There is one team who has benefited the most from the controversial Celtic trip to Dubai – and it is Rangers.
That is the view of Premier League legend Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the impact of a week that has once again brought a deluge of statements from Parkhead.
The Scottish Government urging the SFA to investigate the trip and that forced Celtic, via their official Twitter account, into defending themselves in the face of huge criticism including from their own fans.
In response to the Scottish Government statement, the club has issued the following response:
‘The training camp was arranged a number of months ago & approved by all relevant footballing authorities & @scotgov through the Joint Response Group on 12th November 2020.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) January 4, 2021
The squad travelled to the United Arab Emirates just a day after the 1-0 derby day defeat to Rangers at Ibrox.
Phillips is in no doubt that Celtic got it badly wrong by heading to Dubai and believes it has played into the hands of their neighbours.
“It is another tick for Rangers,” the ex-striker told Football Insider. “They have got another one over on their rivals.
“Again, Celtic are in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.
“When Nicola Sturgeon is questioning it, I am very surprised they went to Dubai.”
Steven Gerrard’s side are 19 points clear at the Scottish Premiership summit, although Celtic do have three matches in hand.
Phillip added: “It is a season that they are going to have to write off. There is no way they are going to catch Rangers, even with their games in hand.
“I cannot see it happening and this trip is just another blip.”