Report: Murrayfield could host 700 fans next week; "test events" back on the agenda

By Hamish Carton

August 20, 2020

Hopes for a test event at Celtic Park prior to the reopening of Scottish football stadia seem to have received a boost.

Celtic have played their last two home matches in front of no fans at Parkhead, with Wednesday’s Champions League qualifier against Ferencvaros set for the same fate.

However, as we told you earlier, plans are afoot to get Scottish football fans back into stadia “in limited numbers” from September 14th.

An empty Celtic Park / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

That was the date First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave earlier, as reported by the BBC.

She said: “We hope that sports stadiums will be able to reopen from 14 September – but only for a limited number of spectators and with strict physical distancing in place.

“Some professional sports events might be arranged for spectators before then, with Scottish Government agreement to test the safety of any new arrangements.”

Murrayfield event could pave the way for Celtic Park test

In the same article, the BBC report that spectators could be at a rugby match between Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors next Friday.

They say that plans to have 700 fans in attendance at Murrayfield “could be signed off in the next couple of days.”

Given that the home of Scottish rugby holds 67,000 people, this gives an idea of the small number of fans we will be talking about in the early days.

An empty Murrayfield / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Two days after the proposed “test event” at Murrayfield, Celtic host Motherwell. You wonder whether the Hoops hierarchy are doing their best to try and get a limited number of fans into that game.

A Daily Record article from last month suggested that Peter Lawwell had wanted to use a late pre-season friendly at Celtic Park as a “trial event for the safe return of a limited number of socially distanced supporters.”

If the Celtic chief executive shares the same views now, which is likely, could we see the government allow some fans in for the Motherwell clash?

If they allow it at Murrayfield, surely they have to do likewise at Parkhead.

But then again, football does often get less preferential treatment in comparison to its fellow sports.

In other news, Kieran Tierney says that Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was close to joining Celtic on loan.