Scottish football is back in lockdown after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that fans will be locked out of games from Boxing Day as a result of fears over the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
The First Minister held an emergency briefing this afternoon, announcing capacities will be limited to 500 from Boxing Day and running for a minimum of three weeks.
The Scottish Premiership still has two rounds of fixtures left before it goes on its winter break, meaning it will avoid having to run at reduced capacity for two of the three weeks – but it will massively hamper clubs outwith the top-flight as they’d look to take advantage and attract more fans through the gates.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford previously announced that all sporting events there would take place behind closed doors and, while Sturgeon has stopped short of that, it isn’t much better.
Championship and League One sides will be particularly affected by the restrictions with some of the Championship sides going to be restricted to around 10% of their usual attendance.
Three midweek fixtures in the Premiership will go ahead with no restrictions on capacity as limits on fan numbers return just four months after clubs were allowed to return to full capacity.
Physical distancing of one meter will also be required, with Sturgeon admitting in Parliament that games will effectively be spectator-free for the next three weeks.
NTOF now offers a YouTube channel featuring exclusive interviews, post-match discussion, in-depth debate, and much more – LIKE and SUBSCRIBE and don’t miss any of our videos.