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Celtic call for phased return of supporters to stadiums

Pilots are due to take place in England, with a view to welcoming supporters back from October.

Celtic have said Scottish football should not be “left behind” as supporters in England were told they could be back in stadiums in October.

Selected pilots are due to take place south of the border in the coming weeks, including at the World Snooker Championship, the Glorious Goodwood horse racing festival and two county cricket friendlies.

The project will be carried out with a view to a wider reopening in the autumn.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said the club has discussed the idea of pilot games with the Scottish Government, adding he believes “it provides a safe, sensible way forward.”

He said: “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 1st, 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.’

Peter Lawwell, chief executive of Celtic

“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.”