Will Celtic fans witness the Nine In A Row league flag being raised? Monday Jury
Our writers consider the possibility of closed door games for an extensive period of time.by Record Sport Online
Celtic have been crowned champions but what are the chances of them raising the flag in front of their fans in 2020?
Craig Swan: That’s one for the medical professionals and scientists. Anyone else is guessing.
Michael Gannon: Somewhere between slim and eff all, unfortunately. We are going to be waiting a while yet. There are more positive signs but the best we can hope for is seeing fans back before the end of the year.
Fraser Wilson: At the moment I’d say the only hope they’ll have is fans watching it being raised on a TV screen. But if any stadium could cope with safe social distancing it’s Celtic Park so perhaps there’s a chance football could return to a reduced capacity at Parkhead this year.
Scott Burns: I’d say there is no chance. When football starts it will be behind closed doors. So, unfortunately, the unfurling of the flag will come too early for the fans to see in the flesh.
Can our clubs below the Premiership survive if football has to played behind closed doors for several months next season?
Craig: It would seem very tricky. Some of the lower sides might get by due to fundraising among their community, sponsors and initiatives with having lesser cost-bases than some of the Championship sides who would toil badly to do it.
Michael: If the Championship can’t get up and running we’re going to need a drastic rethink. We shouldn’t allow clubs to go to the wall or be forced into administration. Reconstruction is a red herring, we should throw a protective blanket around the clubs who are willing and able to play.
Fraser: Some are better placed than others to take the financial hit. But the prospect of having to operate on a quarter or even less of their normal income will be too much for some clubs. There are worrying times ahead for clubs such as Dundee and Hearts.
Scott: I don’t see why not. It is harder in the Championship and for the bigger League One clubs that are full-time and have the larger wage bills. The smaller teams have less overheads and although it will be a struggle I believe the majority, hopefully all, will scramble through.
In England, some players such as Troy Deeney and N'Golo Kante don't want to return to training. Do you have sympathy for them or should they be back at work?
Craig: Some people worry more than others. Some players will feel it’s fine to go back while others won’t. It’ll be the same at all workplaces. Maybe more understanding than sympathy.
Michael: You can’t blame them. They might feel they are putting themselves and their families at risk and there is a sense the EPL is charging ahead simply for financial reasons. If it’s not safe for most people to go to work, why should it be any different for footballers?
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Fraser: If players aren’t comfortable returning to the training field then their wishes in these times should be respected as they have wider family to worry about no matter how many precautions their clubs take.
Scott: There is not a one size fits all solution for everyone. Some players or their families may have underlying medical conditions or issues that could be a major problem if they were to contract Covid-19 so it would be wrong to make a sweeping generalisation for every player.
Golf's back from the end of next week. If you could only play one hole at one course for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Craig: Hard question. Tradition says the final hole at St Andrews due to the heritage of the game but the par-three 17th at Sawgrass to the island green is an amazing hole.
Michael: Tough one. The 18th at Pebble Beach. Long par five in the Californian sun, Pacific Ocean all the way down the left, that’ll do for me. Heaven.
Fraser: As a very occasional golfer then for me it would be the 18th at Dumfries and County. The next stop after that is the fantastic clubhouse which is a far comfier prospect.
Scott: I would go for the 12th at Augusta. A picturesque par three, going into Amen Corner where I wouldn’t have a prayer. Otherwise, I would settle for just finding the first fairway at my home course of Portlethen!