Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor queries winter break move with 'sporting integrity' jibe
Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor has questioned the motive behind the decision to reschedule Premiership fixtures affected by the crowd restrictions placed on Scottish football.
The SPFL brought forward the January winter break to take effect after the games on Boxing Day after 10 out of 12 top flight clubs voted in favour of the move following the Scottish Government ruling that restricts attendances to just 500 for a period of at least three weeks.
It means the midweek fixture card planned for December 29 and the New Year fixtures over January 2-3, including the Old Firm fixture at Celtic Park, have been rearraged with new dates scheduled for January 17-18 and February 1-2.
Rangers and Ross County wanted to play on and when asked whether clubs based their decision for the new schedule on sporting grounds or purely to gain an advantage for themselves, McGregor replied: “Well, we all know that sporting integrity is one of the biggest things in Scotland, don’t we?
“So I’d like to hope not. But I don’t see why it didn’t go on the way as planned, from my personal opinion.
"But if that is the case, oft, sporting integrity, as we know in the last number of years, is a massive part of Scottish football."
McGregor also pointed to the fact that fixture congestion could now become a major issue after SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster warned there is no further room for manoeuvre in the calender.
“Well they knew that when they made the decision and still made it," McGregor said.
“So it’s on them, really, if the weather is bad."
Rangers will host St Mirren in front of just 500 fans at Ibrox on Boxing Day but McGregor insists he will have no issues playing effectively behind closed doors again if the restrictions are not lifted when the league resumes in mid-January.
“Yep. If that is the case, why not?" he said. "If there’s a new variant in three months, four months, five months, which there probably will be, are we going to shut up shop again?
“Are we going to keep doing it when there’s a new variant every few months?
“I don’t know. I think we just need to learn to live with it. We take all the precautions we possibly can.
“It’s unfortunate that clubs have got Covid but it’s going to happen.
“I think we just need to live with that.
“The hierarchy want clubs to do well in Europe, they want the national team to do well and qualify. There’s loads of games throughout the season.
“Covid didn’t go away at the start of the season, it’s still here. It’s going to be here for a while.
“Why not have five subs as well?"
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