We are still living in strange times; the impact of Covid 19 on our lives has been massive. When news broke of the Corona Virus as it was called first nobody knew how it would spread across the World and kill so many people.
We have come out of lockdown but normal life as we know it has not been restored which means we are now watching Celtic on TV via a stream on our virtual season ticket or by paying a TV subscription which has been carved up among the broadcasters who all seem to have a piece of the pie and a piece of our hard earned cash.
The impact on football in Scotland saw football suspended just as Celtic were about to lock horns with bitter rivals the Rangers over at Ibrox. Steven Gerard’s celebrations at Celtic Park before the winter break would prove premature after both rivals returned from Dubai where they were recharging the batteries.
Celtic would come back build up a big lead in the league, as our city rivals got beat by Hearts, Hamilton and Kilmarnock, while they could only manage a share of the spoils against St. Johnstone and Aberdeen. Hearts also knocked them out of the Scottish Cup. Celtic’s only domestic blip was a share of the spoils with Livingston.
Roll on a couple of months and the SPFL cancelled the remainder of the season after all clubs voted. So Celtic had won the 91AR, which was the aim all along during the season with the cups and the run in Europe a bonus. We still have a chance of another treble with the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen scheduled for Oct 31/Nov 01. Should we win the semi we would return to Hampden for the final which is scheduled for Dec 20 against the winners of Hearts/Hibs and what a perfect Christmas present, another treble.
In saying that, last season’s delayed Scottish Cup will be a sideshow as will Europe which kicked off on Tuesday night with a 6-0 win over KR Reykjavik, tougher tasks will follow to qualify for a place at the table with Europe’s wealthy elite.
Both of this seasons Cup competitions will also be a sideshow because all eyes will be once again on the SPFL campaign and the quest for 10IAR. On Saturday we will resume the league campaign on the road against newly promoted Dundee United after Bolingoligate.
Relegation regulars Hamilton were brushed aside before we came unstuck against Kilmarnock and a 1-1 draw which had the Rangers fans dancing in the streets but once again Stevie G wonder boys could not take advantage of Celtic’s enforced absence and could only manage a draw with Livingston.
The Rangers are once again our main rivals, but every club will be out to try and stop this Celtic team becoming record breakers. The Rangers fans are still sulking over Celtic’s success and dominance of Scottish Football.
Behind closed doors football looks like it’s continuing for many months before fans are allowed return to football. In the meantime, we wait in hope that some social distance measures can be put in place to allow a limited number of fans allowed back into Celtic Park.
We all know what stopping the ten back in 1998 meant to all of us, and the celebrating that followed. The pressure will be all on Celtic as champions as this season continues. Having no fans in stadiums will help no team.
Neil Lennon continues to add to the squad after the exit of a number of players, while the vultures from the EPL continue to hover over Celtic Park to try and steal our star players.
Peter Lawell and the board will have to do everything possible to resist the temptation of cashing in this season as Sky Sports prepare to dust down the yellow ties. It’s time to add a dash more defensive talent into the dressing room by splashing a bit of cash and keeping the current regular squad members, together as we stand on the verge of history.
Andrew Milne started More than 90 Minutes in 2001. He has written for numerous publications and online about Celtic. He is a former newspaper columnist with the Daily Ireland and the man behind celticfanzine.com. He is host of the Celtic Soul Podcast & Celtic AM pre-match events at Malone’s in Glasgow on match days and follows Celtic Home & Away. He is a season ticket holder for Celtic FC and the Republic of Ireland. He is also P.R.O. of St. Margaret’s CSC, a member of the Celtic Trust and the Celtic Graves Association.