St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin believes Scottish football has demonstrated it can comply with safety protocols as a return for fans was hit with a heavy blow this week.
A provisional date last weekend was pushed back to October 5 by the Scottish government as COVID-19 cases rise in Scotland. Despite the successful test events, a return for fans has been pushed back for the next while at least as the virus continues to spread.
It’s left plenty within the Scottish game worried, clubs particularly concerned about how they survive without gate receipts. A few Premiership managers, including Neil Lennon and Stephen Robinson, have praised Scottish football’s response to the crisis.
Goodwin goes along similar lines. He believes that it has shown safety protocols can be met to ensure some sort of normality is returned to SPFL football as he admits finances will be ‘extremely tight.’
“Like every club, we were hoping we could get supporters back in for the Betfred Cup,” said Goodwin. “That doesn’t look like it will happen now. It’s obviously extremely disappointing but hopefully the SFA, SPFL and the government will be able to come up with a plan that will allow us to do something safely in the future.
“We have got to be sensible about it. Obviously the transmissions are continuing to rise and that’s got to be the priority for everyone just now. The most important thing for everybody is the health and safety of all of our families and friends.
“But I do believe football clubs are capable of doing things properly. We have shown that, within the training grounds, we are capable of following protocols and doing things safely. I think we would be able to do it at the stadium as well.
“We obviously just need to get clear guidance on that and get some support from the government, and hopefully we will be able to do it. An outdoor arena where there are thousands of seats and plenty of space to socially-distance, I do believe we as a football community would be capable of putting things in place and carrying it out safely.
“I was given a playing budget about two-and-a-half months ago now. We had budgeted for different circumstances so I’m pretty sure the club have got things in place that will allow us to get through this.
“Although we are not sitting with multi-millions in the bank, we don’t have the biggest playing budget in the world, we don’t have the biggest squad in the world, I do believe financially we are in a position where we can ride this out. But at the same time I think it’s going to be extremely tight.”