Giovanni van Bronckhorst admits Rangers were opposed to the idea of bringing the Scottish Premiership winter break forward, but says the club “respects” the decision.
Rangers and Ross County were the only two Premiership clubs on hand that wanted all holiday events to take place amid the new rules limiting outdoor events to 500 spectators while the Scottish Government agrees to slow down the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
The Scottish Professional Football League board of directors, which includes Rangers chief executive Stewart Robertson, ultimately decided to move forward with the Boxing Day matches and postpone the next two matches in January and February.
🗣️ “We all know that sporting integrity is one of the most important things in Scotland. I don’t see why we haven’t progressed as planned.”
Here’s what Allan McGregor and Giovanni van Bronckhorst said when asked about the advance of the winter break👇 pic.twitter.com/NHKn3KhB4Z
– Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) December 24, 2021
Rangers expressed their “immense frustration” at the new crowd restrictions and ahead of Sunday’s game against St Mirren, Van Bronckhorst said: “We heard the news that on Boxing Day there were only 500 people.
“Obviously, the decision to move the winter break after Boxing Day, I think we were clear as a club: we had our arguments and our point of view in continuing to play.
But the decision is taken by the board and the League so we respect the decision and move on.
“We focus on Sunday’s match against St Mirren. After that we will have time with our families and to rest and then we will leave in January to prepare for the second half of the season.”
When will the postponed Premiership matches take place
Matches that were supposed to be played on 29 December and 2-3 January have been postponed, including the Old Firm, Edinburgh and Dundee derbies, and will now take place on the following dates, in both parts of the Scottish Cup fourth round:
Monday 17th January
- Celtic vs Hibernian – 7.45pm
Tuesday 18th January
- Aberdeen vs Rangers (live on Sky Sports) – 7.45pm
- Dundee United vs St Mirren – 7.45pm
- Heart of Midlothian vs St Johnstone – 7.45pm
- Livingston vs Dundee – 7.45pm
- Ross County vs Motherwell – 7.45pm
Tuesday 1st February
- Dundee vs Dundee United – 7.45pm
- Hibernian vs Heart of Midlothian (live on Sky Sports) – 7.45pm
- Livingston vs St Johnstone – 7.45pm
- Ross County vs Aberdeen – 7.45pm
- St Mirren vs Motherwell – 7.45pm
Wednesday 2 February
- Celtic vs Rangers (live on Sky Sports) – 7.45pm
‘SPFL will receive financial support’
The Scottish government’s decision to limit crowds to just 500 has left many people frustrated when many stadiums can safely accommodate more fans.
However, SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster is positive that the crowds will return in full force and confirmed that the Scottish Government had already promised financial support to those affected.
“The situation has been and continues to be crippling for SPFL clubs, so it is vital that we get as much financial support as possible from the Scottish Government in light of these restrictions,” Doncaster added.
“We have been told very clearly that there will be support and I think the Scottish Government understands how critical finances are in Scottish football and how important it is to get as much funding as possible, as quickly as possible.
“In the meantime, we must make the most of the situation and continue to liaise with the Scottish government to hopefully return as soon as possible.”