Celtic manager Neil Lennon is hoping to get special dispensation from government authorities so the club can take part in pre-season matches against quality opposition on the continent, he told The Daily Record on Friday.

Right now the Bhoys are limited to socially distant training, unable to take part in full-contact work.

That’s a situation that will continue into this week.


However, as we discussed earlier, the Scottish FA have applied to the authorities in an effort to arrange some pre-season friendly matches and that’ll be something very much of interest to Lennon.

The Hoops boss is even looking for a relaxation of 14-day quarantine rules so his team can potentially take trips abroad to test themselves and fully prepare for the season starting in August.

As quoted by The Daily Record, Lennon said: “That’s a bit of a headache in trying to get some game time, trying to confirm these clubs and games. At the minute we can’t play anybody in England and a lot of other countries, Italy, Spain, are up and going.

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“We may look at some Dutch teams or French teams and get some quality friendlies but at the minute that’s a difficult question to answer.

“We are hoping (the 14-day quarantine rule) would get lifted or there would be some sort of exemption from that, that would be the only possible way we could go about doing that.

“We may have an opportunity to play in a mini-tournament, that’s another avenue we are pursuing as well.”

Celtic have taken part in pre-season tournaments on a few occasions in the past such as the Wembley Cup in 2009 where we faced Al Ahly of Egypt and Tottenham Hotspur, lifting the trophy in the process.

The last one came in 2016 when we played in a continent-spanning International Champions Cup, competing against Liverpool, Leicester City and Inter Milan without much success.

Simon Ferry, Darren O'Dea and Celtic celebrate winning the Wembley Cup

Simon Ferry, Darren O’Dea and Celtic celebrate winning the Wembley Cup / (Photo by AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)

Having the opportunity to see Celtic take part in something similar would be morale-boosting for the support, especially if the club’s in-house media channel could arrange to broadcast.

This is far from a traditional pre-season period but with competitive games expected to kick-off in early August, Lennon’s team will need some sort of match practice, however it’s arranged or whoever we face.

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