Dundee scrap plan to play Celtic in US

Dundee have admitted their American dream of playing a league match against Celtic in Philadelphia has died following confirmation of the latest set of live television fixtures.

Dens Park, not Philadelphia, will host the Dundee v Celtic match on 19 March. Picture: Matthew Ashton
Dens Park, not Philadelphia, will host the Dundee v Celtic match on 19 March. Picture: Matthew Ashton

Dundee’s 19 March clash with the champions, originally planned to be held in the United States, most probably in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will instead take place at the less exotic venue of Dens Park, kick-off 12.30pm. The match will be shown on Sky Sports.

The Dens Park club were pressed into making an announcement after the SPFL revealed the latest round of televised matches, for games in March and April. The third league Old Firm game of the season is now scheduled for Celtic Park on Sunday, 12 March, with a noon kick-off.

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It was reported in May that Dundee’s bid to host Celtic in the United States was “85 per cent complete”, with the stadium already booked. Neil Doncaster, the SPFL chief executive, said playing a Premiership game outside Scotland “had merit”.

However, Dundee last night confirmed they had drawn back from the venture, despite “positive conversations” with parties set to be involved. The club thanked their fans for “patience” and suggested other schemes are being pursued as a consequence of the potential project.

“With today’s fixture amendments release including the upcoming home match against Celtic we would like to address the situation regarding discussions which have been ongoing with the possibility of playing a fixture in the United States of America,” said a statement, released yesterday evening.

“A lot of positive conversations have taken place regarding this over the period since the initial discussions took place about playing this fixture in America but unfortunately it will not go ahead at this time.

“Some of those conversations which have taken place over the past few months have branched off to other areas of discussion which the club are actively pursuing for the future. We will continue to look into any and every avenue which we feel can benefit Dundee Football Club.

“As with a number of projects like this, for various reasons, we are unable to give all the information and we appreciate our supporters’ patience around this subject.

“The club are always looking at new initiative ways to take the club forward and we have been heartened by the support we received from our fans about this potential project.

“We will be making no further comment at this time.”