Celtic fans will be forced to watch their SPFL opener against Hearts on Sky Sports with no away fans allowed inside Tynecastle.
Ange Postecoglou faces the same domestic debut as Brendan Rodgers did in 2016 but this time the hoops won’t be backed by 2,000 supporters in the Roseberry Stand. On the plus side there will be 10,000 less Hearts fans than normal with only 4,000 expected to attend.
Apart from the 300 fans that watched a 5-0 win at Ross County last September there has been no fans at any domestic Celtic match since March 2020 with Hampden Park empty in December when Celtic lifted the Scottish Cup.
Revealing their early season plans to The Sun, Hearts CEO Andrew McKinlay said:
For the first home game in the Premier Sports Cup, we will have 2,000 fans inside. For the second cup game, and the first game of the season against Celtic, we are currently working on the number as we have been given different social-distancing numbers to work with.
It is social distancing inside the bowl but also social distancing on the concourse and they are different numbers. We’re working through that but it looks like being a few thousand more. It seems optimistic to me, but we are being told it will be back to normal from August 9.
The agreement in the cup is we’ll all stick to home fans only. We will not bring any away fans in until we have satisfied our season-ticket holders, unless we’re forced to.
On July 20 Celtic take on Mitjylland of Denmark in a Champions League qualifier with close to 50,000 Celtic Season Ticket holders entitled to attend.
Talks are ongoing with the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council over the numbers attending, before that match is played crowds of 60,000 are expected at Wembley for the semis and final of the European Championships.