made this request with a view to arranging a winter training camp during this particular week, something which has proven hugely beneficial to the squad in recent seasons”.

Hibs quite right to reject; Celtic need more than a training camp

So in fairness to Hibs, they’re quite right to turn down any postponement of the game. After all, why would they want to give Celtic time off to prepare and have them all fired up for returning with the Hibees in their sights?

It makes absolutely no sense for the Easter Road side to be all for Celtic’s plans. There’s little to no benefit for Hibs outside of another two days of prep of their own. They have a right to feel let down by the fact it’s been rearranged.

Of course, this isn’t Celtic’s fault, and Dempster could’ve done with outlining that in her tweets. She leaves the door open for people to have a pop at the Hoops despite the fact we’ve done nothing wrong at face value.

Parkhead will play host to Celtic and Hibs on January 11th / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Whatever’s gone on in the background is something for Hibs and the SPFL to deal with. Celtic would be best staying out of things given that the fixture has already been postponed and it looks almost certain there’ll be no further changes to it.

As for the winter training camp in January, it’s undoubted that we’ve come back from there over the last several years and increased our performance levels. It’s as if the club has been able to strike a proper reset button, but it’s always come after poor results (especially in derby matches).

Another one of those in January before the winter camp and we can forget about 10-in-a-row. This time, we need to go into any Dubai camp (and that’s almost certainly where it’ll be held given previous years) with a win over our rivals and a good run of form under our belts.

In other news, we discuss why any potential new Celtic manager cannot be defined by 10-in-a-row.