St Mirren are set to use the Celtic Dubai saga as a defence in their appeal to the SFA today, according to the Daily Record.
The Buddies were punished for breaching Covid protocols that led to two positive cases in the week leading up to a game against Motherwell. Another game against Hamilton was cancelled after the Saints only had 11 players available. The SPFL decided to hand both Motherwell and Hamilton 3-0 wins.
This is a decision St Mirren appealed (The Scotsman). They will now have their hearing take place today, with a date for a final verdict regarding the issue not yet known.
However, the Record reports that the Buddies will likely use the recent Celtic/Dubai crisis to strengthen their case. They’ll also look to reference other incidents across Europe. They will also reference the case of Grimsby Town, who were fined for breaching Covid rules but had all three of their postponed games rearranged as opposed to forfeited.
But expect Celtic to be watching developments closely here.
St Mirren to use Celtic and their Dubai saga; difficult to know where we stand
This is just getting messier and messier. It’s difficult to know where St Mirren stand here with regards to using our UAE trip.
They will likely point to the photographs of Celtic players lounging in bars and at poolside. However, Celtic did have a team that they were willing to put together for their clash against Hibernian. That, in essence, is why the game against Jack Ross’ side went ahead.
St Mirren didn’t have the numbers to carry out their matches vs Motherwell and Hamilton. That’s likely why they have a greater chance of being punished if they rely on that defence. This is something Saints have admitted to themselves (Sky Sports).
This is different from Celtic. Their positive case and close contacts led to a highly-weakened side facing Hibernian. But the fact is it was a side and a full bench. Celtic took that option and didn’t look to postpone the fixture.
St Mirren may argue this is unfair on smaller clubs of course. The Buddies don’t have anywhere near the same pool we do. So it’ll be interesting to see what comes of their appeal today.
Hopefully, their fixtures can be rearraanged. It seems, certainly at face value, as though that would be the fairest solution.