SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster is hoping supporters will be able to attend the first derby of the Scottish Premiership season at Celtic Park, The Scottish Sun reports.

The fixture is due to go ahead on the weekend of 17th October, 11 weeks into the top-flight campaign.

That’s later than in recent seasons but will ideally provide enough time for the ongoing pandemic to further subside in Scotland and allow Celtic season ticket holders into the ground safely.

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The SPFL man has provided an update on the situation, sharing that the season starting at all is still waiting for Scottish Government approval.

Asked if supporters could be there for the derby, Doncaster told The Scottish Sun: “We certainly hope so. But we are in a situation where we are not even allowed to play friendly games, never mind competitive games.

“We are waiting on Scottish Government approval, which will hopefully be forthcoming shortly, for friendly games and then the commencement of competitive matches on the first of August.

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“We are working with the Scottish Government on hopefully getting fans in as soon as safely possible.

“We have been starved of football for four months and we have seen leagues across Europe returning, in some cases with quite a few fans inside the stadium.”

Home crowds can be such a special boost to the team on derby day and the thought of seeing Celtic in Paradise, thumping Rangers, is something to get excited about.

If supporters are not allowed to attend, it means Steven Gerrard’s team will likely have the advantage of playing in front of a home support against us twice this season.

Celtic Park

Celtic Park / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Thankfully Celtic have been leading the way in Scotland in terms of team testing and studies into fans returning.

We should be better placed than anyone when it comes to bringing crowds back.

Fingers crossed!

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