Morton chief wants Celtic cup tie called off over safety fears

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Morton chief executive Warren Hawke has all but called for his side’s Scottish Cup clash with Celtic at Parkhead to be postponed.

Hawke stopped short of urging the SFA and police to postpone the game, but highlighted the severe weather in Invercylde, Greenock and Port Glasgow and voiced his concerns for supporter safety.

In a statement posted on Morton’s website, Hawke paid tribute to Celtic’s staff for getting the pitch, stadium and surrounding areas ready, but added: “Everybody who’s travelling from Inverclyde – not just our fans – is attempting to get there from an area that has experienced some of the heaviest snowfall in the country.

“People will also travel to Celtic Park from England, the east of Scotland, the north of Scotland and so on.

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“We will have supporters risking life and limb to travel to a football match while the Met Office is issuing warnings to avoid non-essential travel. Ultimately, it isn’t about the area around Celtic Park.”

Morton Chief Executive Warren Hawke has voiced his concerns. Picture: SNS Group

Morton Chief Executive Warren Hawke has voiced his concerns. Picture: SNS Group

Hawke, who made more than 200 appearances for Morton as a player, believes that the decision on the game “goes much further than ‘is the pitch playable and the stadium clear’.”

He added: “Supporter safety has to be key and I don’t think anyone can guarantee that at this moment in time.

“I fear for a lot of Morton supporters trying to get to this game tomorrow.

“Surely the SFA and Police Scotland will come together and make a sensible early decision in the best interests of the safety of everyone.”

Work has been carried out on Celtic Park and the surrounding areas in a bid to ensure the game goes ahead. Picture: SNS Group

Work has been carried out on Celtic Park and the surrounding areas in a bid to ensure the game goes ahead. Picture: SNS Group

A statement posted by Celtic on their website read: “There are no plans for any pitch inspection and Celtic staff have worked very hard to ensure that the areas surrounding the stadium are in good condition, which will allow the match to take place.

“We have also received confirmation of improving weather and road conditions.”

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