Celtic’s trip to Dubai drew criticism from fans, the media and the Government. Images of players drinking alcohol and sunbathing added to the fury. Then, Christopher Jullien tested positive for Covid-19, resulting in Neil Lennon, assistant John Kennedy and 13 further first-team players being required to self-isolate.
A depleted Celtic team then ended any hope of the title with a 1-1 home draw against Hibs.
Quite the disaster one would think… but according to Celtic coach Gavin Strachan, the club do not regret the Dubai expedition.
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Chris Sutton and many others questioned why Jullien took the 3,000-mile flight to the UAE despite being ruled out for four months with a serious knee injury. However, first-team coach Strachan – who took over Lennon’s dugout duties – insisted it was done with the best of intentions.
Ahead of the game, Strachan told Sky Sports: “It was to maintain his treatment with the backroom staff. He (Jullien) went over there so we can get him back as fast as we can.
“I can understand the frustration from everybody, because we end up playing with a weaker team tonight, but that could have happened if we were training at home as well.
“There’s a lot of teams up and down the country, and in England as well, who are suffering with this. There’s regret that one person has caught the virus but there’s not a regret in terms of the permission we got to go and the protocols that we followed, which we have done the whole season.
“It’s regrettable that we got one positive, which we could have got at any time.”