FOOTBALL fans could be back inside stadiums within a fortnight as Celtic hope to stage a friendly game at Parkhead on Saturday, July 25 — in front of 1,000 fans.
But Hoops chiefs fear they will be forced to delay their plans as the Government stalls on whether to allow supporters back into grounds.
SunSport can reveal the Scottish champions are in talks with a number of clubs about organising a bounce game in just over a fortnight.
They believe they could cope with 30,000 punters inside Celtic Park.
But with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon refusing to budge on reducing significant restrictions, Scotland’s champions realise that’s unlikely to be given the go-ahead.
They are instead looking at hosting a friendly game with 1,000 supporters as a test event — but fear even those plans may be kicked into touch until some time next month.
Neil Lennon’s squad are currently in Loughborough at a training camp.
They will travel to France at the weekend ahead of friendly games with Lyon, Nice and PSG on July 16, 18 and 21.
Lyon are set to invite key workers to their stadium to make up a limited crowd for that game with the Hoops.
The Old Firm are both due to face Lyon at their Groupama Stadium in a pre-season tournament.
Lyon are yet to officially confirm the dates, but reports suggest they will play Celtic on the 16th and then Steven Gerrard’s side two days later.
Hoops supporters are buying into ten-in-a-row after the club sold more than 50,000 season tickets.
Supporters had until July 7 to renew their books ahead of a huge season for Lennon’s side.
And SunSport understands more than 50,000 punters have pledged their backing for the new campaign.
The incredible show of support comes despite a number of games set to be staged behind closed doors amid the coronavirus crisis.
Celtic will unfurl the league flag at home to Hamilton on Sunday August 2 as they kick off their quest for ten.
Lennon’s side will also target Champions League qualification before they host Rangers in the first derby at Parkhead.