SPL rule out Celtic trophy presentation on Old Firm day

Celtic won’t be presented with the SPL trophy against Old Firm rivals Rangers despite the derby almost certainly being the Hoops’ first home game after clinching the title.

Neil Lennon’s men face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Saturday and need just a point to secure their first championship in four years which would wrap it up before the split.

And following the announcement of the post-split fixtures, Celtic then face Motherwell away on Sunday, April 22 followed by the visit of Rangers to Parkhead seven days later.

The Celtic players will be desperate to get their hands on the trophy but they’ll be forced to wait until one of their two other remaining home matches in May.

Lennon’s men host St Johnstone on Thursday May 3 before Hearts visit the east end of Glasgow on the final day on Sunday, May 13.

An SPL spokesperson said: “We’ll make an announcement in due course but Celtic won’t be presented with the SPL trophy at the Old Firm game.

“I don’t think anyone would expect us to present it after the Old Firm match but we’ll let everyone know soon.”

Saints are the club to suffer this season from an uneven number of home and away games, with the Perth men forced to play 20 away games and 18 at home due to the controversial split.

But SPL secretary Iain Blair said: “St Johnstone are losing a home game but they have gained one in the past.

“Various versions of the round 34-38 fixture list are produced and we select the one that provides the best fit.

“In the regular season, Celtic/Rangers and Hearts/Hibs always play at home on alternate weekends but it can be impossible to avoid a city clash after the split.”