Celtic's Dubai trip has added unnecessary pressure onto the club

By David Walton

January 5, 2021

There are so many reasons you could criticise Celtic’s Dubai trip this season.

Be it whether the players deserve it after losing to Rangers, or whether it be down to the health and safety risks involved. Nobody is happy with what Celtic have decided to do here.

It’s perhaps been amplified further by yesterday’s announcement from the Scottish government. They’ve decided to put Scotland into a full national lockdown until the end of January. Only essential journeys are allowed once again.

Yet, to the outside world, Celtic are lording it up in Dubai. It’s a privileged trip. One that you nor I can take but a group of footballers can. That images of Neil Lennon and Scott Brown chuckling over a bevvy didn’t help either.

Of course the benefits of this trip have been proven in the past. Celtic returned from Dubai last season and went on a winning run of nine wins in 10 Premiership games. The season beforehand was similar, with the Hoops racking up eight consecutive wins and conceding two goals in the process.

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Celtic’s Dubai trip simply must reap ridiculous rewards

However, the demand/expectation for Celtic to show the severity of this trip will be cataclysmic this season. If we come back and don’t go on a ridiculous winning run, the whole training camp will be questioned.

There has to be a ridiculously sound reason for travelling at this period of our fight against the pandemic. You have to show that leaving the country is essential for your work. Right now nobody is convinced that’s the case.

The only thing that will (perhaps) change that is winning the title. If we fail to do so then the usefulness of this camp will be questioned. This just doesn’t look great from the outside.

Celtic training in Dubai last year (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group via Getty Images)

I’ll be a Celtic fan until the day I die. I’ll back the club until that day too. But that doesn’t mean I, or any of us, have to agree with every step they make. This decision has angered me. Even if we do go on a decent winning run, that won’t be enough. It has to be a meteoric one. Something that really stresses the need for our team to go over there.

Let’s get this idea we go to Dubai and drink a magic potion out of our heads. What can possibly be done over there that couldn’t be done elsewhere in Scotland? This is a move that will infuriate many supporters and right so. But it’s not even one the club can justify.

This whole saga has added a stupendous layer of pressure onto the club. It’s something that, personally, I don’t think Celtic will ever be able to explain to those who think like myself.

In other news, the Celtic fans had Rangers supporters on strings last night.