The mind is a remarkable thing. If you ask around, you’ll find Celtic fans tell you we played Boavista in the Uefa Cup semi-final in Porto on the Thursday night, before going to Ibrox on the Saturday (it was the Sunday).
Similarly, Barry Ferguson is mumping his gums without restrain today, complaining about Rangers fixtures in May 2008. Rangers were due to play a ridiculous number of games in May due to qualifying for the Scottish Cup and Uefa Cup finals, while catching up on postponed fixtures.
The SPL decided to accommodate them by extending the league programme until two days before the Scottish Cup final. This final was on the last possible date before clubs were ordered to release players for that year’s Uefa European Championships, which started 14 days later.
This season has echoes of 2008 but nothing more. Whereas clubs would have been forbidden from using certain players after the date of the Scottish Cup final in 2008, under current proposals for this year, the second bottom club from the Premiership and qualifier from the Championship will need to retain a number of players beyond their contract end date of 31 May.
Retaining players beyond 31 May will cost clubs money, and players could theoretically refuse to extend their season by a few days, which is this season’s problem. 2008’s problem was a hard deadline imposed by Uefa with no extensions possible. The decision was out of the SPL’s hands.
Great article on the club site today marking Br. Walfrid’s passing and the struggles faced by our forefathers in the late 19th Century. The news that the Foundation are feeding 500 of Glasgow’s homeless today continues the momentum from Wednesday night. Well done to all involved.