The biggest fixture in Scottish football returns this weekend, as Celtic face Rangers at Parkhead tomorrow.

The lunchtime kick-off will have no fans in attendance, but having the match back after the best part of a year will be great nontheless.

However, not everyone in Scottish football is as happy to see the game back this weekend.

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Stenhousemuir Chairman Iain McMenemy is adamant that the timing of the game is awful.

He feels that the game being played this weekend, the same day the new lower league season gets underway, is a bad idea that will take the shine off of the Championship, League 1 and League 2.

Stenhousemuir's Ochilview Stadium

Stenhousemuir’s Ochilview Stadium / (Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images)

In a passionate article on the Scotsman’s website, McMenemy says: “For those who may not have realised that the leagues below the Premiership were kicking-off this weekend, I’ll forgive you.

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“As I stated back in July when the fixtures were announced, I think it was hugely disrespectful to the other Scottish leagues to schedule the first Old Firm fixture on the opening weekend of all the other leagues.

“As anticipated, the sports news has been dominated by headlines around that one match instead of any of the others.

 

“Instead of the positivity that should surround a season opening weekend, particularly one that many thought would never happen due a global pandemic, we have had a week of negative headlines surrounding a gaggle of idiots who might be considering bussing themselves down south simply to be able to sit in a pub for a few hours.”

This season should just be a one-off

McMenemy’s words were strong, and perhaps a little over the top.

To be fair to the Stenny board member, he did clarify that he was only referring to some sections of the Celtic and Rangers fanbases – and not all.

His overall point is a fair one though. It would have made far more sense for the wider Scottish game to have launched its lower leagues on a different weekend to its biggest top-flight fixture.

Fans are usually in place for the big fixture

Fans are usually in place for the big fixture / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Even playing the derby on Sunday would surely have made a difference – and given more of the limelight to the lower tiers the previous day.

Hopefully the truncated 27-game seasons are simply a one off and we don’t have to worry about this issue cropping up again.

In other news, Chris Sutton reckons that the pressure is firmly on Rangers at Celtic Park tomorrow

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