Celtic's League Cup rivals last season already out in July after SPFL punish shambolic blunder

By John McGinley

July 21, 2022

The team Celtic faced in last year’s Scottish League Cup final, Hibernian, are already out of this year’s tournament after a shambolic July group stage that ended with the SPFL taking disciplinary action.

Hibs were already facing a sharp exit following poor results versus Falkirk and Greenock Morton, with matches elsewhere this weekend threatening to dump them out of the group stage.

However, they won’t even get the opportunity to wait on Saturday’s games, having fielded an ineligible player during last night’s draw against Morton.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The point they earned in that one will now be recorded as a 3-0 defeat after Rocky Bushiri played in the game despite being suspended.

The club confirmed the news in a statement tonight after a hearing at the SPFL earlier this afternoon.

It’s a pretty horrendous start for new Easter Road boss Lee Johnson, who was appointed earlier this summer following the departure of former Celtic attacker Shaun Maloney in April.

There will be serious concerns for Hibs supporters heading into the Scottish Premiership season with the club looking as poor off the pitch as on it.

Hibs would have fancied themselves as one of the teams that could launch a sustained League Cup run, this term having pushed Celtic close in last December’s final.

The Edinburgh side actually took the lead against Ange Postecoglou’s men at Hampden before a Kyogo Furuhashi double sent the Bhoys on the way to a delightful victory.

They now won’t be involved in the knockout stages this time around, with Celtic due to enter the competition at the end of August in the last 16.

In other news, James McCarthy’s Celtic future isn’t looking great.