Motherwell back Celtic calls to bring forward the winter break

By Euan Davidson

December 21, 2021

Motherwell chief Alan Burrows has backed the Celtic statement made earlier today, calling to bring the winter break forward.

The Hoops issued a statement calling the SPFL to bring the break forward. That was in order to protect supporters and cause as little disruption as possible to the upcoming schedule. In their closing paragraph, Celtic said [Celtic FC]: “The game owes it to supporters to explore all opportunities to maximise the prospect of all supporters being able to attend matches and support the game they love.”

Now Burrows, the popular Motherwell chief executive, has thrown his weight behind Celtic’s idea. Surely, he won’t be the only one to do so.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

He tweeted: “Covid-19 is not going away and we must find ways to slow the spread. But today’s announcement and the restriction to just 500 is incredibly frustrating.

“Most pertinently, it is a serious blow for fans who have been through so much and rely on football as a method of supporting themselves mentally with some normality and release.

“It is also a difficult situation for the clubs themselves who have had such a torrid time trying to keep their head above the water.

“Restrictions to this level are, ironically, worse than a full lock out as you retain a significant element of your cost base and have virtually no means to commercialise the event.”

Hibernian 1-2 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Hibernian 1-2 Celtic | LIVE Reaction
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“Fan versus fan”; Celtic receive backing from Motherwell Chief Executive

Burrows continued [Twitter]: “You also have the huge issue of trying to select 500 fans from a highly engaged pool of people who are all desperate to attend.

“Fan versus fan, how do you make that fair? We should start he winter break now, and rearrange these matches when all fans have a chance to attend at a later date when hopefully restrictions are eased.

“That way we increase the likelihood (from zero, currently) that fans can watch the gives live, all matches are played under the same parameters and clubs can commercialise the fixtures in line with current budgets. During that time, we put our facilities and platform at the disposal of the local health authorities to ensure as many booster vaccinations can be administered as possible.”

Photo by Jeff Holmes/Getty Images

Strong words from Alan Burrows.

And you suspect it won’t just be him, either. With St Mirren calling for postponements, it seems unlikely that SPFL clubs will be happy. However, the latest announcements from the SFA and SPFL have hardly offered clarity.

The situation seems to be that football will carry on with reduced crowds.

As Burrows queries, how on earth will that work? Can you reduce even 10,000 to 500? 50,000 and 60,000 capacities to 500? Who wins there?

It’s an absolutely ridiculous situation. The league had time to prepare, there were consultations starting last week. Can it really be so complicated?

Burrows won’t be alone. Motherwell are the first to back Celtic here. They won’t be the last.

Read more: SPFL dodge Celtic and St Mirren requests in official statement on crowd restrictions