Dom McKay hopes for ‘good size’ crowd at Celtic Champions League meeting after talks with Scottish government
DOMINIC MCKAY is hopeful that the fans’ successful return to the European Championships can extend to Scottish football, with Celtic general manager saying that the return of supporters is crucial for the club, both financially and sporting.
McKay was speaking at the official unveiling as Angel Postecoglou as Celtic manager, and he said both men were excited about the fans’ possible return to Celtic Park after seeing 22,500 supporters at Wembley when Scotland faced England last week.
And even if that means the use of vaccine passports, McKay believes that the return of the crowds to the Scottish interior cannot be far away after positive talks with the Scottish government yesterday.
He even hopes that a large number of fans will be able to watch Celtic’s second qualifying round against FC Midtjylland at the end of July.
“These are ongoing discussions,” McKay said.
“There are two data points. One is the Euro. The success of having 12,500 in Hampden has been fantastic.
“Ange and I were lucky to be at Wembley for the game against Scotland when there were 22,500. It was fantastic to have a crowd back. We really missed the crowds in the stadium.
“The second data point is the direction of travel with the government. The Prime Minister’s announcement last week that the restrictions should be lifted, in terms of social distancing on July 19 and then again on August 8, is extremely helpful.
“So this morning’s conversation with the government was to say ‘Okay, Celtic Football Club, this beautiful stadium, is ready to welcome crowds as soon as possible.’
“So I suspect that by the time we get to our European matches, we’ll have a good-sized crowd back.
“And then when we get into our new season, we should have every reason to bring back even bigger crowds.
“I don’t mean a number because it’s not for me to indicate a number.
“But the data points give a lot of confidence that we are going to be able to keep the supporters coming back.
“It feels like if we continue to take sensible measures, we will soon bring back more and more supporters.
“Anyway, I suspect the Celtic support, the support for Scottish football, will last a long time to come back and watch the club they love.
“It’s so important for the players, as well as for the finances and the coaches to have that atmosphere again. We all missed it. The faster it can happen again, the better. Having full stadiums is really the cornerstone of our sport.
“The sooner we can get back to it, in a controlled manner, the better for the whole sport.”