Scottish Premiership: Clubs hoping for pre-season friendlies approval from government

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Both Celtic and Rangers are monitoring the issue, but they would almost certainly not travel to France if they are forced to place players and staff in a period of self-isolation upon their return. IMAGE/COURTESY

Scottish Premiership clubs hope to be given the go-ahead on Thursday to start playing pre-season friendlies.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to further relax Covid-19 restrictions this week, but clubs are awaiting government clearance for the next steps towards a return to action.

Many Premiership clubs have friendlies provisionally penciled in for this weekend, but these cannot take place if government approval is not given.

Rangers and Hamilton Accies have a game lined up for Friday, while Hibernian and St Mirren are hoping to play each other at Hibs’ East Mains training ground in East Lothian on Saturday.

Many clubs have privately expressed frustration at the Scottish Government’s lack of haste in addressing the matter, with just over three weeks until the Premiership season is due to begin. Scottish clubs were only allowed to return to full-contact training last week.

Celtic have travelled to Loughborough for a training camp held within a “bio-secure bubble” this week and are due to fly to France next week for pre-season games against Nice, Lyon and PSG. Rangers are also planning to head to France to face Lyon and Nice, but the Old Firm are both awaiting guidance from the Scottish government over quarantine rules.

The First Minister has refused to guarantee mirroring the UK government’s proposals around international air bridges and quarantine-free travel.

Both Celtic and Rangers are monitoring the issue, but they would almost certainly not travel to France if they are forced to place players and staff in a period of self-isolation upon their return.

The Scottish government have been approached for comment.