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Sir Kenny Dalglish: It’s great that the Cup and lower leagues are returning. But our health is more important than the Euros

© Ian Hodgson/ANL/ShutterstockKenny Dalglish
Kenny Dalglish

The news that the Scottish Cup is back on is brilliant.

What a boost that is for everyone in the game.

It’s great to see that the SPFL and SFA came together to work out a schedule that allowed the competition to take place.

The Scottish Cup holds a special place in my heart, having collected four winner’s medals, and I think it will take on extra significance now in the remaining weeks of the season.

There is a European place up for grabs, and the prestige of standing on the winners’ podium at Hampden Park on May 22. What’s not to like?

With the Premiership title race not going to the wire, and likely to be won by Rangers with a number of weeks to spare, the Cup will bring that extra competitive edge to every manager and player.

That said, with two Old Firm games to go, there is no chance of the season going flat and unwinding in a calm manner. There is still so much at stake for a number of reasons.

Steven Gerrard and his players will see it as a chance to win the Double. That would cap off a stunning campaign.

For Celtic, it gives the club a chance to win the prize for a fifth-consecutive season, and not to end this campaign without a piece of silverware.

And for all the other clubs, be it Aberdeen, Hibs, Motherwell, St Mirren, Ross County and whoever else, it will give them the chance to achieve something very special.

You only need to look at last weekend’s Betfred League Cup Final between St Johnstone and Livingston.

Saints had the chance to win this Cup for the first time in their history. Livi had won it once before, and it was an opportunity for David Martindale to be a winning boss after just four months in the job.

It turned out that Callum Davidson was the manager who emerged with the Cup in his hands. Credit to him and his players.

They deserved to win, thanks to Shaun Rooney’s header, and Callum is showing all the signs of being a fine young coach.

So every club will have a reason and a motivation for giving their all in the Scottish Cup.

It’s a chance for new heroes to emerge and fairytale stories to become reality.

The icing on the cake would be if fans were allowed back in on Cup Final day.

That was the only downside to last weekend – the fact it was an empty Hampden, and the supporters couldn’t be there in person.

Even if we have 10,000 in on May 22, what a boost that would be football.

Hopefully, that will be the same for the Euros.

There is concern inside UEFA that the Scottish Government will not give the green light to allow fans into the four matches earmarked for June.

She was being positive about the situation on Friday, but we will wait and see what update Nicola Sturgeon gives over the next few weeks.

The UEFA deadline is April 7, and they will want guarantees by then.

Like all other football fans, I want Glasgow and Hampden Park to be a part of the Euros.

But where we are with Covid-19 will be the deciding factor.

Between vaccinations and the death rate falling, we are on the right road. But there is a long way to go.

The scientists will give their viewpoint to Holyrood, and any decision will be made on the back of that information and data.

The health and well-being of the greater population is more important than the desire of UEFA and football, but hopefully it can go ahead and we see a party atmosphere, within the guidelines, in our country.

What is resuming is League One and League Two in Scotland.

The finer detail of the plan has caused a wee bit of disagreement between the clubs and the SPFL, and I can see both sides of the argument.

The most important thing is that the welfare of the players is being carefully considered, and they will not be put under unnecessary pressure to get the fixtures fulfilled.

Promotion and relegation is an important part of football and we all want to see it.

It’s better to sort things out on the park than in an office.