SPFL club chief quashes tiresome rivals' narrative; backed Celtic winter break statement

By Euan Davidson

January 12, 2022

SPFL club chief, Motherwell’s Alan Burrows, has put paid to any potential conspiracies regarding protocol, having backed Celtic over the winter break issue.

Celtic and 9 other Scottish Premiership clubs successfully lobbied to bring the winter break forward. With the Omicron variant of Covid-19 rampant, and 500-person limits on capacities, it was the sensible call.

Now, of course, we can look forward to packed stadia and fresh squads from next Monday. However, conspiracies regarding the motives of Celtic and others bizarrely emerged from the relatively straight-forward situation. But Burrows has made it clear there was nothing sinister about moving the winter break forward.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Because of course there wasn’t.

Burrows said [Clyde Superscoreboard Podcast, 15.30]: “Clubs like Motherwell were absolutely focused on trying to ensure that as many fixtures took place in front of live crowds. Because it makes Scottish football what it is. In my opinion, it’s our USP.

“The overwhelming majority of people [voted for it]. The kind of tribalistic nature of football, people think there’s some sort of agenda behind it. A lot of people see decisions in Scottish football through the prism of the Old Firm. That 2nd of January Old Firm match seemed to dominate a lot of people’s thinking.

“I can tell you absolutely unequivocally… their only consideration had nothing to do whatsoever with the Old Firm game on the 2nd. Every one of the clubs I spoke to, their only consideration was their own fans, and their fans getting to see matches.

“The strength is the collective.”

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Hopefully SPFL club chief Alan Burrows’ comments have put tiresome narrative about Celtic, Rangers or underlying agendas to rest

Burrows is right; we do tend to see everything through the prism of Celtic and Rangers in Scottish football. It was extremely interesting that Rangers didn’t vote to move the winter break forward, along with, curiously, Ross County.

But it’s done now. And what’s clear is that Scottish Premiership clubs were looking out for their fans. What’s the point continuing with the league when only a handful of supporters can attend matches?

The very point of football is entertainment. So, to deprive the majority of supporters a chance to see their team makes absolutely no sense. Moving the winter break, on the other hand, did make sense. it ended up being the correct decision, and now everyone benefits. That’s clubs, fans, players; everyone.

Photo by Andrew Milligan/Pool via Getty Images

So please, let’s put any tiring conspiracies or narratives back in their box.

10 out of 12 Premiership clubs voted in favour of the winter break. It has nothing to do with loaning out players, Celtic seeking an advantage, or anything else. There was a new wave of Coronavirus, and a winter break that needed to take place anyway.

It should really have been common sense prevailing from the start.

Read more: Reo Hatate confirms when he’ll be able to make his Celtic debut