Noel Whelan has revealed his worries about letting fans back into stadiums as Celtic reportedly plan on reopening half of Parkhead by late August.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aberdeen striker admits he is desperate to see supporters back in the stands but that there is an awful lot to consider before giving it the green light.
The Daily Mail reports that the Hoops are surprisingly drawing up plans to allow as many as 30,000 fans back into Parkhead by the end of August thanks to proposed changes to social distancing rules in Scotland.
The Scottish Premiership is pencilled in to return on August 1, with games initially set to take place behind closed doors.
However, Whelan insists that the issues stretch much further than the stands and that everything must be perfect before fans are allowed back into Celtic Park.
Whelan told Football Insider: “I think we’ve got to try and find a way to try and get fans back into the ground. As much as it’s fantastic to have the football back, it isn’t the same without the fans and it never will be.
“If we can manage to get some back into stadiums and manage it properly, not just sitting down and watching the game but getting in and out the stadium as well, that is more key.
“At half time, when it comes to getting drinks because not everyone is going to be able to get a drink in that 15 minute period with social distancing, it’s going to take a lot longer than it normally would to get a pie or a drink – maybe they won’t even open that and maybe that would be the best thing, so no one congregates down there to get drinks.
“There’s got to be a bit of give and take – you can’t get drinks, you can’t take anything into the stadium, you’re just coming in to watch the football and managing them inside and outside the stadium will be key.
“You know you can sit two seats away from each other but when you’re leaving the stadium you’ve got to be very vigilant and makes sure it works properly and flows properly and keeps everyone safe.
“It’s just common sense, isn’t it? You’ve got to make sure it’s managed properly. I think it’s a good idea but there’s also that worry about the social distancing part.”
PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.