Glasgow Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has outlined his hopes that the team can arrange some summer friendlies, with UEFA indicating plans for the potential return of the Europa League in August.
The ‘Gers are due to return to training next Monday and Robertson told Rangers TV [via The Scottish Sun]: “We look forward to announcing a couple of pre-season friendlies…We obviously need to get the guys up and running again and back into that side of things. But we need to do it safely, and we need to do it carefully.”
Yesterday, ESPN claimed [via Glasgow Live] that UEFA are considering running off the rest of the 2019/20 Europa League in August as a mini-tournament based in Frankfurt, with an organisational summit next week expecting to ascertain dates for the remaining European club competition fixtures.
The ‘Gers have not kicked a ball in anger for three months, with their last match being the 1-3 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen at Ibrox in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie. The day after that game, Scottish football was suspended due to the growing spread of coronavirus.
While the Bundesliga has since resumed and the Premier League is set to return next week, the SPFL decided to abandon the Scottish league season last month. That decision met with firm opposition from the ‘Gers, who accused the governing body of corruption over the voting process relating to the league’s fate and unsuccessfully lobbied for an independent inquiry into the authority.
As per BBC, the 2020/21 Premiership season is due to begin on 1 August, giving the Light Blues a clear date towards which they can gear preparations, and now it seems that they can factor in the resumption of their Europa League campaign too.
If the ‘Gers are to overturn their first leg deficit and get past Bayer Leverkusen to reach the Europa League quarter-finals, in addition to the start of the new Premiership season, they could be set for a very busy August.
It would make quite a contrast from the near-five months of inactivity they will have had up to then, so the proposed arranging of friendly games in the coming weeks could be much-needed to get the players up to match sharpness.
Can the 'Gers get past Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League?
The Light Blues’ fortunes took a discernible turn for the worst when they returned from the winter break in January, so hopefully Gerrard and his squad will have taken lessons from then and come back stronger from this considerably longer layoff.
‘Gers fans, do you think the squad can get back to their sharpest in time for a proposed August return to football? Comment below with your views!
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