Skip to main content

Celtic and Aberdeen fined over coronavirus protocol breaches

Kilmarnock v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – Rugby Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Celtic and Aberdeen have both been handed immediate £8,000 fines by the Scottish Professional Football League following breaches of coronavirus protocols.

Both clubs received £30,000 fines in all following disciplinary hearings but the bulk of the punishment is suspended and will only be invoked if there are further breaches.

Eight Aberdeen players were instructed to self-isolate, and two of them caught Covid-19, following a night out. Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli played against Kilmarnock days after failing to quarantine following a secret trip to Spain.

The players were all subject to Scottish Football Association disciplinary action but the league launched separate proceedings against both clubs after a total of five matches were postponed as a result of the breaches.

Bolingoli, right, in action against Kilmarnock

Bolingoli, right, in action against Kilmarnock (Jeff Holmes/PA)

An SPFL spokesman said both clubs had offered “substantial evidence in mitigation”.

He added: “Aberdeen FC and Celtic FC demonstrated that they had gone to enormous lengths to ensure that their players adhered to all relevant requirements and protocols relating to Covid-19.

“However, the requirement of individual players to adhere to their clubs’ carefully-designed protocols is a matter of personal and professional responsibility on the part of those players.

“That the players involved ignored the strict and comprehensive requirements set down by Scottish football, by their clubs and by the Scottish Government, is obviously a serious issue, but given the lengths to which the clubs had gone in each case to seek to ensure compliance by its players, the SPFL board sub-committee suspended the majority of the fines imposed.

“The fact that adherence to social distancing and other regulations has been assiduous in the intervening period is obviously something we welcome, and we congratulate players, staff and officials for taking a leading role on these important issues.”

The fines will be payable to the SPFL Trust, the league’s charity foundation.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack said: “It’s a fair outcome that demonstrates a common sense approach.

“The SPFL have recognised the enormous efforts we have made to develop and adhere to robust procedures and protocols.

Aberdeen's protocols earned them mitigation

Aberdeen’s protocols earned them mitigation (Jeff Holmes/PA)

“They have taken into account the measures we have since put in place to reinforce these with all our staff and players.

“The whole regrettable incident is now well and truly behind us.”

At an earlier hearing, Bolingoli was handed an immediate three-match suspension by the SFA before being loaned to Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir. The eight Aberdeen players were all handed suspended bans. All nine players were fined by their clubs too.