Celtic and the SPFL are getting ready to kick off the new season at the start of August. Nothing about the season is going to be normal in the beginning.
No fans inside stadiums will certainly take an adjustment period for Celtic fans, even if they have been watching other leagues up until this point.
FIFA have also been quietly changing rules in the background of the pandemic which will have a huge bearing on the SPFL and European season.
The biggest rule that will be an asset to Celtic in the SPFL will also be a hindrance if they make into the Champions League.
The governing body is allowing FIVE substitutes during a game next season and this will be allowed in all leagues. This means clubs with bigger squads can utilise more players during a game. For Celtic, this means having an advantage over smaller clubs who have a tight squad to begin with. However, in Europe, if Celtic come up against some heavy hitters who can substitute over £100m worth of talent off their bench to combat a dogged hoops side, it’s going to be that little bit harder.
To reduce disruption, manager’s can only make substitutions three times during a game.
This season, you could forgive Celtic fans for disregarding Europe as the club looks to make domestic history but we should always aspire to be the best. The introduction of this rule when so many clubs are looking to cut their cloth and bring their squad numbers down is bizarre.
Some have speculated FIFA has brought this into play so clubs don’t risk their big stars in games for too long if they have more subs to use. With upcoming Euros and World Cups being on the agenda, the last thing they money men want is the big stars to be out of the competition.
On a more humorous note, we did chuckle that Celtic will have five subs next term and the club opted to let Jonny Hayes go, Neil Lennon must be raging!