Rangers and Celtic will meet for the first time this season by October, according to a report, despite Celtic’s pleas for it to be moved.
According to the Glasgow Times, the SPFL have rejected the calls from Celtic to move it to a date when Parkhead can be filled with fans.
Neil Lennon had previously pleaded for it to be moved but it will take place in October, with the fixtures due to be released soon.
The Scottish Sun reported that Sky Sports’ five-year TV deal kicks off on August 1 and it’s thought they want the first derby to be pencilled in by the end of October.
While nobody wants to see games going ahead with reduced capacities or behind closed doors, moving particular fixtures to suit one club would have been outrageous.
Other clubs will have to get by with the Old Firm coming to town without fans and moving games to later in the year to suit Celtic would have raised some serious questions of the SPFL board.
The prospect of a closed-doors Old Firm game will make the first meeting between the two even more unpredictable than usual – although for the Celtic players it’ll have a similar feel to most league games at Parkhead.
With Rangers in Europa League action in Germany in August too, Steven Gerrard’s side face a hectic start to the new season once things get underway.