CELTIC fans could join in the ninth successive title party when the new Premiership season kicks off on August 1.
The Scottish Government has given the go-ahead for plans to allow supporters to get back into grounds as soon as possible.
That could mean celebrating Hoops supporters could return to Parkhead in time for the unfurling of another championship flag, the 51st in the club’s glorious history.
Scotland’s title kings and Scottish Rugby Union bosses joined forces to propose that both Celtic Park and BT Murrayfield could be used to stage ‘test events’ to prove that fans can be returned to both stadiums in bio-secure environments, as CQN reported earlier this month.
The SRU hopes to be given permission to open the turnstiles to around 1,000 supporters for the Pro 14 derby between Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh on August 22, according to a report in the Daily Record.
The national newspaper believes the champions’ hierarchy are also finalising the details on their plans which could even see a similar trial run staged before the league start at the beginning of August.
CROWNING GLORY…skipper Scott Brown with the ninth successive league title.
News of the Holyrood green light has been confirmed in a letter sent to all Scotland’s rugby clubs by the SRU’s chief operating officer Dominic McKay – who has been working closely with Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell on the coronavirus pandemic combat plan.
In the letter, he reveals that top level discussions with the government took place last Thursday.
And McKay says: “We met with Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, along with Scottish Rugby colleagues. In the meeting we explained our current plans for the sport at all levels and we proposed the use of BT Murrayfield as a potential test venue with circa 1000 spectators on Saturday 22 August for the Warriors v Edinburgh 1872 PRO14 match.
“We are pleased to announce that the Cabinet Secretary, supported by Scottish Government’s National Clinical Director, Professor Jason Leitch and Andy Sinclair from Active Scotland, agreed to consider a formal Scottish Rugby plan for a BT Murrayfield test event in August, subject to agreed public health mitigations.
“This is a welcome sign and demonstrates the dedication of the government to get sport in Scotland, elite and community, back up and running as soon as is practical.”
Originally, it had been feared that fans may be locked out for the rest of 2020 with all matches played at ghost grounds.
The Hoops are working on plans to let limited numbers in for a pre-season friendly before the end of next month.
Neil Lennon’s men will step up their pre-season preparations at a training base in Loughborough before moving to France for friendly matches in Lyon and Paris.