The Ibrox manager has some thoughts on post-European fixture scheduling for Rangers and Celtic.

Pundit Davie Provan thinks Steven Gerrard’s argument about scheduling in the wake of European fixtures has little merit, writing in his Scottish Sun column this week.

Gerrard was speaking in the wake of the recent trip to Portugal to play Porto, which subsequently saw Rangers play against Motherwell. The Gers boss also highlighted that Celtic had a really tricky journey to Pittodrie in the wake of a match against Lazio.

Gerrard thinks that early kick-offs on a Sunday are too much for the SPFL and TV companies to ask of teams playing in Europe.

Provan though has little sympathy, suggesting that managers play their own part in insisting travel back from matches comes too soon after the final whistle.

As quoted by The Scottish Sun, the pundit said: “Last weekend Steven Gerrard made the case against early Sunday kick-offs for Scottish clubs playing European ties on a Thursday.

“Gerrard said: “You have got to give players time to recover. I think Celtic have the worst one this weekend. They have to travel up to Pittodrie and have the early kick-off.”

“Yet 24 hours later, Neil Lennon’s side demolished that argument by steamrolling Aberdeen.

“If coaches want to have fresher players after European travel, surely they should stop flying them home during the night and stay over.”


Strange suggestion

Given it’s the norm for players to travel back immediately from European fixtures, clearly those working in the game feel that’s more beneficial for stars rather than staying on in a country for an extra day. They wouldn’t be doing it for no reason.

Provan’s strange suggestion doesn’t really get to the root of the issue that Gerrard has raised.

The Sky Sports pundit does have a point in one sense. This season Rangers and Celtic haven’t really struggled in post-European fixtures. The Gers especially have been remarkably consistent in the wake of Thursday matches.

Given the reliance on TV money for the majority of Scottish teams, it seems unlikely that lunchtime kick-offs on a Sunday are about to be scrapped anytime soon.

It’s a problem that Gerrard will have to live with.

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