It seems as though the football calendar gets busier year on year, at least from a Celtic point of view. Across all competitions in 2023/24, the Hoops played 53 matches.

With the World Cup taking place in winter last year, things were tighter although one cannot deny that the schedule for clubs is getting continually packed. Celtic chairman Peter Lawell has hit out at this, and he thinks football has reached a breaking point.

Lawell spoke to the BBC and claimed that ‘player welfare’ needs to be looked after better. He said: “It seems to me we have pushed it that bit too far, particularly with the new World Cup and the restart dates. Between now and then we must come up with a process that covers everything in terms of player welfare, time on the pitch and time in training. We have probably more than maxed out.”

Things will only worsen next season with the expansion of the Champions League. That is something Celtic are likely to be involved in.

Champions League Balls
Soccer Football – Champions League – Group E – Celtic v Lazio – Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain – October 4, 2023
General view of champions league branded footballs on the pitch before the match REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Indeed Hoops chairman Lawell thinks that due to the volume of games played, it is hard to expect consistency from players. He said: “It has got to a situation where it is impossible to expect high-quality performances from elite athletes over so many games in a year. Something has to be done.”

For a number of years, football has continually got more and more hectic. In just a season, Celtic will enter four different competitions and around winter time, things usually mount up.

At some points throughout the season, teams will play three matches a week which is strenuous for players. It doesn’t look as though things will alter, any time soon, however, despite Lawell’s pleas.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.