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Scottish clubs bring forward winter break amid fan restrictions

Celtic’s clash with Rangers on January 2 has been postponed after the Scottish Premiership’s winter break was brought forward by a week after crowds were limited to 500 in fresh coronavirus restrictions.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday that crowds at outdoor public events would be capped at 500 from December 26 for “up to three weeks”.

All six matches scheduled for Boxing Day will still go ahead despite the lack of supporters, but the following two rounds of games have been postponed.

The winter break was initially scheduled to take place between between January 3 and 26.

Clubs will now return from January 17 with the Old Firm clash rescheduled for February 2.

The majority of Premiership clubs stated their support for the plan over the past 24 hours.

However, the December 26 fixtures have been retained due to a lack of other available dates in the calendar.

“We have advised our clubs that any postponements increase the risk of further disruption to an already highly congested fixture calendar,” said SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.

“However, a majority favour the postponement of fixtures to give a chance for games scheduled to be played over the festive period to be played in front of fans, once the three-week period of restrictions comes to an end.”

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