The Sporting Integrity Issue Is Central To How Celtic Respond To Today’s News.

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Earlier in the league campaign, Celtic had to endure a murderous run of away games.

It was during this run that we dropped the bulk of the points we’ve given up in this title race.

Because of the way our league system works – the ridiculous “SPL split” – we already face one disadvantage. We face that run of games twice without the corresponding home fixtures, because the split means we don’t play every team four times.

So we face at least one fixture away from home against a top six club that under a better system we wouldn’t have; that’s something this site has been complaining about for years.

All we can hope for is that we capitalise as best we can on the home matches which we do get and which are guaranteed to us in the schedule. Today’s decision means we’ve effectively lost our home advantage against Hibs and against the club from Ibrox.

Correspondingly, the Ibrox club’s last two fixtures of the year – at Aberdeen and Celtic Park – have been robbed of the home support which makes them “away games” in the first place.

The SPFL calendar has already penalised Celtic.

Now the government’s decision to wipe out any advantage we get from playing at home – whilst handing our rivals a bonus – penalises us again and in a way that blatantly risks doing us harm.

There is simply no way that our club can allow such an obvious violation of sporting integrity when there is an alternative; bringing forward the winter break by a week, and re-scheduling the fixtures.

There is talk that the broadcasters might not like it; the broadcasters don’t get to screw with decisions about basic even-handedness. If one of the two Glasgow clubs faced relegation, would the broadcasters demand that the SPFL change the rules to protect the contract?

When Rangers was liquidated, the big threat was that the broadcasters would pull the plug.

They didn’t.

Because the broadcasters know they can’t dictate that stuff to the sport.

Any decision which is taken to satisfy television companies at the expense of fairness would set a momentously dangerous precedent and no club should be willing to accept that.

Celtic’s board has a responsibility to protect our club.

It would be a flat-out disgrace if the schedule went ahead, as is, when it so clearly compromises us and benefits another club.

This is not a conspiracy. This is where we’ve landed, through nobody’s fault.

It was not set up like this, not planned in advance, and no-one should be alleging otherwise.

But it compromises the game.

It poses a threat which we cannot ignore.

It upends the very principle of a level playing field, and Celtic cannot allow it to stand.

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  • Brian says:

    I won’t hold my breath for our club standing up for us. A form of rangers are alive maybe not well but alive because of them if they don’t at least fight this then it’s another nail in the coffin of fairness,more and more my decision not to renew is justified as much as I miss supporting my team.

  • Jim says:

    I have every faith in Bankier to sort it out for us all James…….!!!
    Do you believe me ?????

  • Tam c says:

    So according to the SNP government CELTIC PARK and Hampden stadium are to be treated the same 500 limit as firpark and firhill how does that logic work .. How many stairwell’s do firpark and firhill have or are some stadium’s different

    • Damian says:

      An outbreak at one event can affect a maximum of 500 people. Makes sense to me. It’s not convenient to Celtic, but it makes sense.

  • John S says:

    Unfortunately we all know (SFA included) that the Celtic Board have the roar of a rabbit.

  • Damian says:

    Surely from a public health point of view, they advantage gained would be that any number of public gatherings of thousands to tens-of-thousands of people will not take place (as such) at all, rather than kicked a few weeks down the road and placing the risk there?

    Indeed, rescheduling the matches only does what you say it will if the three week fan cap is set in stone. It definitely won’t be, and it could turn into six or eight weeks before any of us know it.

    Think we just need to eat this one. Go win the games.

  • Patricia Ann Campbell says:

    All spl games should be cancelled and rescheduled in the new year.Fir the sake of our NHS and emergency services.

  • Roonsa says:

    I missed this article last night. 100% well said.

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