St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin says it’s of great relief to see the Scottish government finally give financial aid to football in the country.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Thursday that Premiership clubs would receive £20 million set aside in loans, with lower league clubs, junior football and the women’s game receiving £10 million in grants.
Goodwin says it’s a big boost for clubs across the country as he explains why some teams should get financial support before others: “It’s brilliant that the government are willing to make that money available.
“I think that there are some clubs that will need it more than others. It would need to be distributed in that manner. Whether we have the need for it, I’m not so sure.
“I know financially we aren’t in a terrible place. We are a well-run club and don’t carry a great deal of debt. But it is a fantastic gesture from the government and they have shown how important football clubs are to communities.
“It might just be the lifeline that keeps clubs surviving until fans get back into the stadiums. It’s taxpayers money and we all just want funds going to those who need it most. We are quite fortunate at St Mirren that we have been well-run for a number of years.
“I’m not saying that we won’t use the loans depending on what rates are available. The clubs that need it most should get it.”
Ahead of this weekend’s match with Motherwell, there’s mixed feelings in the Buddies camp. While on an impressive run of eight games without defeat, they sit bottom of the Premiership after the SPFL handed them two 3-0 forfeits following a guilty verdict on Covid-19 breaches.
St Mirren have appealed this decision and the £40,000 suspended fine. On the park, while solid defensively, they are the Premiership’s lowest scorers with eight goals in 15 games. Four of those strikes have come from set-pieces.
Goodwin says that if the current crop of forwards can’t get firing, he’ll find ones who can: “Obviously we’re disappointed with the fact we’re the league’s lowest scorers because I believe we’ve got some very good players in the forward areas and I believe we’re now creating more opportunities than we ever have done.
“We’re aware of it and while I don’t want to bog the strikers down with unnecessary pressure, ultimately as a centre-forward you’re paid to put the ball in the back of the net. It’s as simple as that.
“If you’re not assisting and not scoring then you’re not really contributing. So we need to start being a bit tougher on each other and start being ruthless. That’s the bottom line. We need to put teams to the sword because our defensive record, without the six goals that we got chucked on by the disciplinary panel, is in the league’s top four.
“We’re doing well at one end, we need to do much better at the other. It’s as simple as that. The league is very tight but we can’t keep failing to kill teams off and that was the main message to the boys this morning.
“We’re always looking to strengthen the squad. We can’t stand still or be satisfied with what we’ve got. We have to be on the lookout for better players than what we’ve got.
“I’ve been extremely fair to the group that’s here. I’ve shown a lot of faith, trust and confidence in a lot of them. But we need to start scoring goals and if the guys here aren’t doing that we’ll need to look for someone else who can.”