Cases of the virus continue to rise in Scotland with 5000 of them being registered today. It’s another big jump which means that cases have jumped threefold in the space of a week … that’s a dire, awful number and one that should concern everyone.
I’ve written on this site about the necessity of wearing masks at the games. It’s not just for your own good but for the good of those around you. Something big has happened to lead to such a huge leap in cases and it seems likely that full houses at the football has something to do with it. Cases were falling until restrictions were fully lifted, and although a rise was expected the size and scale of it will have concerned everyone in the government.
It will also have concerned people in football. Cases in Scotland are now at their highest since the crisis began; that’s a hard number. Hospital admissions and deaths haven’t reached a critical level but it seems likely that they will if case figures continue going up.
The club needs to think about this in two different ways. First, in how they re-iterate the importance of masks inside the stadium and second, how they prepare for the Europa or Conference League groups stage games which will be coming after tomorrow.
Whichever competition we are in the ticketing policy will need to be realistic and it will need to take into account the possibility that we may not have full houses for the games.
Asking fans to pay big money for those matches before we have a clear picture of what the national situation might be would be crazy. The pricing must reflect the possibility that full houses might not be possible. The club can hardly claim to be surprised if attendance numbers need to be cut; the First Minister has made it clear that she’d consider it.
Celtic must be preparing for a worst-case scenario, and although that might seem to suggest ticket pricing at the higher end of the scale to cover losses in other areas like concession stands and other match-day income it would be simply wrong to ask the fans to pay over the odds for tickets when there’s no way to know if they’ll be able to watch them.
Something reasonable and sane, something that respects the difficult times we’re living in, would be much more appropriate … and the club must be thinking along those lines.