Rivals in predictable huff after Celtic and SPFL clubs' winter break vote

By Euan Davidson

December 24, 2021

You could’ve set your watch to it; Rangers players are moaning about Celtic and SPFL clubs voting for bringing the winter break forward.

Rangers were one of the clubs who objected to the move, because playing in front of minimal spectators is clearly a boost to their chances. The rest of the league, though, decided it was best practice to have the winter break sooner, amidst countless Covid-19 cases around the Scottish top flight.

St Mirren had to cancel training ahead of a Celtic and Rangers double-header, while Dundee United have struggled for numbers, too. Clubs including Motherwell and Hearts publicly backed a statement made by Celtic before the vote [Celtic FC].

Photo by Herman Dingler/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Allan McGregor, though, just doesn’t get it. He said [Sky Sports]: “We all know sporting integrity is one of the biggest things in Scotland, don’t we?

“I don’t see why it just didn’t go on the way as planned, to be honest with you. In my personal view.

“Sporting integrity we all know in the last number of years is a massive part of Scottish football.”

With capacities limited to 500 fans during the next few weeks, this is an extremely strange take. It’s obvious as to why clubs wanted the winter break moved forward; so there’s a better chance of capacity crowds being able to attend the fixtures.

Football without fans is everything south of the Clyde, it seems.

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Of course, Rangers players like Allan McGregor don’t understand this; leave it up to Celtic and the rest of the Scottish Premiership

If this is some kind of bizarre dig about Rangers’ struggles over the last decade, then it’s not only petty but entirely irrelevant. They’re two completely different situations.

It’s pretty typical stuff from our rivals, really. Rangers won the league without fans there, and had difficult games against Aberdeen and Celtic coming up in front of a proposed audience of 500.

Fans be damned, eh? Especially with the pressure on.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

It was a farcical situation to begin with. You’d have thought, given all the SPFL have been through over the last 2 years, that they’d have been quicker to see this problem coming.

Across St Stephen’s Day, there’ll be depleted squads, non-existent atmospheres and a general feeling of malaise.

Yet, of course, it’s time to bring up arguments about “sporting integrity”.

Utterly bizarre, but hardly unexpected that Celtic propose something, Rangers moan about it.

Read more: Out-of-sorts St Johnstone aiming to get “teeth right into” Celtic; ‘keeper promises fight