The Vacations, The Signings And The News: January 9Th-16Th SPFL Recap

The teams featured are listed in alphabetical order to make it easier to find information about the team you’re interested in.

ABERDEEN

Aberdeen kicked off their week with the announcement that they would be facing either Huntly or Dumbarton at Pittodrie on the 31st of January in the Scottish Cup. They also suffered an unfortunate loss to Rangers where they were defeated 2-1 on the 10th of January.

Ryan Hedges will also have to miss their next fixture due to his red card he received during the Rangers game.

It was also announced that their fixture against Livingston on the 14th of January has been rescheduled to the 30th of January and will be played at the Tony Macaroni arena as intended. They have also had another fixture with Livingston moved to the 2nd of February.

Goalkeeper Tomas Cerny has announced this week that he is retiring from football at the age of 38 after being at the club for almost two and a half years.

CELTIC

Celtic arrived home from Dubai at the beginning of the week refreshed and with their own COVID-19 case in the form of Christopher Jullien, leading to manager Neil Lennon, assistant manager John Kennedy and 13 first team players isolating.

Despite this on Monday they were able to fulfill their fixture and draw 1-1 to Hibs at Parkhead.

Chief Executive Peter Lawell released a statement where he admitted that with hindsight the trip wasn’t the best idea and reiterated that when they were given clearance to fly it was before the second lockdown and before the rules surrounding isolating when returning from Dubai were announced.

The club also placed their under 18s players on furlough this week. This was met with further media criticism as the media and fans alike have questioned this move as the younger players don’t earn the same pay as the first team members and have questioned how the club could afford to fly the first team, coaches and managerial staff to Dubai but can’t pay these players.

DUNDEE UNITED

Dundee started their week off with a 2-2 draw at Tannadice park against St Johnstone on Monday night.

Attacking player Nicky Clark signed a contract extension for the club this week meaning he will be at the club until 2023.

Their fixture with Hibs that had to be rescheduled due to the Betfred Cup finals has been moved again to the 30th of January because of clashes with the three-week Scottish Cup suspensions.

Dundee United’s My Home Team initiative received praise from the Scottish government’s public health, sport and wellbeing minister, Mairi Gougeon. She said: “It’s fantastic that the community trusts and their associated SPFL clubs have risen to the challenge and provide vital support and service to their local communities, demonstrating how sport can play a role in Scotland’s recovery during this unprecedented time.”

The club also thanked fans for their kind words left in the online condolence book for Dundee United legend Jim Mclean.

HAMILTON ACCIES
Accies had an unpleasant start to their week in the form of loosing 2-0 to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park last Saturday.

Several youth players sent out on loan until January have new opportunities lined up. Daryl Meikle and Sean Slaven have returned from their loan spells at Linlithgow Rose. Sean Alaven is set to return to the first team roster, whereas Daryl Meikle is now joining Marley Redfern at Blackburn United for the continuation of the season. Liam Harris, who has spent the first half of the season at Clydebank FC, has extended his temporary move until the end of the season.

Youth player Marley Redfern has also extended his temporary move with Blackburn United and other youth Player Jamie Smith has been speculated to do the same with Rossvale fc.

HIBS
Chris Cadden and Lewis Stevenson have both signed new deals with the club. Cadden is a new signing for Hibs and is set to be at the club for two and a half years and Stevenson has signed a new extension that will keep him at the club until summer 2022. They weren’t the only players to pick up the pen and paper this week as the club signed Australian international midfielder Jackson Irvine subject to international clearance.

Hibs this week also showed their charitable side by donating their match sponsorship funds from their last game with Kilmarnock to the Stevenson Foundation to Celebrate Lewis Stevenson’s 500th appearance for the club.

KILMARNOCK

Kilmarnock started and finished their week on a high note with a valiant 2-0 victory over Hamilton Accies at the start of the week, then on Friday the appeal launched by ST Mirren and Kilmarnock was heard by the SFA and the clubs won their case, meaning the games that were cancelled due to Covid-19 safety concerns are to be rescheduled and their fines were reduced to £10K which will have to be paid to the SFA.

Kilmarnock also received good news in the form of club signings. Kilmarnock player Youssouf Mulumbo signed a contract extension and will remain in Ayr until the end of the season. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all joy this week for Killie as Jake Eastwood returned to Sheffield United due to his loan deal expiring.

LIVINGSTON

It has been a quiet week in West Lothian for Livingston but that doesn’t mean the club hasn’t been busy.

Livingston opened the week on a high note with their win over Ross County, but their match successes didn’t continue as their mid-week match with Aberdeen had to be postponed due to disruption to Lingston’s pitch which will now be played on the 30th of January.

MOTHERWELL

Academy graduate Steven Lawless has made a return to Motherwell after becoming Graham Alexander’s first signing. He will be at the club until the end of the 21/22 season and will be on the team sheet for the club’s game against Rangers on the 17th of January.

Motherwell have teamed up with their sponsor PayCare to promote PayCare’s free health and wellbeing virtual drop-in session on the 25th of January. The session is to help those that feel as if they are struggling or need someone to talk to, they can drop in between 10am-11am and attend the call via zoom.

RANGERS

Rangers have been busy both on and off the park this week with a strong 2-1 victory last Sunday and with their positive community work.

The club has officially offered their stadium up to the Scottish government to be used as a Covid-19 vaccination centre in order to help ease pressure on the NHS.

The club also hit a remarkable milestone this week by raising £1million for the Rangers’ Supporters Erskine Appeal that helps veterans. The charity helps cover the expenses for physiotherapy, hearing aids and other medical expenses. The charity also donated 339 Christmas presents to care home residents.

ROSS COUNTY
Ross County’s main activities this week have all been fixture related.

With a 3-1 loss at the beginning of the week and an announcement that their match with Motherwell that was set to be played on the 27th of January has now been scheduled to kick off at 6pm instead of 7:45pm, these were the main developments with the club this week.

ST JOHNSTONE

St Johnstone, just like Ross County’s main news this week has been changes to their upcoming matches.

Their match with Kilmarnock on the 10th of February has now been changed to the 30th of January at 3pm and their game against Celtic has been moved to Valentine’s day at 12pm instead of being played on the 13th of February.

ST MIRREN

St Mirren’s main news story this week was the result of their appeal against the SFA based on the punishments they opposed on the club and Kilmarnock due to them not being able to play scheduled matches over COVID-19 concerns. They have been told they must play the cancelled matches and must pay the SFA £10K in fines.

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