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Celtic and Aberdeen fined by SPFL for COVID-19 rule breaches

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16:09 21 Sep 2020

Aberdeen and Celtic have each been fined £30,000 (€32,708) for Covid-19 breaches by their players.

Aberdeen say it's a "fair outcome" after they were charged due to eight of their players breaking guidelines in the city centre at the start of August.

Republic of Ireland winger Jonny Hayes was among that group of eight, but avoided a playing ban.

Celtic's fine is in relation to defender Boli Bolingoli travelling to Spain and failing to quarantine on his return last month.

The Scottish government postponed a pair of games by each club following the breaches.

Bolingoli had already been given a three-game ban, and apologised, but he's been bombed out of Parkhead for the season, spending it on loan instead at Istanbul Basaksehir.

£8,000 (€8,717) of each of their fines is payable immediately, with the remainder suspended pending further breaches until the end of the season.

SPFL statement: 

Aberdeen FC and Celtic FC fined for breaches of SPFL Covid-19 Regulations At disciplinary hearings held earlier today, before a sub-committee of the SPFL Board, Aberdeen FC and Celtic FC were separately the subject of complaints of breaches of SPFL Regulations relating to Covid-19.

Aberdeen FC were charged with breaching SPFL Regulations in respect of matters arising from the activities of eight of their players in Aberdeen city centre on the night of 1 August 2020. Celtic FC were charged in respect of the activities of their player Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, who travelled to Spain and failed to quarantine on his return to Scotland on 4 August 2020.

Both clubs offered substantial evidence in mitigation.

Aberdeen FC were fined £30,000, of which £8,000 is payable to the SPFL Trust within 28 days, with the remainder suspended pending any future material breach by Aberdeen FC of SPFL Covid-19 Regulations prior to the last day of Season 2020/21.

Celtic FC were also fined £30,000, of which £8,000 is payable to the SPFL Trust within 28 days, with the remainder suspended pending any future material breach by Celtic FC of SPFL Covid-19 Regulations prior to the last day of Season 2020/21.

A spokesman for the SPFL said: “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.”

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Aberdeen Celtic Coronavirus Covid-19 Nicola Sturgeon SPFL

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