The eyes of British football will be on Scotland for test fixtures

John Reid September 2, 2020
The eyes of British football will be on Scotland for test fixtures
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Next weekend will be a big one in the Scottish Premiership. Not only are all six games being played at three o’clock on a Saturday – a rarity – but even more importantly, some fans will be able to attend three of the fixtures.

So far, no fans have been allowed in to any Scottish football grounds this season.

However, that is all set to change in the next set of league fixtures. BBC Sport reportedly recently that fans will be able to attend three of the fixtures as test events after the SPFL had talks with the Scottish government.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers’ home match against Dundee United, Celtic trip to Ross County and one other game are set to be the pilots for the small number of fans that will attend each game.

Some fans could attend weekly if all goes well

Intriguingly, the BBC Sport report discloses that if the test cases go well then teams will be able to have a few fans in their stadium for a week later.

Having fans back in the stadium – even a small number – would be a real boost to the game in Scotland.

However, before that can be considered, the test games must pass without a hitch.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The game that most eyes will be focused on it is probably Rangers’ match against Dundee United.

How will big stadium handle so few fans?

That will show the rest of British football how to handle a test fixture in a big stadium. Teams in the English Premier League might well take notes of the measures Rangers put in place for the game, and if they succeed the measures could well be used in stadiums in England.

It will be interesting to see how Dingwall based Ross County deal with the visit of Celtic in their stadium, which is a small stadium, but no doubt they will have taken the correct precautions.

It is rare that fans of Scottish football agree on anything. However, you have to imagine that all fans will hope that the test games will pass without a hitch.

The fixtures passing without incident will show that Scottish football is getting back on track after what has been a very difficult few months. That will be a moment worth celebrating.

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John Reid is an experienced journalist, specialising in Scottish football for a number of years.