As Rangers fans get excited about the upcoming Europa League clash with Slavia Prague, the latest news coming out of the SFA might actually hand the club an indirect Euro blow.
Scottish football was boosted by comments from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon regarding the resumption of lower league and women’s football after an extended break due to Covid-19.
Sturgeon also confirmed that some Highland League sides would be allowed to return to training with one eye on the Scottish Cup.
“Later today, the Public Health Minister will support the resumption of competitive football in Scottish Leagues One and Two, the Scottish Women’s Premier League 1 and for the purposes of playing Scottish Cup ties, certain Highland League teams,” said Sturgeon [NTOF].
“I hope this news will be welcomed by football fans across the country.”
The SFA have since released a statement saying that they have welcomed the comments of the First Minister with the “revised Scottish Cup fixture dates will be announced as soon as possible” [SFA].
The Rangers Women and the Rangers first team will be delighted by the news with the Ladies side being able to return to football and the men with one eye on further trophy glory in the Scottish Cup.
There’s going to be a little bit of time between this announcement and football resuming with new protocols needing to be drawn up with every side to be tested before matches.
There are obvious financial implications for this but for Rangers they’ll have one eye on when the fixtures are set to be played.
As it stands Rangers will have a week off between the first leg of their Europa League Last 16 with Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic [11/03] and their second leg at Ibrox [18/03].
There are obvious benefits to this with Rangers being able to focus on the tie over the course of seven days but if the SFA opts to play the Scottish Cup on the currently free weekend of 12th-14th March, this won’t be the case.
Whilst Steven Gerrard and his charges will be delighted the Scottish Cup is returning to action, perhaps the Ibrox club will hoping that weekend comes a little too soon for clubs.
Here are Steven Gerrard’s thoughts on the resumption of the Scottish Cup when he appeared to take an indirect dig at last season’s competition being brought forward.