There seems to be a lot of internet flap over the Sevco game “getting the green light” from the Scottish Government.
Let’s be clear here though; that game was never in the slightest danger.
There was never the remotest possibility that it would be called off.
Indeed, all the measures that have been taken in the last few days seemed, to me, to be designed to make sure that it went ahead but with the minimum of risk. It had never entered the heads of any government minister, not even for one moment, to postpone the match; that would be an admission that the game is at the mercy of this thing.
If Scottish football comes to a point where that’s the case, then the whole season will be cancelled, not one or two games.
We’ll be back where we were last March, with the sport itself in lockdown like everything else. It was never on the cards here.
I understand that this was a concern for the Sevconuts; they believe a Celtic team without Edouard and Christie is weak and ripe for the beating. The more paranoid amongst their nutty number were almost waiting for the cancellation of the fixture.
But Edouard might still play. Ajeti might well be fit. Turnbull can slot in for Christie, or Rogic can. Griffiths may be good to go for the 90 minutes.
There are all sorts of variations and permutations. Celtic would not have wanted the game called off. We don’t need it called off. We’ll beat Sevco with the current squad, minus those players, and if necessary minus even more.
I can’t understand why any Celtic fan was concerned about this game. I can’t understand why some in the media were speculating about it. It would have taken something momentous for this match not to go ahead, like a major outbreak affecting both clubs.
Yet last week, when we started to get the first whisperings that a mini-lockdown was on its way, there was already high anxiety over whether the game would go ahead.
But amongst who? Based on what? The game against Sevco at Ibrox season was cancelled because 50,000 people were due to attend it. There’s no risk to the public health from playing this match … and what little there was would have been tied up in having people crowding the pubs.
That went by the boards in the announcement yesterday.
Let’s not kid ourselves; that’s part of the reason for the restrictions, and in particular those which affect the Greater Glasgow area. They know this game has to go ahead or as we’re as well just calling football off completely … but they also know that it brings with it heightened risks, especially with it being live on TV, and they are moving to minimise those.
It’s a smart move. You can see the logic behind it.
But it never, at any point, put the game under the slightest threat.
We will be playing Sevco on 17 October, no matter what happens, no matter how many players are absent, no matter the situation.
And you know what else? We’ll beat them too.