Celtic ponder Dublin venue for opening European fixture of 2014/15 season
Club chief executive in talks with Uefa on options
Commonwealth Game likely to leave club needing alternative to Celtic Park. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA
Having played a sold out friendly against Liverpool in Dublin this summer, Celtic are considering the possibility of staging their opening European tie of the 2014/15 season in the city next year with the Commonwealth Games likely to leave them needing an alternative to Celtic Park.
The club’s preference appears to be to keep the game in Scotland in order to allow easy and affordable access to the club’s local supporters. But Celtic chief executive Peter Lawell has mentioned the Aviva stadium and Croke Park as possibilities in the event that the club decides to go further afield.
“Murrayfield is a big attraction because it’s near for the supporters,” he said. “It’s a fantastic stadium . . . I think it would be the only Scottish option. But there are other options . . . We’re actually in discussion with Uefa about what options we have.”
Asked about what venues he might be thinking of, Lawwell replied: “The Aviva, Croke Park or, maybe, down south, a northern Premier League club. There would be a big support in Dublin. The stadium was full there when we played Liverpool in the summer . . . and there is a precedent in that we played at Old Trafford against Rapid Vienna.
“We’re developing a few options and then we’ll take it to Uefa and see what they think. I don’t really know until we see the possibilities . . . We’d probably like to make a decision early in the New Year, so that we can plan and go for it.”
In reality, the FAI, whose permission would be required to stage any game within its jurisdiction, would be unlikely to allow Croke Park be used. But the association is bound to be keen to stage such a certain sell-out at its own home.
Celtic Park, meanwhile, will be hosting this season’s Scottish Cup final. Hampden Park is unavailable due to work being done to prepare it to host athletics for the Commonwealth Games. The club’s ground will be used for the opening ceremony of the games.