Premiership clubs have voted to restore the winter break in January 2022 but it’s highly unlikely that Celtic will return to Dubai.
The decision by Peter Lawwell to allow the Celtic squad to travel to the Gulf State for six days of warm weather training this season is one that will never be forgotten.
Travel during a global pandemic is never the best of ideas but when the team is trailing by double figures in the title race with games in hand to be scheduled the decision to head to Dubai becomes even more questionable.
From day one when Scott Brown and Neil Lennon were pictured drinking poolside through to 13 players and two coaching staff having to self-isolate the trip was a complete disaster.
The pick-me-up that Neil Lennon anticipated backfired with six points dropped in the three fixtures after returning with January rounded off by a home defeat from St Mirren.
This morning the Sun reports:
It is likely to mean clubs being given the weekends of January 8 and January 15 off to rest players or travel abroad for a week’s winter training. This is likely, however, to be a one-year arrangement.
The Qatar World Cup finals are due to be played during November and December – meaning that the paramaters of the domestic season after next are likely to be markedly different.
Before Brendan Rodgers established Dubai as Celtic’s January training base in 2017 the club had taken part in January tournaments in Spain, Turkey and Gran Canaria. Under Martin O’Neill Celtic spent the 2001 and 2002 winter break in Florida.