The BBC has reported that playing games behind closed doors in Scotland is extremely doubtful.
The English FA are reportedly considering playing games with no fans in a July restart (Football.London). This is due to the current health pandemic, which has had a destructive effect on the season.
But the BBC has published that senior figures in Scottish football consider that prospect “fanciful”. It’s unclear as to why, but both resistance by certain clubs and the lack of gate receipt money could be two potential aspects.
Rangers’ statement two weeks ago made it clear that they weren’t interested in playing games behind closed doors. They insisted that it was down to simply backing their “loyal” supporters. Read into that what you will.
However, the SFA/SPFL will likely want as minimal disruption as possible. The BBC reported that they were consulting legal advice on how to finish the season. Even though there is a call due tomorrow with UEFA (Wednesday April 1st), they’ll still want to take the course of action that’s least harmful regarding court fights.
Behind closed doors now looks more than unlikely
Saying that it’s unlikely we’ll end the season with no fans is probably an understatement. It feels as though there’s now absolutely no chance of that happening.
The Premier League down south can afford to do it. After all, they’re all cash-rich and certainly rake in a lot more than Scottish Premiership clubs. If any set of clubs in world football could take a financial hit for a short period, it’s the top clubs down south.
Asking the likes of St Mirren, Hamilton, and Livingston to play games without gate receipt money doesn’t seem feasible. Yes, fans not being allowed into the ground isn’t ideal. However, it’s not the main reason we won’t be playing games behind closed doors anytime soon.
Regardless, it feels as though that idea is now totally out of the window. It’s barely been discussed since that Rangers statement two weeks ago. Almost as if their own refusal to entertain it was the final call.
It would be interesting to get Celtic’s views on playing games without supporters. Surely, the Hoops would entertain it in order to get the campaign over and done with. But it will mean nothing if they don’t have the backing of the rest.
To say that looks “fanciful” is an understatement.