Date: 16th September 2020 at 7:17am
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Talks are being stepped up between SPFL clubs and the Scottish Government to stage test matches with the Celtic v Hibs match on September 27 one of the fixtures targeted.

Last weekend Aberdeen and Ross County staged matches watched by 300 fans but there are no test matches being held this weekend.

Almost the entire area around Glasgow has had the ‘6 rule’ applied but that doesn’t impact on retail or hospitality.

Any number of shoppers can visit the Parkhead Forge with minimal monitoring or tracing but less than a mile away with extensive measures in place no fans have watched a match from inside Celtic Park.

The Scottish Government seem very hesitant to allow fans back into stadiums, allowing 30% of capacity to attend games would allow half of the Premiership clubs to admit all of their season ticket holders.

Celtic Park and Ibrox would present obvious difficulties but getting 20,000 inside Celtic Park should be manageable with EPL clubs pushing Boris Johnson towards the 30% rule.

The Daily Record reports:

Scotland’s top flight clubs are hoping for government permission to keep on staging pilot matches with hundreds of supporters – while England’s Premier League big boys are demanding thousands are let in from the start of next month.

Record Sport understands talks between the SPFL and Holyrood were continuing on Tuesday over plans to re-start test events as early as next weekend – when Rangers will travel to Motherwell and Celtic will host Hibs at Parkhead.

So far only two small-scale trial runs have been rubber-stamped – with 300 Ross County supporters able to attend Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing from the champions and another 300 Aberdeen season ticket holders at Pittodrie for a 1-0 win over Kilmarnock.

It is hoped that by adopting this ‘baby steps’ approach, more successful test matches could help push up the numbers of supporters potentially allowed into Celtic Park for the first Old Firm derby of the season on October 17.

But while Scotland’s clubs wait for a green light from the government to re-start their project, England’s top flight are threatening to scrap all test events south of the border unless No.10 removes the current cap of just 1,000 fans per game.

Top brass from English football, rugby, cricket and tennis have called for crisis talks with Downing Street and aim to have stadia operating at 30 per cent capacity in around two weeks’ time. They insist the financial consequences of the coronavirus restrictions are unsustainable at all levels of professional sport, including the mega-rich Premier League.

But, although Scottish clubs are far more reliant on match day revenue, there is a reluctance north of the border to be seen to be trying to strong arm politicians into letting more fans into grounds.

Celtic are away to St Mirren tonight before hosting home matches against Livingston and Hibs either side of an away Europa League qualifier in midweek.

In June Peter Lawwell spoke to Keith Jackson of the Daily Record about his hopes to stage a test match in front of fans on July 25, a week ahead of the opening SPFL Premiership fixtures.