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We can’t have our season end in September, says SPL secretary as moves to ease Celtic Euro fixture congestion rebuffed

Neil Lennon's side have been in fine form in Europe. Picture: SNS

Neil Lennon's side have been in fine form in Europe. Picture: SNS

CELTIC are facing a fixture congestions headache after the man in charge of arranging SPL fixtures said rearranging the club’s domestic fixtures could lead to a “nightmare”.

• Celtic will not have their SPL fixtures rearranged to accommodate Euro travels

• SPL secretary said rescheduling could end up being “a nightmare” and is “not possible” logistically

Celtic, who qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League last week after defeating Spartak Moscow, will face as-yet-unidentified opponents in the New Year.

However, despite backing from Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels, Celtic are unlikely to be handed a boon by SPL secretary Iain Blair, who said moving fixtures at this time of year “isn’t possible.”

“Without interference from the weather, Celtic could potentially find themselves with a backlog of three games [if we re-arranged their fixtures],” Blair said.

“And that doesn’t include the possibility of other Scottish Cup replays, of course.

“The other problem we have is that UEFA don’t allow us to reschedule games in the same week as European ties.

“Kenny Shiels suggested that we move matches to give Celtic more time to prepare and, in an idea world, that’s what would happen.

“It would benefit Scottish cluibs because our coefficient will improve if Celtic can reach the quarter-finals. But we simply can’t have our season ending in September.

“In fact, my worst nightmare would be having a cold snap when the Scottish Cup starts again in February, leading to a pile-up of league fixtures.”

It is understood that Neil Lennon has not made a request for league fixtures to be arranged. Their next Champions League ties will take place on dates in February and March.

The ties could potentially take place as Celtic face long-distance domestic trips to Inverness and Ross County in February and March respectively.

 

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