Premiership votes to retain winter break, Celtic must use it wisely

By Euan Davidson

March 18, 2021

The “ill-fated Celtic Dubai trip”. No matter how much distance there is between now and the ignominy of the club’s maligned holiday, it still stings.

Yes, Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon had previously used the trip to galvanise their squads. However, the extreme moral dubiousness seemed to matter little, nor did Scotland being in lockdown. The whole thing was an utter shambles; an avoidable catastrophe that, if anything, held the team back this season.

At least in 21-22, Celtic have a chance to make a better decision. Stephen McGowan of the Daily Mail has reported that all Premiership clubs have voted to reinstate the winter break, starting next season.

With intense fixture build-up due to Covid-19, there was no real opportunity for clubs to have a prolonged mid-season rest in 20-21. With the virus being controlled to greater effect [BBC] this year, there’s hope that normality (to some degree) will return by the start of next season.

While it might be a while before Paradise is packed out, the suggestion of a more usual season schedule is a crumb of comfort for fans across the Scottish top-flight.

Celtics Odsonne Edouard during the 2020 Dubai trip / (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic have a job to do next season, no excuses

With Celtic looking to reassert their domestic dominance in 21-22, the winter break is a welcome addition. The club have successfully used it to integrate warm-weather training, and hold important motivational talks with the squad. Certainly, there’s evidence to suggest our results have improved after a winter rest.

Surely, though, for PR reasons alone, the club won’t go back to Dubai. It’s a name that’s too tainted for Celtic supporters to stomach. There are other warm places in the world. Alternatively, depending on the situation, the Bhoys may decide against leaving Scotland at all.

Granted, we’re hoping that by January 2022, we live in a world that’s more familiar. That there’s no risk of spreading a contagion. Even then, going abroad did nothing to help the Hoops this time round, and the club may see training at Lennoxtown over the break as a form of penance to appease supporters.

Either way, there are no excuses. Normality will return, and that normality must include a dominant Celtic.

Supporters will expect nothing less.

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