Rangers supporters and the rest of Scottish football have been fired a warning by national clinical director Jason Leitch amid fears fans will not return in big numbers at the end of the winter break.
Amid the Omicron Covid-19 wave supporters have effectively been locked out of grounds with the Scottish Government restricting outdoor stadium capacities to 500 fans.
The move has been met with much controversy – with many fans believing football has once again drawn the short straw and made an example of – with the winter break even brought forward as a result.
Scottish Premiership clubs voted to move the break forward one week resulting in Rangers’ matches with Aberdeen and Celtic being rescheduled to January and February.
Whilst the official party line is that this was done to give fans the best chance of getting into the grounds, Jason Leitch has revealed that this may not be possible when games kick off in three week’s time, the original timeframe given for restrictions.
Jason Leitch fires Scottish football and Rangers Covid-19 crowd warning
“We’ll give the best advice we can but there is an official review, a legal review, every three weeks with those restrictions but that doesn’t mean things can’t go up or down in the middle weeks,” said Leitch [Scottish Sun].
“We don’t want that to last any longer than it needs, but the public health advice is that Omicron remains a danger to the country, in fact the World Health Organisation advice is that it remains a danger to the whole world, and therefore you should act very cautiously if you decide to remove protections.
“The modelling suggests that the peak of the Omicron wave in the UK will be somewhere around mid to late January, maybe even pushing into February.
“But that will depend quite a lot on human behaviour.
“We may not want the peak early remember because if this is an enormous wave then we may want to draw it out over a longer period because you might then get more people vaccinated.
“If you can vaccinate 75,000 people a day, every day counts here.
“So if you can make it last a bit longer it will not be as severe for the population.
“But the modelling suggests we won’t see the big numbers – and that seems terrifying having announced 10 and 11,000 – you won’t see the big numbers for two or three weeks yet.”
This effectively means that despite posturing over games and supporters, all the Scottish footballing authorities have done is kick the ball up the park and squeezed the schedule.
Rangers fans have plenty of suspicions regarding the situation with the Ibrox side set to have up to six players missing for the rearranged Old Firm clash in February.