The Scottish Government are to allow “test events” at football matches “within weeks” – according to BBC Scotland’s Chris McLaughlin.
McLaughlin tweeted the positive update on Thursday afternoon, saying that fans could be back at games in a “limited” capacity after the “green light” was given for test events.
However, McLaughlin also said that it was “unlikely” that the new Premiership season would start with fans at games.
Celtic open up their campaign with a home game against Hamilton Accies, scheduled for Sunday 2nd August at 4:30pm.
Breaking: Scottish Government to give go ahead for limited fans inside stadia within weeks. Green light for test events but unlikely football season to start with fans. Comes a week after government advisors said unlikely fans back before October. Subject to social distancing pic.twitter.com/Vix81YFPqK
— Chris McLaughlin (@BBCchrismclaug) July 9, 2020
In mid June the Daily Record reported that Celtic were keen to join forces with Scottish Rugby in a bid to try and get fans back to matches during August.
It was felt that both Celtic Park and Murrayfield could be used to stage bio-secure trials – where limited numbers of supporters could get to matches in a bid to show that both stadia were fit to host fans.
Details about Celtic’s test plan haven’t emerged, but The Offside Line reported that Scottish Rugby wanted around 1,000 spectators inside the 67,000 capacity Murrayfield for a game between Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors on August 22nd.
While our league opener against Accies may come too soon for the plan, the subsequent home fixture against Aberdeen on August 15th looks a good fit.
Derek McInnes’ men visit Glasgow on matchday four of the season – and it would be terrific if we could get some Celtic fans into the stadium for that.
Could Celtic Park follow Danish example?
In Denmark, they held a similar test match in the fierce derby between Brondby and Copenhagen. (SD Europe)
Around 2,500 Brondby fans were allowed into their 30,000 stadium for the match, with a two metre social distancing rule in place.
Every fan had two seats either side of them clear, while every second row was shut completely.
A similar example at Parkhead could see as many as 10,000 inside the ground, while reducing the two metre rule and allowing families to sit together could further boost the turnout.
For now, details on the Celtic test plan are unknown. Parkhead hasn’t even been confirmed as a possible test venue and we may not find out for some time.
But in comparison to where we found ourselves a month ago, with any fans in grounds this side of Christmas only a remote possibility, it’s a start.