Celtic’s ‘missing XI’ isn’t the only threat to Old Firm going ahead

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NICE, FRANCE - JUNE 09: Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland looks on from the stands prior to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group D match between England and Scotland at Stade de Nice on June 09, 2019 in Nice, France. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

We’ve had a lot of feedback about this weekend’s Old Firm, and the potential threats for it to be postponed. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said it will go ahead after all, but there is plenty time for that to change.

Thing is, a lot of fans come back with the ‘Celtic forfeit 3 points’ etc as if that would be a sane outcome, and of course it would. But it’s not the only angle (missing players) we’ve been taking on this.

Rangers v Celtic (and vice versa) is, aside arguably Liverpool Man Utd, by a mile the UK’s biggest club fixture. It’s a marquee match which even gets the attention of everyone south of the border.

It’s the most historic rivalry in football, and only el-clasico in Spain competes globally for the sheer amount of attention.

And that’s the problem.

This weekend is under threat under the basis that thousands, and maybe even hundreds of thousands of Joe and Jane Punters will violate lockdown rules and gather at each other’s houses in order to watch the match.

There’s even a risk some pubs might take a huge chance on it and sell booze for this one, given the money on offer is just so lucrative on Old Firm day.

And that’s a problem.

It’s enough reason for the FM to postpone a match of this magnitude, because our cv chum is going to love that and the spread will hike under those conditions.

Enough people are already ignoring the guidelines and getting on with things as normal that there’s a real chance hundreds of thousands of people will do the same come this weekend.

Remember – a home gate at Ibrox is around 50K, at Celtic Park it’s 60K – so at least 110,000 people are always going to be glued to an Old Firm match on TV in these times. But of course it’ll be more than that, many more, both north and south of the border – potentially up to 500,000 if not a lot more.

And as such all these people mixing for this match is problematic.

Very problematic.

So it’s not just down to Celtic ‘forfeiting’ the match through unavailable players, it’s issues off the pitch too.

It’s a very interesting development.