Hearts manager Robbie Neilson says British Super League won't happen as he relishes Rangers, Celtic, Hibs and Aberdeen games next season
As talk of a British Super League involving Rangers and Celtic emerged, the Hearts manager Robbie Neilson suggested there is no need for such a competition.
He wants his team to compete in big games against the Glasgow clubs, plus others like Hibs and Aberdeen, when they return to the Scottish Premiership as a newly-promoted side next season.
Reports of Rangers and Celtic taking part in a British Super League resurfaced following the brief European Super League debacle involving England’s biggest clubs.
Neilson doesn’t believe any of them will come to fruition and said Hearts’ priority is trying to challenge Scotland’s top teams next year.
“We've been saying this for years [about a British Super League]. Every year there seems to be something coming up. I can't ever see it happening,” he said.
“The European Super League got hit on the head. As for a British Super League, they already have the Premier League down there don't they? Do they need a British one? I just can't see it happening.
“That's been one of our motivations throughout the season – going to Ibrox, Celtic Park, Pittodrie, Easter Road again. These are all the venues you want to play at with big crowds. That's what we are looking forward to next season and hopefully by that point they're full.”
Hearts face their penultimate league fixture on Saturday when Inverness Caledonian Thistle visit Tynecastle Park and they have some injury problems.
“Stephen Kingsley won't make it this weekend. We're hoping to get him back on the training field at the start of next week,” said Neilson. “Jamie Walker is still struggling with his knee so he will be out as well. Aidy White is also still out. Gervane Kastaneer is fit but just hasn't been involved in the squad recently.”
They are due to receive the Championship trophy as title winners but will decide later on Friday whether to accept it or not. Either way, the celebrations will be largely subdued without supporters.
“I had it last season with Dundee United that we didn’t get the chance to celebrate and this season there are no fans,” said Neilson. “When you win trophies it’s about the fans and the enjoyment and we don’t have that this season.
“It’s part and parcel of football and until we get the fans back it’s never going to be the same as it has been before. I think every team that have achievements this year will feel the same thing.
“When you have a title celebration, it’s with the fans, for the fans. When you don’t have any fans in the stadium, what are you doing it for? We have our own celebration as a group together but we’ve not got the fans to enjoy it with.
“We have the trophy presentation, what’s it for? It’s for a full stadium, we don’t have a full stadium so we’ll enjoy it ourselves and make sure we celebrate it ourselves.”
Hearts players will return for pre-season training in mid-June. “The training ground will still be open two or three days a week so players can come in and do gym work,” said Neilson. “We're lucky to have that facility here. We know we're stepping up a level so fitness levels need to go up, as does conditioning.”