CELTIC chief executive Peter Lawwell has urged Holyrood bosses to help unlock the gates at Scotland’s football grounds.

The champions are hoping the country will be involved in ‘pilot’ games after the British government revealed plans to start getting fans back to the game.

As coronavirus restrictions continue to be relaxed, the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, the Glorious Goodwood horse racing festival and two men’s county cricket friendly matches look set to be among the early events.

Hoops supremo Lawwell believes Scottish sports venues should also be considered for participation in the proposals to ease followers back into proceedings.

The champions’ chief, in a report in Sky Sports News, said: “We have discussed the idea of ‘pilot’ games with the Scottish Government and believe it provides a safe, sensible way forward.

“As a club, we have put enormous thought and effort into making Celtic Park fully compliant with all public health-related requirements while allowing our supporters to return to watching football.

“It is acknowledged that Scottish football has been exemplary in implementing all the safeguards required of it, first to get back into training and, from August 1, to playing competitive SPFL matches.

“We are convinced that this should now be accompanied by a phased return of spectators which would be good, not only for the game of football, but also for public health and morale in Scotland more generally.

“Scottish clubs are much more dependent on matchday revenues than other, larger leagues. That factor should be taken account of, so long as the public health obligations are met, to which we are entirely committed.

“We also have an obligation to our own supporters to make the case for them to be allowed to watch live football, particularly when they can see the steady progress towards this in other European leagues.

“Alongside other sporting bodies, Celtic will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with the Scottish Government and look forward to early progress.”

Scotland’s title kings will kick off their historic tilt at ten successive crowns with a Premiership opener against Hamilton Accies in the east end of Glasgow on Sunday, September 2.

The Hoops last performed at home on March 7 when they beat St Mirren 5-0 before the curtain came down on football a few days afterwards.

*DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Lyon v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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