Provan thinks today's scheduled Celtic match at Ibrox should have gone ahead

By John McGinley

March 15, 2020

Former Celtic star Davie Provan thinks today’s scheduled match at Ibrox should have gone ahead, writing in his regular Scottish Sun column.

Neil Lennon’s league leaders were due to take on Steven Gerrard’s second-placed stragglers this lunchtime before the SPFL took the decision to suspend football activities in Scotland.

An ongoing health crisis has seen similar measures taken by leagues and sports around the world in Europe, America and Asia.

Provan though, with contrary comments, believes that Celtic and Rangers should have simply got on with it, with a full capacity crowd.

As quoted by The Scottish Sun, Provan said: “Sorry, but I don’t get why the Old Firm game was cancelled when the Scottish government had given it the green light.

“On Friday medical experts were assuring us there was no increased risk of infection from being in a football crowd. But while the Cheltenham Festival went ahead watched by huge crowds, Ibrox will lie empty today.

“Mixed messages from Downing Street and Holyrood haven’t helped.

“Friday saw Boris Johnson give the EPL his approval to play as normal this weekend. Yet on the same afternoon Nicola Sturgeon, put the block on having crowds inside Scottish grounds from tomorrow. Do they speak to each other?”

The criticism here is harsh.

The SPFL haven’t done anything rash here, simply taking into account the safety of players, staff and fans up and down the country.

Provan may feel things can continue, citing government advice, but many businesses are taking similar decisions in the UK and beyond.

Massive institutions like the English Premier League and National Basketball Association have suspended competition.

Celtic in action against Rangers / (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

High profile players such as Wayne Rooney even think the call should have been made earlier, giving an insight into how football professionals feel.

It would actually be quite absurd for such a massive crowd to descend on Govan and take in a football match, given what’s happening elsewhere.

It’s, of course, disappointing that the match wasn’t played, but the league has a duty to put the well being of everyone involved in Scottish football first.