Report: Celtic and SPFL clubs no longer need PCR tests; lateral flow results to replace them

By David Walton

June 29, 2021

Celtic will no longer need to send negative PCR tests to the SPFL ahead of the coming season, the BBC reports.

The report states that clubs have been splashing out up to £4k-per-week on the PCR tests over the course of last term. This has been particularly costly for clubs with big squads like the Hoops.

This season, however, the clubs will now only have to submit lateral flow tests for the players and staff involved on matchdays. LFT tests provide instantaneous results. Should players test positive via the LFTs, a PCR NHS test must be taken.

Lateral flows are said to be less accurate than PCRs. However, they will prove to be more cost-effective for clubs as they await capacity crowds returning once again.

It should also play a key role in match prep for the likes of Celtic. Tests done with LFTs can see results come through within 30 minutes.

A more cost-effective route for Celtic and the SPFL clubs

Hopefully, this provides a more cost-effective route for Scottish football clubs this season. Celtic can easily afford the PCR tests, but with players often tested several times per week, any additional cash that can be saved is welcome.

It won’t lessen the number of positive tests a club can get however. Whilst LFTs are less accurate, it can go either way. Some clubs could find themselves seeing more positive tests when players may not actually have Covid. This could potentially be disruptive to pre-match prep.

But the fact is clubs won’t be able to afford splashing out £4k every week again on tests. It’s just not feasible so long as supporters aren’t getting into grounds.

Celtic Park / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The difference in price should particularly be a relief to lower-league clubs. A single lateral flow test roughly costs around £4.99. PCR tests, meanwhile, can be priced between £60 and £90. It’s a massive jump in prices for football clubs.

So hopefully this rule change provides a little bit of relief for Scottish football. No longer do clubs need to pay thousands of pounds on testing.

That, regardless of who you support, is a good thing.

In other news, there is one underutilised talent at Celtic that will excite the life out of Ange Postecoglou.