The Scotsman has reported that Celtic will have to play their Champions League qualifiers next season away from Parkhead, due to a clash with the Commonwealth Games.
Excusing the assumption that they will have qualifiers to play next season (who are we kidding, of course they will), Parkhead is one of the greatest venues on a European night, so will be all the more special if and when they get into the group stage.
Celtic Park is hosting the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games on 23 July and the likelihood is that the pitch will have to be relaid before it can be used again for football.
Glasgow 2014 staff reckon it will take “weeks” before the playing surface is ready for Celtic, and the Scottish champions will be forced to look for another ground. Hampden and Ibrox are also out of the running because they, too, are Commonwealth Games venues, so the home of Scottish rugby is being considered.
58,000 turned up to watch Celtic’s dramatic comeback against Shakhter Karagandy. Alternative grounds, such as Easter Road and Pittodrie, only hold 20,000 and 22,000, respectively.
Celtic attracted attendances of 30,000 and 40,000 for the matches against Cliftonville and Elfsborg, so Murrayfield – Scotland’s biggest ground at a 67,000 capacity – is the natural alternative.