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‘An absolute joke’ ‘Getting ridiculous’ Angry fans hit out at Celtic announcement

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Even before Nir Bitton’s positive test there was little appetite for international football among Celtic fans- last night’s news reinforced views that the current programme needs to be scrapped.

Halting the domestic campaign for a fortnight in September, October and November has been grudgingly accepted in recent seasons but the developments of the last week take the international demands into an entirely new area.

Since June Celtic have had their players in a protective bubble, sacrificing a lot of their normal activities with the expense of twice weekly testing and other measures.

Last Sunday there were no positive tests among Neil Lennon’s squad and backroom staff, a week later he has had two positive tests from international duty with Ryan Christie ruled out of the next domestic match on the basis of a phone call from someone in Lothian Health, the midfielder has returned negative tests since the announcement.

Celtic have twice explained that their hands are tied regarding the release of players for international duty but that has been contradicted by RB Salzburg who have kept their players in the club bubble during the current break.

Next month the SFA could be requesting the services of Callum McGregor, Greg Taylor, Christie, James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths. There will also be others demands to have players for the third tier of international football- the recently created Nations League.

As a PLC Celtic fall back on making decisions with the business and balance sheet in mind, doing a Salzburg ‘team quarantine’ next month looks hard to resist and will result in virtually no backlash from supporters.

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