SPFL decision: Celtic v Rangers and Hibs v Hearts rescheduled as shutdown to come into effect after Boxing Day

Scottish Premiership clubs will go into a winter shutdown after the Boxing Day matches have been played.

The SPFL has decided to bring forward the Scottish Premiership winter shutdown (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
The SPFL has decided to bring forward the Scottish Premiership winter shutdown (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The subsequent two fixture cards have been postponed following restrictions on crowd numbers, which were announced by the Scottish Government on Tuesday.

The Old Firm match between Celtic and Rangers scheduled for January 2 at Parkhead has now been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 2 while the Edinburgh derby between Hibs and Hearts at Easter Road will move to Tuesday, February 1.

The decision came after a meeting of the Scottish Professional Football League board.

All fixtures from December 29 and January 2-3 have been put back to January 17-18 and February 1-2 respectively.

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An SPFL statement read: "The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) have today announced that the 29 December and 2/3 January cinch Premiership fixture rounds have been postponed to 17/18 January and 1/2 February respectively.

“The Boxing Day cinch Premiership fixtures will go ahead as planned, including St Johnstone v Celtic, which is being broadcast live on Sky Sports.

"cinch Championship, League 1 and League 2 clubs were consulted as to whether they wished to postpone fixtures in their divisions, but they did not wish to do so.”

Neil Doncaster, SPFL Chief Executive, said: “We have had intense and positive discussions with all cinch SPFL clubs over the past 24 hours, since the announcement by the Scottish Government of a three-week period of restrictions on fans attending matches.

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“We have advised our clubs that any postponements increase the risk of further disruption to an already highly congested fixture calendar.

“There are mixed views amongst cinch Premiership clubs about what to do for the best.

“However, a majority favour the postponement of fixtures to give a chance for games scheduled to be played over the festive period to be played in front of fans, once the three-week period of restrictions comes to an end.

“The SPFL Board has agreed to postpone the 29 December and New Year cinch Premiership fixture cards.

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“cinch Championship, League 1 and League 2 clubs voted to continue playing through the Government restrictions and we look forward to their festive fixtures over the next fortnight.

“We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Sky Sports and Police Scotland for their flexibility in accommodating these changes and to all cinch SPFL clubs for their clear, positive and constructive feedback as we work together to get through the challenges posed by Covid-19.”

The cinch Premiership fixtures scheduled for 29 December will move as follows:

Monday 17 January

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7.45pm Celtic v Hibernian

Tuesday 18 January

7.45pm Aberdeen v Rangers (live on Sky Sports)

7.45pm Dundee United v St Mirren

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7.45pm Heart of Midlothian v St Johnstone

7.45pm Livingston v Dundee

7.45pm Ross County v Motherwell

The fixtures scheduled for 2/3 January will move as follows:

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Tuesday 1 February

7.45pm Dundee v Dundee United

7.45pm Hibernian v Heart of Midlothian (live on Sky Sports)

7.45pm Livingston v St Johnstone

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7.45pm Ross County v Aberdeen

7.45pm St Mirren v Motherwell

Wednesday 2 February

7.45pm Celtic v Rangers (live on Sky Sports)

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