'Incredible' - Exclusive: Pundit reacts to Celtic call for Rangers clash postponement
Noel Whelan insisted no fixture should receive preferential treatment after Neil Lennon suggested the first Rangers-Celtic derby next season be postponed.
The former Leeds United and Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, insisted the fixture list must be respected despite the huge rivalry of the Glasgow giants.
Lennon called for the first Old Firm game to be pushed back so that fans could be in attendance.
The 48-year-old believes clubs and TV companies will be in agreement over the matter and want to protect the “fantastic product’ Scotland possesses in the Old Firm.
Whelan was optimistic that such a discussion would not have to be had and that fans could return, in some capacity, for the start of next season.
“Every game is just as important as the other,” he told Football Insider.
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“We all knows what lies behind the Old Firm derby. Everyone wants to be at that game, I have been at one and the atmosphere is incredible. The build-up to the game is incredible but at the same time you have to respect what we are going through.
“If a fixture list is there and it is one of the first games you have to take it. It is the way that it is.
“Will they be there at the start of the season? It all depends what happens over the next two to three months.
“They should not be thinking about that just yet. Hopefully we will have fans back at every stadium soon.”
Lennon, as quote by the Belfast Telegraph, said: “Everyone associated with the game would want that and the clubs would want that.
“I think the authorities will look at it and try to push it back. It’ll give us more of a chance of getting the punters back.”
In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that the club expect £3.5million signing to impress next season.