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Celtic chief admits Dubai trip was a 'mistake' and issues apology to fans



Big error: Peter Lawwell has held his hands up for Celtic’s trip to Dubai

Big error: Peter Lawwell has held his hands up for Celtic’s trip to Dubai

Big error: Peter Lawwell has held his hands up for Celtic’s trip to Dubai

Chief executive Peter Lawwell has admitted Celtic's controversial decision to go to Dubai for a mid-season break was a "mistake" and has apologised to Hoops fans.

The Parkhead club confirmed Christopher Jullien tested positive for Covid-19 but all others and staff members were negative after being checked following their return to Scotland from a training camp last Friday.

However, 13 players, manager Neil Lennon and assistant John Kennedy were deemed to be close contacts and had to join the French defender in self-isolation and, amid widespread criticism, it was a makeshift Celtic side which drew 1-1 with Hibernian on Monday night.

Speaking in an in-house interview, Lawwell said: "It has been an extremely difficult few days and on reflection, looking back and with hindsight and looking at the outcome of the trip, clearly it was a mistake and for that I profoundly apologise to our supporters.

"We left here and the rationale for the camp was very much with the best intentions. Things haven't gone the way we wanted to and the outcome is clearly very regrettable."

The draw against Hibs left Celtic 21 points behind Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Lawwell said: "If you look back over the last four years, going to the camp in Dubai has been extremely successful.

"And the decisions we made were entirely for the best interests of the team and the best interests of the club.

"What we planned to do was take them to these facilities again, which are world-class, after a very hectic programme in November and December, which has in the past proven to be a great benefit in terms of performance after January, to get to that performance level again."

  • Livingston's Scottish Premiership clash with Aberdeen was postponed last night - after the scheduled kick-off time. Referee Steven McLean carried out a pitch inspection minutes before 7.45pm and the call was taken after discussions with both management teams.

Belfast Telegraph