St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin has defended the Buddies’ decision to hand two stands over to Rangers for this weekend’s Premiership clash at the SMISA Stadium – as he pleaded with the people of Paisley to get behind the Saints and buy season tickets.

Some Buddies fans have expressed their unhappiness at having to move seats to accommodate the Rangers support and the St Mirren boss would prefer there were no Rangers fans inside the ground at all.

Celtic v St. Mirren - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, with thousands of Rangers fans set to hand over the best part of £30 each on Sunday, Goodwin understands the reasons why and called on the Buddies fans to make plenty of noise.

“There’ll be a hell of a lot of Rangers fans here at the weekend, there’s no doubt about that,” Goodwin said.

“We’ve given them two big, large parts of the stadium. Rightly or wrongly, there’s a lot of talk about that, but there is the financial side of things.

“I’d much rather we gave Rangers no tickets at all on Sunday and know we’re going to fill it with 8,000 St Mirren fans. Unfortunately, we’re not in that position at the moment.

“We can’t afford to knock back the kind of money you’re capable of bringing in when either Celtic or Rangers come to town.

“I know it does upset some of our own supporters, but that’s just the way it is at the end of the day. We’ve come through a pandemic. We need as much money as we can possibly get and giving up these two stands to Rangers on Sunday will generate a hell of a lot of income for the club.

 

“If the people of Paisley want to buy more season tickets and get behind the team more, then maybe this time next year we can give the opposing side less tickets because there’s more people supporting the team.

“Until that happens we’ve got to make sensible business decisions. Hopefully, the Rangers fans aren’t too noisy.

“Our fans have been brilliant all season, I have to say. They’ve been different class.

“We’ve got a real noisy section of our own and I hope we’re hearing more of them on Sunday than the fans behind either goal.”

The Buddies have won their last three league games and success over Rangers would see them win four in a row in the top-flight for the first time since 2008.

If they can upset the champions it might just help them take a step closer to attracting more fans and allow the Saints to reduce the allocations handed to Rangers and Celtic in future.

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