As the Rangers team gets a well-earned break with their families this week, Celtic are jetting off to Dubai for a warm-weather winter training camp.
The Ibrox club now have a 19-point lead in the title race and have suffered after previous winter breaks but this time around will only have to wait a week until they face Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
It’s another crunch clash for the Gers and they will be hoping to banish the demons of the last two seasons which have seen them crumble after the New Year Old Firm derby.
Celtic in contrast have been buoyed post-January and clearly felt a repeat of last season’s trip to Dubai would enhance their title chances.
Celtic and the Scottsh footballing authorities angered outgoing Hibs chief executive Leann Dempster when Celtic’s weekend fixture with Hibs – originally scheduled for Saturday 9th January 2021 – was moved to Monday evening (11/01/21).
Move to Monday without asking us? https://t.co/BBG5D1x8R3
— Leeann Dempster (@LeeannDempster) November 30, 2020
The plan was obviously to haul something back in the title race and close the gap before restocking in the Middle East but it all feels pretty cramped, daft and perhaps dangerous now.
Rangers fans have asked why Celtic have got special dispensation to jet off mid-pandemic, with the footballing authorities moving matches, for what feels like a futile, cramped break abroad.
Not only that, but the Ibrox supporters are asking why Celtic are off to Dubai when they’ve got three games in hand which should be being played at the earliest possible convenience:
So…..amazing day. Incredible day… But….Celtic have flown out on a flight for some Rest and Recuperation to Dubai in the middle of a Tier 4 lockdown Pandemic when all NON ESSENTIAL travel is not permitted. Hibs have been TOLD to move their game as a result. They're raging.
— Jas Boyd (@Jas72Boyd) January 2, 2021
Celtic have been allowed to swan off to Dubai in the middle of a global pandemic while being 3 games behind in the league and also having made Hibs rearrange a fixture to accommodate said trip.
Don't ever let them say the footballing authorities are against them.
— Dean (@deanomac54) January 3, 2021
How stupid does the Celtic trip to Dubai now look? They expected to reduce the gap, get extra time to prepare for Hibs all whilst putting pressure on our next game against Aberdeen. Instead we've got the opportunity to go 22 points clear 👍💪
— RoyalNavy2704⚓ (@unbawmcgaw) January 3, 2021
If we win next weekend’s game we will be 22 points clear. Just getting a bit ridiculous now.
I don’t understand why Celtic aren’t being made to play catch-up in January whilst they jet off to Dubai?
— West End Bluenose (@WestEndBluenose) January 2, 2021
How are celtic are allowed to travel to Dubai when there is a global pandemic and the country is in Tier 4?
— Andy 'Ginge' Ritchie (@AndyRitchie12) January 3, 2021
Celtic off to dubai when they have postponed games to play… What's that all about ?
— CHARLIE MURDOCH 🇬🇧🏴 @alliance4unity (@murdoch_charles) January 3, 2021
What exactly are Celtic going to Dubai for? It looks like an expensive way of preparing for the Scottish Cup, given they've already blown everything else 🔴⚪🔵
— Paul T (@HamptonCaught) January 3, 2021
But celtic can go to Dubai and not isolate when they come back.
— wee j ❤️🤍💙 🇬🇧🇬🇧 (@janine_reid83) January 3, 2021
Celtic game moved to a week on Monday so they can go away to Dubai during a global pandemic 😏
— 💙 Louise 💙 (@Ls2787) January 3, 2021
— Aye Ready Podcast (@AyeReadyPod) January 3, 2021
The decision appears to have angered plenty of Celtic fans too who see this as some kind of reward for what’s been truly awful form this season.
Rangers will now have the opportunity to go 22 points clear in the title race v Aberdeen but any talk of title celebrations should be shelved until the club actually wins it.