Plans to kick-off the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership campaign on August 1st are already in doubt because of fears that clubs in the top-flight cannot afford adequate testing, The Daily Record reports.
The Scottish FA and SPFL Joint Response Group outlined their intention to aim for that date on Friday in a statement.
As we discussed earlier, Celtic and Ross County are already lodging orders with testing companies to provide testing kits that can produce results in just 20 minutes.
However, it appears the cost of this could be prohibitive to other sides in the top-flight that are struggling for cash during the ongoing health crisis.
It’s so precarious that The Daily Record reports testing is now a major stumbling block in terms of resuming action in the timeframe set out late last week.
A senior, anonymous top-flight club source told the paper: “We couldn’t afford to pay for testing and are not alone. A raft of top-flight clubs couldn’t embark on the testing programme that government legislation may require.
“All it would take is for two clubs to admit they can’t afford it and the restart would be pushed back by months.
“A conservative estimate is it will cost around £4500 a week to get players, coaches and staff tested. Asking a club like ours to finance that is a non-starter until we get fans back through the doors.”
So while Celtic are currently in a position to put in place the testing needed to return to training and potentially take part in matches, it appears that Neil Lennon’s team may not have enough clubs to play against.
We, of course, don’t know how this will play out over the coming weeks so there’s no reason to panic too much that we won’t see Scottish Premiership action in late summer but it’s apparently not quite a firm date to get excited about.
Will clubs require extra funding to get the necessary testing done? Could Celtic help regional clubs with the use of their testing kits?
These will likely be questions on the table at club meetings this week.