Report: Hampden source provides superb Celtic Park update for January 17th

By Euan Davidson

January 6, 2022

Celtic and the rest of the Scottish Premiership can again prepare for capacity crowds, according to a report from the Daily Record.

Yesterday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon could not give assurances on crowd sizes, following a Boxing Day of 500-capped crowds in the SPFL. There were even suggestions that, should the capacity cap continue, Scottish clubs could look at playing games in England.

However, the Daily Record states that the SFA’s Joint Response Group (JRG) has delivered a full steam ahead message for Celtic and the Scottish Premiership. The report states that Hampden chiefs are keen for clubs to plan for business as usual when football starts up again on the 17th of January.

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Celtic face Hibernian at Paradise on that date, and there had been concerns that the Hoops would lose out on significant match-day revenue. However, the Record’s report indicates that SFA chief Ian Maxwell and SPFL executive Neil Doncaster were involved in positive JRG discussions.

Undoubtedly, it’s potentially great news for Celtic and Scottish Premiership fans. However, there has been no official confirmation from the SFA or the SPFL as of yet. At the time of writing, neither governing body has spoken publicly about the issue.

But the signs look encouraging.

Celtic’s £40m Champions League opportunity

Celtic’s £40m Champions League opportunity
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Celtic, Scottish Premiership clubs preparing for business as usual

So, it looks as if we’re going to avoid the quagmire of capped crowds, lost revenue and even the prospect of playing games in England.

If the latter seemed far-fetched, the Record’s report also stated that it was a genuine discussion. That follows a Scottish Sun report on the subject last night. As wild as it might have looked, multiple outlets are all saying the same thing. That would’ve been utterly nightmarish to organise.

A business as usual message, though, will come as a huge relief to Celtic and Scottish Premiership club fans alike. The prospect of more behind-closed-doors football wasn’t something anyone would’ve wanted. The atmosphere at Celtic Park this season has been phenomenal, and there’s a real race on for the Scottish Premiership title this season.

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Playing all that drama out with no fans for at least the short-term? It would’ve been a very different spectacle.

After a month of what seems like constant bad news around Omicron and the Scottish Premiership, this is heartening. Of course, again, the SFA will need to speak out and confirm this one way or the other.

But at the very least, this is promising stuff. A return to Celtic Park looks to be on.

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